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Grupo Agrocrecimiento

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George Safonov
George Safonov

Stroud, Jonathan - Bartimaeus Trilogy, Book 1 -...

The first book in the trilogy, published 2003, introduces Nathaniel as the gifted 12-year-old apprentice of a middle-aged mid-level magician, Arthur Underwood. He assumes his magician name, John Mandrake, to protect him from rivals who would wish to harm him. When the magician Simon Lovelace cruelly humiliates Nathaniel in public, Nathaniel decides to take revenge by stealing Lovelace's most powerful possession, the Amulet of Samarkand, which makes the wearer invulnerable to magic. Unknown to his tutor, he begins the study of advanced magic in order to summon the djinni Bartimaeus and enslave him. Bartimaeus soon overhears Nathaniel's birth-name, which greatly reduces Nathaniel's control over him, because demons can then cast counterspells. Things soon get out of hand and Bartimaeus and Nathaniel find themselves caught in the middle of magical espionage, murder, blackmail, and revolt. Together, the two of them defeat Lovelace and his most powerful demon, Ramuthra, who was last seen destroying an entire nation. These actions ended an uneasy truce between the young magician and Bartimaeus, resulting in the demon returning to whence he came. Nathaniel and Bartimaeus are stuck in a terrifying flood of revenge and murder.

Stroud, Jonathan - Bartimaeus Trilogy, Book 1 -...

In the final book of the trilogy, published 2005, Nathaniel is a senior magician and a member of the ruling council, an elite class of magicians in the government. Bartimaeus is still trapped on Earth by Nathaniel and is treated with disdain, continuously weakening as he is not allowed to return to the Other Place. Meanwhile, Kitty Jones has been hiding undercover and completing her research on magic and spirits. She hopes that this will enable her to break the endless cycles of conflicts between djinn and humans. The main plot of this story is a conspiracy to overthrow the government which causes the most dangerous threat in the history of magic. Together, Nathaniel, Bartimaeus and Kitty try to save the city of London from this dangerous threat.

Nathaniel, who was sold by his parents to the government when he was five, has been apprenticed since then to Mr. Underwood, a peevish and unpleasant low-level bureaucrat of a magician who works for the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The only bright spot in his life is Mrs. Underwood, a motherly woman who is his sole source of tenderness or kindness. When Nathaniel is embarrassed in front of other magicians by Simon Lovelace, the boy sets to work, secretly studying his master's magic texts and planning his comeuppance. Once Bartimaeus succeeds in stealing the magical amulet for Nathaniel, the whole of London is drawn into a political intrigue of power-hungry magicians, corruption, and even murder that could topple the entire magician-run government. This is a hefty but fast-paced, thrilling, and often very funny novel that will keep readers up at night, and lead them to the other books in the trilogy: The Golem's Eye and Ptolemy's Gate. Also check out The Ring of Solomon, published after the trilogy, which recounts one of Bartimaeus's previous adventures, the time he was forced to work in the court of the Biblical King Solomon.

Parents need to know that The Amulet of Samarkand is the first book in the Bartimaeus trilogy, written before the author's popular Lockwood & Co. ghost-hunter series. Since it concerns magicians who get their powers from summoning demons and there are a lot of power-hungry magicians, expect plenty of fantasy violence. Magicians die in fires and explosions, by being swallowed by a demon, and from being sucked into an abyss. One of the main characters, 12-year-old Nathaniel, is beaten until he's unconscious, knocks others unconscious, causes the death of one magician who falls and breaks his neck, and gets into fistfights. Readers will root for Nathaniel even though it's clear that he's driven too much by ambition and revenge. He's also driven by the need to save others and never takes the easy way out -- he throws himself into dangerous situations at every turn. And when his head gets too big, the sardonic djinn Bartimaeus is always there to take him down a peg.

Zizou Corder, the pen name of a British mother and her school-age daughter, keeps sight of the political uses of fantasy in the Lionboy trilogy, the second installment of which is Lionboy: The Chase (Dial, $15.99, ages 10 and up). Charlie Ashanti, the boy hero, is biracial and deals (well) with prejudice and hostility, while the plot looks to a future in which a "corporacy" manipulates the public and even perpetuates some illnesses to guarantee demand for various medicines. These elements lurk in the book's foundations; more immediately, Charlie can speak to cats of all kinds, including lions.

Told in alternating chapters from the viewpoints of Nathaniel, Bartimaeus, and Kitty, one of the Resistance, The Golem's Eye is another captivating adventure set in a world where magic has dictated the course of events across the world for centuries. As events unfold, and Nathaniel's journey takes him from London, to darkly atmospheric Prague and back, we learn more of Bartimaeus' storied history, and discover just what brought Kitty to this point in her life. Conspiracies and mysteries abound, and magic fills the air as Stroud weaves a thoroughly entertaining tale. This is the series I recommend, without hesitation, to those who like Harry Potter. The characters are memorable and complex. Stroud unafraid to exploit their flaws. While some readers might be disappointed by Nathaniel's emotional growth (and resultant change in attitude and morals), it's only logical under the circumstances, and there's plenty of time for him to come around in the third book in the trilogy, which can't come too soon for me. 041b061a72

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