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Nathaniel 11, magician apprentice, learns more challenging spells than his master assigns. He summons Bartimaeus, a 5000-year-old djinni, to assist in revenge against the proud ambitious Simon Lovelace by stealing his precious amulet. All are caught in a whirlwind of espionage, murder, and rebellion.


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Nathaniel 11, magician apprentice, learns more challenging spells than his master assigns. He summons Bartimaeus, a 5000-year-old djinni, to assist in revenge against the proud ambitious Simon Lovelace by stealing his precious amulet. All are caught in a whirlwind of espionage, murder, and rebellion.

30 review for The Amulet of Samarkand

  1. 4 out of 5

    C.G. Drews

    This was intensely hilarious and intriguing and fabulous! I didn't feel like facing the 500+ pages of actual book, so I picked up the comic and....now I want to read the actual book. IT WAS HILARIOUS. It was a like an old English futuristic but proper magician story, where they enslaved demon/djinns and took apprentices. And there is an incredibly hilarious demon. DID I MENTION HOW FUNNY HE IS? The whole apprentice idea has been done over and over and oooover, of course, and this was a little cl This was intensely hilarious and intriguing and fabulous! I didn't feel like facing the 500+ pages of actual book, so I picked up the comic and....now I want to read the actual book. IT WAS HILARIOUS. It was a like an old English futuristic but proper magician story, where they enslaved demon/djinns and took apprentices. And there is an incredibly hilarious demon. DID I MENTION HOW FUNNY HE IS? The whole apprentice idea has been done over and over and oooover, of course, and this was a little cliche. Nathaniel has a horrifically mean master, although the magician's wife is really nice (and the magician treats his wife like dirt which is really sucky) and Nathaniel's a very clever little magician but everyone just flicks him off for no reason. But he traps a major demon, Bartimaeus and uses him to get back at another mean magician. Aaaaand, it all goes downhill fast. Bartimaeus is a sassy little thing. He can changes shapes and is constantly bopping back and forth from a fly to a lizard to an Egyptian boy to an old lady...or basically whatever fits the circumstance. He gets bound to Nathaniel and he knows Nathaniel's name which is a big NO NO for magicians. I really loved the art! It told an awesome story and it was lively and the expressions were perfect. I giggled quite a few times, it's just really hilarious. Who doesn't like a sassy demon?? I mean, yeah the plot was cliche and I wasn't at all astounded, but I thought it'd be a solid MG read. SO. I'm going to read the book. Eventually. Like. When I steal Time and have 294082 more hours in my day.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Amy Eye

    A djinn unlike any other will make you laugh and wonder how you could actually like a creature so devious. But I guess in a world that he is summoned to, it isn't so hard to love him. Bartimaeus is a very old, quite powerful, and especially hilarious djinn. He is summoned by a new wizard, a boy, who should not have the ability to summon anything remotely as powerful as Bartimaeus, but he does. Not only does he summon him, he outwits him and tricks him into doing his bidding. There is a bad wizard A djinn unlike any other will make you laugh and wonder how you could actually like a creature so devious. But I guess in a world that he is summoned to, it isn't so hard to love him. Bartimaeus is a very old, quite powerful, and especially hilarious djinn. He is summoned by a new wizard, a boy, who should not have the ability to summon anything remotely as powerful as Bartimaeus, but he does. Not only does he summon him, he outwits him and tricks him into doing his bidding. There is a bad wizard out there. Lovelace is power hungry, greedy, and just a nasty piece of work. He embarrasses this young, powerful wizard and this child is not playing games. He is now out for revenge against Lovelace. His journey of vengeance causes him to lose everything he ever loved... I loved this book when I read the novel about a year ago. I was sucked into the brilliance of the story, the original way it was told, and the overall feel of the book. When I saw there was a graphic novel available, I jumped at the chance to get to see what I had imagined all this time. The artwork in this book is very striking, and I think this graphic novel did a great job leaving the main essence of the story in place. Like any movie adaptation, a graphic adaptation of a novel will have to change a few details and leave things out, but this story was just as engaging as the original. I highly recommend it to anyone. It really was a treat to get to see the different planes the way Bartimaeus gets to see them, the imps, the demons, and of course the climax of the story was quite captivating. I am looking forward to seeing the rest of the books in the series in graphic novel form. It was a great break in my work day to sit back and relax with this.

