WIZARD TAG

Wizard’s Library: Bartimaeus (The Golem’s Eye)

Bartimaeus is a trilogy in the Young Adult Fiction category, but as I mentioned with the first book, it is fun for anyone who loves a good fantasy story.  Set in a modern London, with other locations that may be familiar, such as ancient Prague, it is relatable and easy to picture the setting. 

The second installment adds a third protagonist, who is at odds with Nathaniel, the protagonist of the first book, and his Djinni, Bartimaeus, who is the real hero of the novels.

This is an exciting and worthy continuation of the story!

“Bartimaeus: The Golem’s Eye” by Jonathan Stroud

Bartimaeus: The Golem’s Eye by Jonathan Stroud

What is the second book in the Bartimaeus trilogy about?

The Golem’s Eye is a mystery novel at its core.

First, the protagonists have to uncover the mystery of who is fomenting the Rebellion.  In doing so, the story lets the reader learn the genesis of the Rebellion, by learning the history of their leader, Kitty, and why she started the fight!

The second mystery has to do with the golem, which gets entwined with the search for the Rebellion.  Nathaniel needs to find out who is doing all of the damage and why.  

At the same time, there are great motivations for the Rebellion and their members, which make up one third of the chapters.

Sprinkled in between are the thoughts and actions of Bartimeus, djinni extraordinaire, who thinks his way into and out of traps and often saves the day!

Why is this book as good as the first in the Bartimaeus trilogy?

  1. Bartimeus is back! and he is still the real hero of the story.
  2. When Bartimaeus breaks the fourth wall to talk to the reader, it really draws you in.
  3. Reading the “footnotes” is fun, unlike footnotes in research!
  4. There is still a lot of magic and the spells are described in sensory detail.
  5. We get to see familiar foes and new terrible enemies.
  6. Nathaniel continues to develop as the Magician John Mandrake.
  7. Kitty makes an excellent addition to the story; not just chapters you have to get through!

Why is Bartimaeus the true hero or main protagonist of the story?

Bartimaeus is likable!

Nathaniel starts off as a pathetic young child, torn away from his family to become a magician.  He is a bit whiny at first, but later becomes arrogant.  Neither trait is as likable as the Djinni’s capricious nature, his brilliant, historical side notes, and his bravado.  Probably the main reason he is the hero here is that he gets it done.  He is the one who finds a way to defeat his enemies, at least on a tactical level, while his master plans out the strategic details.  

Despite not being human, it is easier to identify with Bartimaeus than with the other protagonists!  

I highly recommend this trilogy.  It is fun to read every chapter, whether it is titled, Kitty, Nathaniel, or Bartimaeus!

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

  1. Have you read any other books that involve golems (not counting LoTR “Gollum)?
  2. Do you like magic systems that are detailed or where the system is vague, but the results are clear?
  3. Have you read Jonathan Stroud’s Bartimaeus Trilogy and what did you think?

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