Reviews for Golem's Eye
Booklist Reviews 2004 August #1
Gr. 7-12. This sequel to The Amulet of Samarkand (2003) takes up the story two years later, in 1868. According to Stroud's alternate history, London is governed by powerful magicians who keep the commoners in line through intimidation. Among the magicians maneuvering for power is the rather unlikable Nathaniel, now 14. When a golem destroys part of the British Museum, Nathaniel is sent to Prague to investigate the creature's origin. Once again, he calls on the powerful djinn Bartimaeus, one of the more memorable characters in fantasy literature, to help achieve his goals. Though bound by enchantments, Bartimaeus has a mind of his own and an ironic attitude that colors his witty commentary. Chapters narrated in first-person by Bartimaeus are interspersed with third-person narratives focused on Nathaniel or Kitty, a determined young commoner who appeared briefly in the first book. With a much larger role now, she emerges as a sympathetic young protagonist fighting against the injustices perpetrated by the ruling magicians. A dark, intriguing offering in a highly original fantasy series. ((Reviewed August 2004)) Copyright 2004 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2005 Spring
This second book in the Bartimaeus Trilogy adds a new character to [cf2]The Amulet of Samarkand[cf1]'s entertaining mix of power-hungry junior magician Nathaniel and supercilious djinni Bartimaeus: Kitty, a commoner and a member of the Resistance opposing the magicians' corrupt rule. The action never flags--with not one but two seemingly unstoppable villains to defeat--and the escalating intrigue among the three main characters bodes well for book three. Copyright 2005 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2004 #5
This second book in the Bartimaeus Trilogy focuses more on the politics and society of the corrupt, magician-ruled London posited here and less on the personal stories of the orphan Nathaniel and the djinni Bartimaeus, with a noticeable drop in the entertainment quotient. Oh, there's action and intrigue aplenty -- the now-adolescent Nathaniel, with Bartimaeus's reluctant help, must overcome two seemingly unstoppable villains: a golem activated by an unknown traitor in the government and an insane, murderous afrit encased in Gladstone's skeleton. As if that weren't enough, Stroud adds a new major character to the mix -- Kitty Jones, commoner and Resistance member. Kitty's story as oppressed, brave rebel is compelling, and readers will find her admirable, balancing out the increasingly unlikable Nathaniel, who, as "John Mandrake," power-hungry junior minister, is amoral and self-important. But pages spent with Kitty and Nathaniel/Mandrake mean fewer spent with Bartimaeus, and that's a loss: the djinni's dryly humorous, supercilious, often rude persona is one of the books' strengths; also, it's his voice that gives readers that insider's view of the book's highly inventive magical world. With most -- but not all? -- of the villains vanquished, Stroud brings Kitty and Bartimaeus together and spells out the similarity of their lots: both commoners and magical beings suffer at the hands of the all-powerful magicians. The potential for a Bartimaeus-Kitty partnership, plus one or two loose ends left untied, will leave readers eager for book three. Copyright 2004 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2004 August #1
Picking up two years after The Amulet of Samarkand ended, this sequel continues the original's fast-paced excitement and is enriched by a broader moral view and a third main character. Nathaniel, ambitious teenage magician (politician), works furiously to gain power and credence in London's magician-run government. Slave-djinni Bartimaeus, bound to follow Nathaniel's orders, retains his ultra-sardonic voice (including trademark commentary footnotes). The third viewpoint is that of Kitty, a teenaged member of the Resistance tormenting London's seat of government. Unlike headstrong Nathaniel (never questioning the British Empire's repressive power) and sarcastic Bartimaeus, the fierce, fiery Kitty is easy to root for. Grave-robbing, international spying, a city-smashing golem, exploding demons, and fearsome Night Police all figure in before the end-which of course isn't the end at all. Is there hope for resisting the Empire? Might enslaved djinn be involved? Stay tuned for more thrills. (character list) (Fantasy. 10-14) Copyright Kirkus 2004 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Library Media Connection Reviews 2005 April
As assistant to the Internal Affairs minister, Nathaniel investigates domestic terrorism and foreign insurgency. When attacks are made upon magicians' properties, the Resistance is blamed and capturing the ringleaders falls to Mandrake. He summons Bartimaeus, the djinn, who discovers that the destruction is being done by a golem. Nathaniel must discover if this golem is a tool of the Resistance, commoners who have no magical powers, or by another magician seeking to overthrow the government. With his career and life at stake, Nathaniel tries to discover the Resistance's plans by trapping one of its members, Kitty. Nathaniel and Bartimaeus are able to unmask the traitor magician. While Nathaniel is rewarded with another promotion and Bartimaeus is free to return to his spirit realm, Kitty prepares to bring down the magicians. The story alternates among the three main characters: Bartimaeus, Nathaniel, and Kitty. The author has blended the three stories smoothly so that the reader easily comprehends the plots. This is a complicated, well-written fantasy with a cast of interesting characters. The storytelling is magical and will keep the reader's interest to the end. While the book stands on its own, readers will want to read The Amulet of Samarkand (Hyperion Books for Children/Disney Publishing Worldwide, 2003) first. Fans will eagerly await the final volume. Recommended. Charlotte Decker, Librarian, Children's Learning Center, Public Library of Cincinnati (Ohio) and Hamilton County © 2005 Linworth Publishing, Inc.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2004 August #3