  3. 5 out of 5

    May

    I admit, I only read the graphic novel adaptions of books I like to see what an artist would do with it. I don't take it seriously at all, and with this, that's a good thing. I know they were trying to keep it to one book, but I feel like too much was left out, too much was rushed. All the major, important events were kept, but most of Nathanial's story, and a lot of the fun, minor details got left out. For the sake of brevity, I suppose. It was, however, a fine enough book, more like a good over I admit, I only read the graphic novel adaptions of books I like to see what an artist would do with it. I don't take it seriously at all, and with this, that's a good thing. I know they were trying to keep it to one book, but I feel like too much was left out, too much was rushed. All the major, important events were kept, but most of Nathanial's story, and a lot of the fun, minor details got left out. For the sake of brevity, I suppose. It was, however, a fine enough book, more like a good overview of the original than an equal to it. What I really didn't like, however, was how Nathanial was treated. The stories about him that were kept in painted him as a sympathetic character only after revenge for the woman he thought of as a mother. Which is not how Is see--or like--Nathanial at all. In the original, he's an obnoxious, self-centered, pompous jerk with an understandably skewed view of life. He wasn't a character you immediately liked, but he was a character that was very real, very understandable, and very original for it. I felt like in this graphic novel version he was reduced to a softer version of himself. Barely different than a hundred other revenge-seeking heroes. And it was disappointing.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Meservier

    How far would you go for revenge? After being humiliated by Simon Lovelace, twelve-year-old magician Nathaniel schemes to steal the Amulet of Samarkand from Lovelace's own home. In order to accomplish this task he calls upon the help of the powerful djinni called Bartimaeus. Only things quickly go wrong. The more I read graphic adaptations of books and other media, the more I realize that they're a lot like film adaptations. Like in movies, the author and illustrator need to strike a delicate bal How far would you go for revenge? After being humiliated by Simon Lovelace, twelve-year-old magician Nathaniel schemes to steal the Amulet of Samarkand from Lovelace's own home. In order to accomplish this task he calls upon the help of the powerful djinni called Bartimaeus. Only things quickly go wrong. The more I read graphic adaptations of books and other media, the more I realize that they're a lot like film adaptations. Like in movies, the author and illustrator need to strike a delicate balance. They need to be faithful to the source material, while making sure the adaptation fits its new format. One area where the Bartimaeus graphic novel succeeds is in faithfulness to the source material. Despite the fact that The Amulet of Samarkand was a rather thick novel most of it remains intact in this 144 page graphic novel. The writers did a very good job of distilling it down to its most important part. Unfortunately, such faithfulness almost ends up being this adaptation's undoing. Part of the charm of the Bartimaeus series can be found in the character of Bartimaeus himself. He's a great source of comedy, a clever djinni that talks too much and has a knack for getting out of difficult situations. The writers do their best to bring this across in the graphic novel, but it doesn't always end up working out. The already small panels are cluttered with text boxes containing Bartimaeus's stream of consciousness. This becomes the most problematic when Bartimaeus is describing his own action. At these moments I felt so frustrated. Ae can clearly see what he's doing in the illustration. We don't need it spelled out for us. It's almost like the writers are afraid to let the pictures tell the story. Sometimes they do do a good job of bringing Bartimaeus's voice to the page. This can be seen in how they include the footnotes. One positive that's worth mentioning is the artwork. There are some panels when it is absolutely gorgeous. Unfortunately this does have its drawbacks as well. At times I wondered if the pages were meant to be larger- closer to the size of a standard comic book page- because there were a lot of little panels shoved onto some of the pages. Sometimes the font with even hard to read as it was so small. Other times I didn't really have any issues at all. The novel, The Amulet of Samarkand, is a fantasy book worth reading. Unfortunately the graphic adaptation of the novel is kind of mixed. I didn't necessarily find it a bad or read, but it had a lot of issues. On a more positive note, as a librarian I have witnessed this particular adaptation draw new readers into the series, so I believe that it has it's merits and will work well for some readers.

