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Transcript of Summary
By: Jonathan Stroud
This book is fairly interesting but as you progress it gets harder to read, this is primarily because this was the author's first American published book. Other than that the action and description throughout the book were phenomenal.
When it can't get much worse than it already is, it may be time to start over.
My favorite Paragraph
"'Listen: for a magician, you've got potential. And I don't mean the way you think I mean. For a start, you've got far more initiative than most of them, but they'll crush it out of you if you're not careful. And you've a conscience too, another thing which is rare and easily lost. Guard it. That's all. Oh, and I'd beware of your new master, if I were you.'"(pg 461)
At the beginning of the novel our main character Nathaniel is required to forget his real name in order to protect himself from other magicians and as the story slowly progresses he begins to understand the reasoning behind it when he loses everything he had because of his greed. As for Bartemaeus he developes in a different way since at the beginning when he was first summoned he was a snide sarcastic jerk that wanted to kill Nathaniel to grow keen of him while still being sarcastic about his mistakes.
Summoning circles, pentacles, and other mystical geometric shapes are important in magic during this time period since the cost of an error is your life it is most likely preferred to be very careful.
In this novel a boy named Nathaniel is given up to the ministry to become a magician, and by the time he reaches the age of eleven he decides to summon a dangerous demon named Bartimaeus to steal an amulet for him from a very strong magician who tries to track him down and kill him but ends up killing Nathaniel's masters/parents.
This theme is fairly relevant to this novel because as you progress the main characters encounter more and more problems, they get buried deeper and deeper in trouble with the police, the ministry, and a gang of magicians. An example of this is at the end when Nathaniel's masters are killed in a fire, he had to create a new identity in order to survive. One of the very first scenes in which Nathaniel's master comes to pick him up from the ministry at the age of six and is required to forget his original name and past to become a better magician but he clings onto it and causes himself and others many problems.
The entire story takes place in modern England, the magic capital of the world, where the ministry pays parents to hand over their children to recruit them to become magicians for a couple hundred dollars, but this is all at the cost of the child being forced to protect themselves from other magicians and the demons they summon.
The amulet of Samarkand was a previously owned by the government in London but after the previous owner was assassinated, the new owner hides the amulet away to keep the power to himself and call the shots in all views.
The final event that allows Nathaniel to realize he needs to start a new is the burning and murder of his masters and his home because he was careless and wouldn't give up the past.
This paragraph peaks my interest because after all this time and trouble between Nathaniel and Bartemaeus, Bartemaeus finally seems to indirectly admit that he cares for Nathaniel in a strange way.