Review: The Amulet of Samarkand

334123 (1)
Title: The Amulet of Samarkand
Author: Jonathan Stroud

My rating: 4 stars


Nathaniel is a boy magician-in-training, sold to the government by his birth parents at the age of five and sent to live as an apprentice to a master. Powerful magicians rule Britain, and its empire, and Nathaniel is told his is the “ultimate sacrifice” for a “noble destiny.”

If leaving his parents and erasing his past life isn’t tough enough, Nathaniel’s master, Arthur Underwood, is a cold, condescending, and cruel middle-ranking magician in the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The boy’s only saving grace is the master’s wife, Martha Underwood, who shows him genuine affection that he rewards with fierce devotion. Nathaniel gets along tolerably well over the years in the Underwood household until the summer before his eleventh birthday. Everything changes when he is publicly humiliated by the ruthless magician Simon Lovelace and betrayed by his cowardly master who does not defend him.

Nathaniel vows revenge. In a Faustian fever, he devours magical texts and hones his magic skills, all the while trying to appear subservient to his master. When he musters the strength to summon the 5,000-year-old djinni Bartimaeus to avenge Lovelace by stealing the powerful Amulet of Samarkand, the boy magician plunges into a situation more dangerous and deadly than anything he could ever imagine.

My review:

Oh my God. This book, people. This book. IT’S AWESOME.

I’m ashamed to admit that I DNFed this book in the beginning loads of times. I do that with books whose print copies I own all the time. I have, like, 15 physical copies of books? 😦 My mum thinks buying books is a waste of money and space. Maximum of my books are gifted to me. Anyway, most of the books I read are ebooks, and I procrastinate a lot on the print copies. But recently, due to the cyclone Hudhud, there was no electricity for the past few days and there was no way to charge the battery on my phone. So, I couldn’t read ebooks. Then I picked up The Amulet of Samarkand, finally, and this time with the intention of completing it.

This book was so good. Like, seriously good. I recommend it to each and every reader who reads fantasy. And those who don’t too. It’s so good. Initially, I was quite wary of this book, since one of my friends who taste in books is QUITE different than mine, read and raved about it. I read the first few chapters, found them a bit slow, and immediately skipped reading to another book. But this time, I completed it in a single day. Figures.

“One magician demanded I (Bartimaeus) show him an image of the love of his life. I rustled up a mirror.”

Bartimaeus is the man. Or the djinni, whatever. He cracked me up. While reading the story, which was divided between Bartimaeus and Nathaniel, the hero, I always found myself waiting for the chapter with Bartimaeus’s narration. Nathaniel was not too bad for a twelve year old boy.

I found the book a bit slow at the beginning, but the pace picks up later on and it becomes hard to put it down. There is a lot of character development, and there is Bartimaeus. Those are enough reasons to convince you to read the book. This is the second book I’ve read by Jonathan Stroud, the first being The Screaming Staircase. I must say, Stroud is turning into one of my favorite authors. I absolutely loved The Screaming Staircase, and you must have understood by now that I loved this too. I highly recommend both of them. I really loved the world building and the style of writing. The characterization was quite good. Overall, a great read, that will leave you wanting more.

Also, I think my copy looks much prettier than the more popular one. What do you say?


9813788————–> My copy.



So, have you all read this book? If not, go ahead and read it! If you have, what was your opinion? Tell me in the comments!


4 thoughts on “Review: The Amulet of Samarkand

  1. I haven’t even heard of this before but I totally want to try it now! (Mostly for Bartimaeus though. 😉 Hey, but I’ve dnf’d books that I’ve gone back to finish and loved! I did that with Cinder! Now that series is like my favourite of ever….so I’m really glad I went back. ^_^ Ah, but sad your mum doesn’t like buying books. I don’t have a lot of money to spend on book so the library is my best-friend, but my mum kind of squints at me skeptically when I bring home like enormous stacks. Hehe.
    Thanks for stopping by @ Notebook Sisters!


    • I’ve dnfed Cinder too! And I read it again in the beginning of this year, and loved it! Can’t wait for Winter! 😀
      We have a library here, but that’s just in name. All it has is a bunch of old newspapers 😦 But ebooks and my kindle are my saviours!


  2. I’m so sad that your mom thinks books are a waste of space. =( Mine indulges my love, thank god. She was always scared that none of her kids would read and, when I was little, she said that she’d buy me any book, as long as I read it. Little did she know how much that would backfire. XD

    But, this book, though. I remember EXACTLY when I got it. I was in eighth grade and I was on a class trip to New York and we stopped at a mall for lunch or dinner and I needed some reading material for the rest of the ride home. I got this book and devoured it before we even reached home. I remember it being SO awesome, but it was so long ago, though I don’t remember much about the book. Just Lovelace, cause of the last name, lol. But I remember it being very engaging and magical. Thanks for the lovely review! It definitely brought the nostalgia flying back.

    And that new cover, though! It’s so awesome. I almost want to say it’s better than the first one.

    Lovely blog! I’m following via bloglovin. =)

    Brittany @


Your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s