  5. 5 out of 5

    ☼Book her, Danno☼

    You know, I've tried but I have not become a huge fan of graphic novels. I enjoy the artwork, but generally speaking the stories aren't that well re-told. For example, when I read the first volume of the "Ender's Game" graphic, I thought they did a good job of re-telling the tale, but there was quite a bit of the essence of the story that was lost. And perhaps that's what people are looking for, the "Readers Digest" version of these books. In any case, I tell you this so you can evaluate my react You know, I've tried but I have not become a huge fan of graphic novels. I enjoy the artwork, but generally speaking the stories aren't that well re-told. For example, when I read the first volume of the "Ender's Game" graphic, I thought they did a good job of re-telling the tale, but there was quite a bit of the essence of the story that was lost. And perhaps that's what people are looking for, the "Readers Digest" version of these books. In any case, I tell you this so you can evaluate my reaction to this graphic version of "The Amulet of Samarkand". My Take: Artwork is excellent. The 'windows' are small, but they need to be to cover so much ground. The text is small. Yikes, so small I had to use my strong reading glasses. Again, this is actually a good thing as more of the story remains. As far as the story, I enjoyed it. Unlike other graphic novels, the author and artist took the time to tell a multi-layered story. And what you'll find within, isn't some glossed over simplification. I still want to read the original version, but I found this graphic novel very satisfying. Pam T~ mom/blogger "This is a book boys would like, btw"

  6. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    I have been on kind of a graphic novel kick lately, and one of my pulls has been comparing art choice and theme in graphic novel adaptations of familiar books. (Think The Handmaid's Tale: The Graphic Novel, The Golden Compass Graphic Novel, Volume 1, Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation, etc.) Reading this one served a dual purpose, however. I read The Amulet of Samarkand years and years ago, and I only remembered the barest outlines of the plot and one particular scene. I wasn't even certain the I have been on kind of a graphic novel kick lately, and one of my pulls has been comparing art choice and theme in graphic novel adaptations of familiar books. (Think The Handmaid's Tale: The Graphic Novel, The Golden Compass Graphic Novel, Volume 1, Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation, etc.) Reading this one served a dual purpose, however. I read The Amulet of Samarkand years and years ago, and I only remembered the barest outlines of the plot and one particular scene. I wasn't even certain the image that stuck with me, (view spoiler)[that of a female tutor teaching a young magician to draw and insisting on a detailed rendering of every single leaf on a tree because he would need to show attention to detail in his summonings (hide spoiler)] , was from this book. So, I figured the graphic novel would be a quick way to jog my memory and see if it was worth pursuing The Golem's Eye in audiobook form (because I listen to way too many audiobooks these days). The graphic novel seemed to give a complete overview of the book, but it still didn't jog my memory. I was disappointed that while my favourite scene was almost certainly from here, it didn't make it into image form. The art in this volume really emphasizes Nathaniel's place as an outwardly-unremarkable preteen, boring facial features and all. I particularly liked it when the creators let him be angsty and vulnerable and sad like an actual young kid rather than trying to turn him into a "stoic" or "manly" figure. But, man, all his adults failed him.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kait

    A good story similar to Artemis Fowl, but with demons and magic instead of fairies and tech. I enjoy Andrew Donkin's art for these YA fantasy graphic novels. There were a few panels were something uncouth was suggested to occur, and over those panels was a parchment that expanded the backstory a bit. I thought it was an excellent way to keep the book's content clean while expanding the story.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nighteye

    Beautiful drawn and amazing coloring, good story. Cool to see this in this format and I often don't like parts of drawings or colors found but this was top level. Really liked it :) will check out for other ones from those active on this one.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

    Drawing style wasn't the best but it did a great job summarizing and illustrating a fun book. I'd be interested in seeing the GNs of the next two books. Drawback was that Nathaniel looked odd in quite a few scenes, and gargoyle-Bartimaeus looked rather like Gollum. But still a fun read, especially as I'm listening to the third book currently.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Andover Library

