eridne (eridne) wrote,

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The Bartimaeus Trilogy

Someone I was following recommended this series. So I picked up the trilogy and and finished it over the weekend.

I am so displeased.

[My feelings, they are wounded]The first book was fun, really really fun. It gave me the exhilaration of discovering a new world. A world where magic is performed by summoning and enslaving spirits from the Other World. The enslavement bit reminded me a bit of Eli Monpress' world. Details I liked were like magicians needing to forget their birth names to prevent it from becoming a weakness. As a result, apprentices are only adopted and given official names and magicians are not allowed to have their own children. Bartimaeus, the djinni, gave excellent commentary reminiscent of Terry Prachett's style, and his frequent snark when dealing with opponents and self-praise was entertaining. I sympathised and at equal times felt irritated by his master, Nathaniel. I found myself rooting for him to be honourable so although the ending was not ideal, it gave me hope.

In the second book, I was so often frustrated by the Nathaniel's actions and motivations that I had to check the end to be sure that he actually made it to the end alive. And then I had to read the third book right away because I could not bear seeing a protagonist being so thoroughly corrupted by the world he lived in. The part where Bartimaeus called him Mandrake just left me cold. 

And the third book, the ending left me so so so I can't describe it. It was the same gut-wrenching shock and denial I felt on completing the end of The Hunger Games. The optimist in me just wails at it. Upset just doesn't even begin describe it. I was given HOPE, HOPE that Nathaniel may be redeemed. And the book gave me this. Ok, it was a bit slow in giving me that hope. I inwardly cheered whenever he succeeded in acting against his ambition. There was also another story running parallel to the main events to give us an insight to Bartimaeus' backstory. I may also have teared up a few times throughout the whole book at specific moments, that was how poignant the moments were. I guess I am just a fan of happy endings. I mean, I sort of knew what the ending would be, (there was just so much foreshadowing and many parallels were drawn between the past and present) but to read it, it felt so final. Strangely I also accept that this was the most fitting ending, heartrendingly so. Nathaniel's dismissal (indirect way of showing his respect and care) and the last lines by Bartimaeus, just kills me.

[The potent lines (Spoiler)]
A typical master. Right to the end, he didn’t give me a chance to get a word in edgeways. Which is a pity, because at that last moment I’d have liked to tell him what I thought of him. Mind you, since in that split second we were, to all intents and purposes, one and the same, I rather think he knew anyway.
Ptolemy’s Gate by Jonathan Stroud (Book Three of the Bartimaeus Trilogy)

Aside from that, I was very pleased with Kitty's (yet another protagonist who is NOT a magician, hurrah) development. Her will to just "not die", it was awesome.

And I have just managed to describe a lot of blustery emotions and said almost nothing about what this series is about.

And now I have an image that Nathaniel looked like hapless John from Pocahantas in the first book, like Snape in the second book, and maybe like Sherlock in the third book.

Tags: book, rant, review, the bartimaeus trilogy
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