Now, if only someone had whispered into my ear that Bartimaeus is funny, I’d have been begging to be introduced a lot sooner. You know how much I like my humour. Don’t you? Anyway, now that Random have the forceful Corinne to twist arms, I’ve found myself reading the most surprising stuff.¹

So, I have been started off with the prequel, after assurances it’s an OK place to begin. And it was.

In a way the djinni Bartimaeus is an awful person. But then he isn’t really a person as such, and he isn’t awful in all respects. He’s funny. He could be Skulduggery’s second cousin. ²

I like him best when he is young and handsome. I like him a little when he’s a moth, and less when a hippo.

This prequel affair is set a long time ago, in the times of good old King Solomon, the one who was wise and who had a powerful ring. That’s why the book is called The Ring of Solomon. There is an interesting heroine as well called Asmira,³ who is in the employ of the Queen of Sheba. She’d fit easily in a James Bond movie, but she’s fine with old Solomon, too.

Asmira is to steal the ring and kill Solomon, and she cons the almost un-connable Bartimaeus to help her.

Lots of fun, and quite a bit of exciting adventure, too.⁴

¹ But do keep in mind I only have so much time. No more. In fact, sometimes I don’t even have that much.

² Both old and slightly dead, or at least not alive in the conventional sense.

³ I take it there is no one here who will use the fact that I’m giving away people’s real names for any unpleasant magic, is there?

⁴ I did find the footnotes tedious from a practical point of view. Incredibly witty, but they made the flow of reading a bit, well, un-flowey.

3 responses to “Bartimaeus

  1. I’ve been meaning to write about a disturbing telephone conversation with an Aspie boy’s mum who emailed to say ring her about my book ‘Hangman.’ Ever the optimist,I thought she was going to tell me it was useful, moving, informative etc because I do get quite a few compliments about this book that boost the authorial ego, but OH NO! The lady told me that her son found it very upsetting and it did nothing at all to boost his morale. Far from it. The opposite in fact. All I could was tell her how sorry I was and murmur that some people liked it, and that I wrote it at the request of an Aspie boy who wanted his story to be told. I’m left wondering – is my book doing more harm than good? – and would be interested to have other readers’ reactions.

  2. Julia, I’ve thought about this all afternoon, and it’s a very interesting problem. I think it’s going to turn into a blog for tomorrow, so bear with me (as they say) and I’ll come up with some thoughts. Not necessarily answers, but maybe we can all share a little.

  3. I loved the Amulet of Samarkand. I read it when the cover I had did not make him look so monsterish, and was disappointed at that conception. I mean, why would he be ugly when he can be anything? Thinking about it, it might actually have stopped me from reading more, because my picture of him was so different.

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