    I am not usually a reader of graphic novels, I love the look of them but usually prefer my stories to be told in a wordier format that let my imagination do the image filling. I will also admit that sometimes I find the order in which I should read text in each tile confusing, indeed reading this I did have to re-order the way I read some tiles when it became clear I had made the wrong choice. I read this one as a book group read – it came up during a discussion that none of us had properly read I am not usually a reader of graphic novels, I love the look of them but usually prefer my stories to be told in a wordier format that let my imagination do the image filling. I will also admit that sometimes I find the order in which I should read text in each tile confusing, indeed reading this I did have to re-order the way I read some tiles when it became clear I had made the wrong choice. I read this one as a book group read – it came up during a discussion that none of us had properly read a graphic novel before and we wanted to give it a try. I did enjoy it, I found the story very accessible but it still gave enough depth to build the world and get to know Nathaniel and Bartemaus. The illustrations were richly detailed and helped build the world well. I enjoyed picking the details out of the illustrations as much as the text. I also enjoyed the speed at which I could read the book – it took me a couple of days instead of the week or so the original book by Jonathan Stroud would have done – and yet I don’t feel like I missed out on any story. It probably isn’t a format I will do back to often but it had made me more open to trying other stories told in this format.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I can't give this graphic novel five stars because I think I will give five stars to the actual book of The amulet of Samarkand. I read this graphic novel in one sitting because it was that good for me. I think I need to read the actual book because if I like this much the graphic novel version, I will probably love the book. Bartimaeus is very interesting character for me. He is powerful djinni who is sassy, witty, smart, devious and surprisingly you will like him a lot. I also like Nathaniel wh I can't give this graphic novel five stars because I think I will give five stars to the actual book of The amulet of Samarkand. I read this graphic novel in one sitting because it was that good for me. I think I need to read the actual book because if I like this much the graphic novel version, I will probably love the book. Bartimaeus is very interesting character for me. He is powerful djinni who is sassy, witty, smart, devious and surprisingly you will like him a lot. I also like Nathaniel who learns very important lesson in this story. I really liked the two main characters but this book also has very amazing plots twists. You just need to know what happens next and that's why I read this book in one sitting.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ari

    wow why are there two more books in the series??? i didnt enjoy it all, the plot was below average, the characters were really bland (altho Bartimaes was ok borderline sometimes-funny)... not my faveourite art style, the footnotes were just too much info which was most of the times already obvious from the pictures . i liked the two pov, and how they interconnected in the last two (?) chapters. and there was like one page with really cool art idea, like nine equal squares with 4/9 and then 5/9 s wow why are there two more books in the series??? i didnt enjoy it all, the plot was below average, the characters were really bland (altho Bartimaes was ok borderline sometimes-funny)... not my faveourite art style, the footnotes were just too much info which was most of the times already obvious from the pictures . i liked the two pov, and how they interconnected in the last two (?) chapters. and there was like one page with really cool art idea, like nine equal squares with 4/9 and then 5/9 showing the whole picture... hard to describe but im writing this for myself anyway so u know what i mean mash. well, im glad it's over!! now onto pjo and дом, в котором

  13. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    This was fine, but not as good as the book. I would say skip this and read the book instead! The graphic novel does a nice job of trying to capture that ineffable character that is Bartimaeus, however the shortened format really can't do him justice. It also shortens many plot moments that are so beautifully crafted by the original author they felt stunted and forced in this version. There is also a ton of text in the graphic novel just to keep up with all the information needed. I was intereste This was fine, but not as good as the book. I would say skip this and read the book instead! The graphic novel does a nice job of trying to capture that ineffable character that is Bartimaeus, however the shortened format really can't do him justice. It also shortens many plot moments that are so beautifully crafted by the original author they felt stunted and forced in this version. There is also a ton of text in the graphic novel just to keep up with all the information needed. I was interested to read this, but it was clear early on that the changes worsened what is a fantastic book. Why enjoy a tiny taste when you can have the whole thing? Just read the book!!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Abby Tamkin

    This was one of my favorite series growing up. The graphic novel obviously leaves out a lot of internal dialogue and scene description, but it was a nice quick review of the plot of the first book, and the adapters did a good job of keeping some of the snarky footnotes that made Bartimaeus stand out in my memory. Interestingly, my memory of the series is that it did a fantastic job of world building and immersing me in an alternate London. In this book, even though it literally has pictures, I di This was one of my favorite series growing up. The graphic novel obviously leaves out a lot of internal dialogue and scene description, but it was a nice quick review of the plot of the first book, and the adapters did a good job of keeping some of the snarky footnotes that made Bartimaeus stand out in my memory. Interestingly, my memory of the series is that it did a fantastic job of world building and immersing me in an alternate London. In this book, even though it literally has pictures, I did not feel very immersed. But the 20 year gap and loss of imagination might also be responsible for that. Confounded variables!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kirsten Simkiss

