The Ring of Solomon: A Bartimaeus Novel by Jonathan Stroud (2010)

Not twenty-four hours after devouring the old magician and departing his tower with a burp and a smile, I’d been summoned back to another tower farther along the city wall. Before I could so much as open my mouth to protest, I’d been raddled with a Spasm, Whirled, Pressed, Flipped, and Stretched, and finally given a good hard Strippling for my trouble. You might think after all that I’d have been given a moment to pass a few acerbic remarks, but no. An instant later I found myself packed off on the first of many degrading missions, all specifically designed to break my carefree spirit (p 49-50).

Bartimaeus is a joy to read about. His cunning, his wit, his subterfuge – no matter how small a rebellion – and his unique ability to empathize with certain humans causes the reader to marvel at his insolence (which is great), respect his wisdom (which has the benefit of many years experience) and revel in his triumphs (of which there are a few). If I didn’t know any better, I would say Stroud is a djinni. He knows his character well and writes with fluid elegance. Definitely one to consider for a Mock Printz.

The Ring of Solomon has been shortlisted for the Costa Book Award for Children.

For a comprehensive rundown of the plot for those who read the Bartimaeus Trilogy and those who didn’t, head to A Chair, a Fireplace and a Tea Cozy.

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