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The Ring of Solomon: A Bartimaeus Novel by…
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The Ring of Solomon: A Bartimaeus Novel (original 2010; edition 2010)

by Jonathan Stroud

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1,1035511,920 (4.1)75
Wise-cracking djinni Bartimaeus finds himself at the court of King Solomon with an unpleasant master, a sinister servant, and King Solomon's magic ring.
Member:Peepers82
Title:The Ring of Solomon: A Bartimaeus Novel
Authors:Jonathan Stroud
Info:Listening Library (Audio) (2010), Edition: Unabridged, Audio CD
Collections:Your library
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Tags:to-read

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The Ring of Solomon by Jonathan Stroud (2010)

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English (50)  German (4)  Indonesian (1)  All languages (55)
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
Bartimaeus is back and is as snarky and irreverent as ever! I was so excited to see that Jonathan Stroud had written a prequel to the Bartimaeus Trilogy, and I’m happy to say it didn’t disappoint, and in fact I think it was better than the third book in the original series (which didn’t feature Bartimaeus as much as I would have liked).

In this outing Bartimaeus, a dijinni, is in Jerusalem serving an evil master under the reign of King Solomon, when a strange turn of events teams him up with an unlikely young girl from Sheba who is trying to protect her Queen from the malevolent King Solomon. Her objective is to steal the Ring of King Solomon (which gives him supreme magical power) and to kill him. You’ll have to read the book to see if she accomplishes her mission…

But what I will tell you is Bartimaeus shines through the whole adventure. I think that he is perhaps my favorite fictional character; I love his witty asides, his cheeky impudence, and the sometimes outrageous shapes he conjures himself into like the mumu wearing, dancing hippo.

Along with the abundance of humor and action in this novel, Stroud explores serious themes of slavery (both physical and psychological) and the responsibility and price of power. But he weaves these themes in so adeptly it does not distract from the story, but seems like a natural part of it.

I listened to this on audio read by Simon Jones, who is the quintessential Bartimaeus. I had actually read the first book in the trilogy, then started listening to them on audio, and eventually went back and listened to the first one on audio because of the absolute fabulous job Jones does. In the audio version all of the footnotes are woven perfectly into the narrative (in the right places), so I think it flows better than having to go to the footnotes in the middle of reading the main text. If you have read the books, but not listened to them-I would suggest you get yourself a copy of audio the books and give yourself a real treat!

I hope this isn’t the last book Stroud writes featuring Bartimaeus, as there must be hundreds, maybe even thousands of adventures that Bartimaeus has been a part of during his 5,000 year career, and I want to hear all of them!
( )
  tshrope | Jan 13, 2020 |
Children's Fiction that reads more like adult fiction. Good read
( )
  wyldheartreads | Jun 20, 2019 |
I love Bartimaeus, I love Asmira, and I have a very unexpected third fave. I also loved the different relationships between humans and spirits, and the examination of slavery not only in regards to the djinnies, but also those who might not even realise they are being used.

I'm taking points off for a running joke that was fatphobic and unnecessary, but otherwise this might have been 5 stars. ( )
  runtimeregan | Jun 12, 2019 |
Thousands of years before being summoned by Nathaniel, Bartimaeus was enslaved in Jerusalem. This time he teams up with a young assassin, send by the Queen of Sheba to steal the powerful ring of Solomon. It seems he's always had a soft spot for feisty young women. Hijinks ensue. Also, Simon Jones' voice is very sexy. ( )
  cindywho | May 27, 2019 |
So I asked the Facebook hive mind for recommendations of books they loved for my book bingo, and Roya, knowing my recent obsession with djinn stories, recommended this one. And honestly, it just hit all the buttons. First, djinns, second, the plot revolves around King Solomon's ability to control demons, which was the basis for the tradition that led to the instructions for raising Humots, the demon of my tattoo, third, one of the main characters is Asmira, badass female guard of Queen of Sheba.

I don't know if I would qualify this as middle grade or YA, but I did lend this book to Jefferson after I finished it. While it lacks the depths of say, Alif the Unseen, it is a very entertaining adventure story for younger readers. There were a few points where my faith as an adult reader was tested, and thinking the book was going to fall into obvious stereotypes or tropes I almost put the book down, but I'm glad I didn't.

As the main character, the djinni Bartimaeus, is a slave to whoever summons him, slavery and freedom are powerful themes of the book. But Stroud takes it beyond the obvious, revealing ideals, codes, and aspirations that even the powerful are slaves to.

It is an interesting risk, staging this story within the courtship of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Just how much will the story conform to what we think we know of this story, and how much will it throw off? Very early our expectations are shattered. I spent most of the story wondering, "Is he just exploding this story? Or will it somehow be redeemed into a more familiar form in the end?"

An easy, amusing, but satisfying read. ( )
  greeniezona | Dec 6, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jonathan Stroudprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cravero, RiccardoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Arthur, with love
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Sunset, above the olive groves.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Haiku summary
Bartimaeus in
trouble: a magic ring must
not fall in false hands.
(passion4reading)

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