    For a base book where I only gave the original story 3 stars, I can hardly say this one was much better for me. I could get into the art style. Still, the story and characters are decent. I recommend just reading the base book. The first book is okay, but the later books in the series are phenomenal.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    The art was good, and the ratio of art-to-dialogue was nice. The Bartimeus Trilogy was one of my all-time favorites, and I think a lot of that was due to the quirky narrating-footnote style of the text. The Graphic novel still has a lot of Bartimeus' narrations, but not as much of his sarcasm. This series works better as a full-text book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lionheart

    Rated 3 1/2 stars Ages 12+

  18. 4 out of 5

    ✨Gayatri ✨

    it wasn't as funny as the book was, but it was pretty good!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Picked this up almost at random at the library, for something to read while my toddler entertained herself. Ended up taking it home. I enjoyed it.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Shadowsword

    Lockwood and co is way better

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tess Jones

    If I had not read the novel first, I would have found this difficult to follow. If you have read the novel, it is quite an enjoyable visual interpretation.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    Great graphic novel.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Marya

    It's not bad, it's just not the original. Also, graphic novels are many things, but I'm not sure a cozy read aloud is one of them.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    I don't know how many years its been since I've read The Bartimaeus Trilogy but I loved those books from the very first time I read The Amulet of Samarkand and was most excited to find out that a graphic novel version had been created. Thank-you Andrea of Aine's Realm for buying me a copy of this book ^_^. The Amulet of Samarkand starts off the same way the novel did with the summoning of Bartimaeus the djinn by a young twelve year old magician. This is surprising because someone so young does no I don't know how many years its been since I've read The Bartimaeus Trilogy but I loved those books from the very first time I read The Amulet of Samarkand and was most excited to find out that a graphic novel version had been created. Thank-you Andrea of Aine's Realm for buying me a copy of this book ^_^. The Amulet of Samarkand starts off the same way the novel did with the summoning of Bartimaeus the djinn by a young twelve year old magician. This is surprising because someone so young does not normally contain the skill to summon a djinn of Bartimaeus' level. And Bartimaeus isn't very happy to be taking orders from a kid especially when the kid orders him to steal an item from another magician. You know which item I'm talking about right? ;) With a lot of trouble and witty dialogue Bartimaeus steals the amulet and gives it to the boy but unfortunately for him he has more work to do. And what had started off as a simple plan to humiliate a rival immediately twists into something a twelve year old boy cannot handle. The story is told from alternating POVs and we quickly learn that the boy, Nathaniel, was sold by his parents when he was six years old to become a magician, this is in fact very normal in the world of The Bartimaeus Trilogy which is set in an alternate England where the Government is controlled by Magicians who have the ability to summon djinn and think themselves better than Commoners (non magic folk). I find this a bit funny because Magicians are not born, you have to study for years and develop skills to become one, so all Magicians were Commoners at one point. For a book that was a lot thinner than the novel the story was adapted very well, both Nathaniel and Bartimaeus' characters were exactly as I remembered them from the books as well as the many side characters and the world of the books were shown and described thoroughly enough that readers who have not read the novels will not feel as if anything was left out. And lets not forget the story, I wondered if the whole thing would be told in this first volume and surprisingly it was but the story did not feel incomplete are rushed which I appreciated greatly. The only thing I can complain about what that there were moments when dialogue was not needed, there was a lot of narration on Bartimaeus part and I know it was doing this to show his amusing and sarcastic side (because I enjoyed his narration) but there were some parts that were just describing things that were being shown to me through the art so those parts were repetitive. Other than those few parts however I loved this book. So pick it up if you're looking for a smart, entertaining read with mystery, action and charm :)

