The Amulet of Samarkand (The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Book 1)
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Nathaniel is a magician's apprentice, taking his first lessons in the arts of magic. But when a devious hot-shot wizard named Simon Lovelace ruthlessly humiliates Nathaniel in front of his elders, Nathaniel decides to kick up his education a few notches and show Lovelace who's boss. With revenge on his mind, he summons the powerful djinni, Bartimaeus. But summoning Bartimaeus and controlling him are two different things entirely, and when Nathaniel sends the djinni out to steal Lovelace's greatest treasure, the Amulet of Samarkand, he finds himself caught up in a whirlwind of magical espionage, murder, and rebellion.
hard. I gazed back. What did I care? They were human, they couldn't see what I was. Let them stare. After a few seconds they couldn't handle it; they looked away. I shrugged and made to move off. There was a loud cough from the man on the stand. I replaced My Magic Mirror™ carefully on his tray, gave him a cheesy smile, and went my way. The children followed me. I caught sight of them at the next booth, watching from behind a candyfloss stand. They were moving in a huddle—maybe five or six of
and stuff." "Don't look so down. Toast's ready. Well, it is important you learn all that 'stuff'—you have to know the background before you can get to the interesting bits." "But it's so boring!" "That's all you know. I've been to Azerbaijan. Baku's a bit of a dump, but it is an important center for researching afrits." "What are they?" "Demons of fire. The second most powerful form of spirit. The fiery element is very strong in the mountains of Azerbaijan. That's where the Zoroastrian faith
arms but found them pinioned to his sides by a hideously muscular coil that wrapped itself around him like a giant tongue. He could see nothing except the ceiling; delicate fingers tickled his exposed throat with horrible finesse. In panic, he cried out for his master. Someone came close, but it was not his master. It was the young man. "You cocksure guttersnipe," the young man said softly. "What will you do now? Can you get free? No. How surprising: you're helpless. You know a few words, but
with a rush, his senses returned to him. It was a vast space, wide and open under a steeply pitched ceiling of ageblackened beams. The walls and floors were made of giant smoothed blocks of stone; the windows were ornate arches filled with intricate stained glass. At the far end a multitude of doors and windows opened on to a terrace overlooking the river. Yellow lanterns hung from the roof and projected from the walls on metal braziers. Perhaps two hundred people already stood or strolled about
By the third try, he was practically sobbing with panic, gabbling out the words with hardly a care that a mispronounced syllable might endanger him. When he finished, he waited, breathing fast, watching the circle. Come on, come on. No smoke, no smell, no demon. With a curse, Nathaniel canceled the summons, kicked a pot of incense across the room and flung himself upon his bed. What was going on? If Bartimaeus had found some way to break free of his charge... But surely that was impossible—no