The sharp-witted shape-shifting djinni returns in Stroud's second volume of the Bartimaeus Trilogy, this time dealing with a mysterious attacker that is terrorizing London. Nathaniel (aka John Mandrake), now 14, is apprenticed to Jessica Whitwell (as established at the close of the first book), "one of the four most potent magicians in the government." When several terrorist attacks take place, the ruling party blames the Resistance, the young commoner idealists introduced in the previous title. Nathaniel, rapidly rising through the ranks and serving as assistant to the Internal Affairs minister, Julius Tallow, suspects something larger at work. He once again summons Bartimaeus; the djinni's charge: "Pursuit and identification of an unknown enemy of considerable power." When it appears that a golem is behind the attacks, the duo's mission takes them to Prague to uncover the magic behind the creature's appearance. Readers learn more about Kitty, previously met as a member of the Resistance, as the narrative shifts among her, Bartimaeus and Nathaniel. Kitty aids Mr. Pennyfeather, leader of the Resistance, in the group's effort to rob the grave of the legendary magician Gladstone to gain power. Bartimaeus once again steals the spotlight; his pages are the most entertaining (one of his signature footnotes points out that his guise as a feathered, winged serpent "used to bring the house down in Yucatan"). Although the thrill of discovery of Stroud's magical realm may have worn off slightly, fans of book one will enjoy revisiting this delectably uneasy bond between boy and djinni. Bartimaeus's pointed humor makes for a story worth savoring. Ages 10-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2004 October
Gr 6 Up-This sequel to The Amulet of Samarkand (Hyperion, 2003) takes place two years later. Now 14, Nathaniel works in the Department of Internal Affairs trying to stop a group of commoners who are responsible for small rebellions against the magician-run government. As he pursues the elusive Resistance, he discovers that an unknown individual is using ancient magic to control a golem and wreak havoc on the city of London. Meanwhile, readers get a look into the heart of the Resistance through the eyes of Kitty, a resourceful young commoner. She was born with a "resilience" to magic, an ability that drew her to the attention of the rebels, and her motivations for joining them are clearly presented. As events unfold, Nathaniel and Kitty are faced with choices that will test their courage and honor. The third-person narrative switches focus between the two characters. As in the first book, occasional chapters narrated by the demon Bartimaeus add sarcasm and irreverent humor to the text and offer a break from the ever-growing tension. The story, which stands alone nicely, retains all of the strengths of Stroud's first installment and adds many more details to his already vivid fantasy world. The characters are well developed and the action never lets up. A must-purchase for all fantasy collections.-Tasha Saecker, Caestecker Public Library, Green Lake, WI Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
VOYA Reviews 2004 October
He's ba-ack! The wise-cracking, omniscient djinni, Bartimaeus, with his funny footnotes, has been summoned again. His master Nathaniel, now a member of the magical government of London, is responsible for stopping the Resistance attacks and capturing a menacing clay golem with a mysterious master. Bartimaeus is disgruntled to be called back into service after only two years, but Nathaniel is desperate to prove his worth and to continue his quick climb up the political ladder. Stroud continues the multiple narrator and first- and third-person narration format of the prequel, The Amulet of Samarkand (Hyperion 2003/VOYA December 2003). Unfortunately Bartimaeus disappears for far too long as the story is set up and Kitty's narration is added (including a three-year flashback to recount her history with the Resistance). Ardent fans will enjoy the intelligent text, but less experienced fantasy readers might get lost in the many shifts in place and time or become impatient with the pacing of the adventure that meanders more than the Thames. Among the new treats is the skeleton of London's magical founder Gladstone, inhabited by the delightfully maniacal afrit, Honorius, delirious to be free of the crypt but intent on revenge nonetheless. The many plot threads are sewn together satisfactorily in the exciting conclusion, but happily the characters are left poised for their next adventure. Plenty of teens will be waiting; the astute ones will be pondering Stroud's timely message about the importance of education and knowledge of the past-and the dangers of powerful government.-Cindy Dobrez 4Q 4P M J S Copyright 2004 Voya Reviews.