  25. 4 out of 5

    An Odd1

    https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

  26. 4 out of 5

    Patrice Sartor

    4.5 stars! (My 10 year old son who also read it agrees). While I've heard of Jonathan Stroud before, I was not aware this was based on the first book of a series he wrote. I just picked it up because it looked like a nifty graphic novel. Thus, I did not have a lot of expectations. No matter, for this is one very, very good title! Political intrigue and corruption, power-mongering, class segregation, magicians and djinni all combine to form an intense, deep, on-the-edge-of-your-seat journey. A youn 4.5 stars! (My 10 year old son who also read it agrees). While I've heard of Jonathan Stroud before, I was not aware this was based on the first book of a series he wrote. I just picked it up because it looked like a nifty graphic novel. Thus, I did not have a lot of expectations. No matter, for this is one very, very good title! Political intrigue and corruption, power-mongering, class segregation, magicians and djinni all combine to form an intense, deep, on-the-edge-of-your-seat journey. A young boy was sold at around age 6 so that he may be apprenticed to a magician. Now 12, the boy has proven himself bright and quite capable, though his master does not view him that way. After being slighted by his master's peer, the boy casts a powerful summon spell, bringing forth Bartimaeus, an ancient demon/djinni. Now Bartimaeus must do his master's bidding, which are often reckless and foolhardy requests, due to the the age of the master. It's impossible not to enjoy Bartimaeus, my favorite character. He's cunning, crafty and powerful, yet he covers up his seemingly soft spots with arrogance and boasting. The graphic novel offers two narrators, both the djinni and the boy magician tell the story from their points of view, and both are spot-on, helping to really strongly define their characters. The artwork is very detailed, with perfect shading and use of color. The whole thing is just such a wondrous package that I was surprised and saddened to discover this is the only graphic novel adaptation, so far. Looking on the bright side, now I have a whole series of novels to read. I can't decide whether I want to start with the first one in order to glean even more detail and depth from the story and characters, or move ahead with the second so that I can more quickly get new happiness! While I cannot relate to you how faithful this graphic novelization is to the original, I can tell you that if you're the least bit interested in graphic novels and you love a good fantasy story, you must read this book!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Becky B

    What starts out as a mission of revenge for magician in training John Mandrake (aka Nathaniel), soon becomes a race to save the entire British government from greedy magicians. Nathaniel's main servant in these dealings is the djinn Bartimaeus. Bartimaeus pretends to be nasty and crusty and eager to destroy his master at the first chance, but it soon becomes clear that Bartimaeus has a certain weak spot for humans with a conscience. I've had this sitting on my shelf waiting to be read for a littl What starts out as a mission of revenge for magician in training John Mandrake (aka Nathaniel), soon becomes a race to save the entire British government from greedy magicians. Nathaniel's main servant in these dealings is the djinn Bartimaeus. Bartimaeus pretends to be nasty and crusty and eager to destroy his master at the first chance, but it soon becomes clear that Bartimaeus has a certain weak spot for humans with a conscience. I've had this sitting on my shelf waiting to be read for a little while now. See, I really, really like The Amulet of Samarkand and I was worried it wouldn't adapt well to graphic novel. But I found this a pleasantly faithful rendering. My one qualm is the absence of footnotes. I know, that sounds really strange. But in the original Bartimaeus peppers the text with little assides in the footnotes and they are hilarious. Some of Barty's snark is conveyed in his dialogue in this graphic novel, but not to the full level of hilarity as the original. That said, if you pick this up and like it, you should really go find the original because it is even better. Notes on content: Maybe one or two minor swear words, if any. No sexual content. There are several battles between djinn of various levels, which sometimes results in one or more of them being injured, swallowed, or snuffed out. Don't feel too bad for them, though, many have various ways of coming back. One magician gets banged up a little in a scuffle. A murder is alluded to, but not shown. A house burns down and it is assumed two people die in the fire. A magical explosion goes off which injures a few magicians. Another magician is consumed by a nasty creature he summons. There's very little blood or gore depicted at all.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ren

    Full disclosure: I'm a huge fan of the Bartimaeus Trilogy, so I was intrigued to discover the graphic novel version. Reading this through convinced me that the graphic novel format could really successfully bring the Bartimaeus Trilogy to life in a way a film (live action at any rate) likely never could. I think having Jonathan Stroud on board to help with the adaptation was a smart move because even though there were obviously a lot of details left out, the story flowed rather the same. I liked Full disclosure: I'm a huge fan of the Bartimaeus Trilogy, so I was intrigued to discover the graphic novel version. Reading this through convinced me that the graphic novel format could really successfully bring the Bartimaeus Trilogy to life in a way a film (live action at any rate) likely never could. I think having Jonathan Stroud on board to help with the adaptation was a smart move because even though there were obviously a lot of details left out, the story flowed rather the same. I liked that Nathaniel's chapters were redone in the first person because leaving them in the third person would by no means have worked in a graphic novel, or at least not easily. My one quibble, and this is nothing again artist Lee Sullivan, but the one thing that I thought dragged this adaptation down was the art style. I might be biased coming from a background in Japanese graphic novels rather than their western counterparts, but I thought the art style too cartoony for the story it was attempting to tell, hovering somewhere between stylized and standardized and never really committing to either. Many of the backgrounds in the wide shots lacked depth, and while some of the designs for the various djinn were novel and interesting, I was disappointed with the overall kind of cheesy look of many of the characters. Nevertheless, I actually think by transforming the story into a graphic novel it stands a greater chance of being discovered by more readers who might find the books too long to commit to on a lark (a true shame). Because the Bartimaeus Trilogy ain't no knockoff Harry Potter, and I think way more people should read it!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alex Telander

    After the continued success and popularity of the Bartimaeus trilogy – think of it like Harry Potter except the wizards don’t have much power, so they have to summon djinn to do all their work for them – Jonathan Stroud turns his hand to adapting the first book in the series into a graphic novel with some very talented artists. Stroud’s first effort in writing a comic book is a good one: while he is a little wordy at times, he does an excellent job of turning the almost 500-page book into a 140- After the continued success and popularity of the Bartimaeus trilogy – think of it like Harry Potter except the wizards don’t have much power, so they have to summon djinn to do all their work for them – Jonathan Stroud turns his hand to adapting the first book in the series into a graphic novel with some very talented artists. Stroud’s first effort in writing a comic book is a good one: while he is a little wordy at times, he does an excellent job of turning the almost 500-page book into a 140-page graphic novel. With such a creatively conceived book that’s bursting with the fantastic, with the likes of djinn, imps, afrits, and all other manner of strange and unusual creatures and demons; along with an alternate London and world, the artists do a fantastic job of bringing this world to rich, detailed, colorful life. And then there’s the fun and interesting character of the millennia-old djinn Bartimaeus. Lavishly drawn with just the right amount of humor, bravery and wit; Stroud keeps his character similar to the books with his impatience, distaste and at times indifference to wizards. Whether you’ve read the trilogy or not, this graphic novel will either serve to remind you of how much you enjoyed the series; or make you start reading the books as soon as you’re done. Originally written on November 16, 2010 ©Alex C. Telander. For over 500 book reviews, and over 40 exclusive author interviews (both audio and written), visit BookBanter.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Wee Shubba's World

    I just want to thank Random House/Corgi Books for giving me this to review. I have really never had an interest in graphic novels. I have only ever bought one and that was the Twilight graphic novel just because it was Twilight. So when the publishers contacted me about reviewing this I was unsure at first but thought I would give it try and I am really glad I did. When it came in the post my four year son clocked it and wanted it. So first I read it myself them we sat up last night and read toge I just want to thank Random House/Corgi Books for giving me this to review. I have really never had an interest in graphic novels. I have only ever bought one and that was the Twilight graphic novel just because it was Twilight. So when the publishers contacted me about reviewing this I was unsure at first but thought I would give it try and I am really glad I did. When it came in the post my four year son clocked it and wanted it. So first I read it myself them we sat up last night and read together. We both enjoy it. The Amulet of Samarkand Graphic Novel is an adaptions of the orginal novel (which I have yet to read) its follows the story of a young magican Nathaniel after he summons a Djinni called Bartimaeus and takes them both on a action packed adventure. That will surely be enjoyed by the young and old. The art work that is done by Lee Sullivan and Colour by Nicholas Chapuis is just wonderful. Its bright and colourful and really is easy on the eyes. Usually I have seen graphic novels that only use black and white and maybe that is the reason why I have never really took an interest in them. However, this really captures you and it is very easy to follow. However, my only negative would be the size of the writing. It is rather small and even though I wear glasses to read and I could read it ok. I think if some people would struggle with the text size. Overall, a great fun read that will make you want to go out and buy the orginal books. And a huge thumbs up for a very happy four year boy who is totally in love with this graphic novel.

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