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11 February 2008 @ 11:37 am
THE BARTIMAEUS TRILOGY #3: PTOLEMY'S GATE by Jonathan Stroud (5 stars)  
The final installment makes the whole journey worth it. PTOLEMY'S GATE, the third part of the BARTIMAEUS TRILOGY, wraps things up in a satisfying, exhilarating way that won't leave Jonathan Stroud fans disappointed.

A new character is introduced in this novel. Sure, we've still got Nathaniel -- A.K.A. John Mandrake, youthful magician and Information Minister, Kitty -- outcast rebel of the Resistance, Bartimaeus -- fun-loving demon of sarcasm who is stuck as Nathaniel's servant, but now our story jumps back to Alexandria, Egypt in 125 B.C. to weave the necessary backstory of Ptolemy and his legendary gate between the Other Place and Earth. The connection between the past and present is the infamous Bartimaeus.

We soon learn that the relationship Bartimaeus and Ptolemy had was incredibly close, filled with trust and loyalty, something Nathaniel knows nothing about. Kitty, however, has been studying magic with the hope of learning more about Ptolemy. Even though commoners aren't supposed to be able to, she hopes to summon Bartimaeus and learn about Ptolemy's Gate. Her theory is that the Gate is the way to bridge the gap between demons and humans, somehow ending the forced servitude and hatred between them and creating peace and equality.

The tensions really get going in this one. The overseas war with America is going poorly. The Resistance is still at large. A traitor high up in government is plotting an inconceivable takeover of the country. Bartimaeus has been on Earth so long his essence is fading and he's close to death. If Nathaniel doesn't squelch the Resistance, his job and prestige will all be lost. And if Kitty's plan doesn't work, she just might disappear into the spirit world forever like Ptolemy. So much is at stake. And none of the players even know about the "rebellious faction of demons"!

Get ready for an intoxicating end to the ride. What THE AMULET OF SAMARKAND began in the first book, PTOLEMY'S GATE finishes up gloriously. Go Bartimaeus!

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emohawk9000 on February 11th, 2008 09:17 pm (UTC)
When I was at the Edinburgh Book Festival, I missed meeting Stroud by a day. But I snagged copies of nearly all his books, many of which aren't available in the US (and most of them signed!). I really love his stuff.
The Blog of Author Jonathan Stephensjonstephens on February 12th, 2008 04:28 pm (UTC)
I saw a few of his other books listed at the back of PTOLEMY'S GATE and was thinking of Amazoning them or something. There's really a lot to learn about writing, plotting especially, from his books.

Man, you seem to get all the good chances at meeting the various authors. *slightly jealous*
emohawk9000 on February 12th, 2008 03:01 pm (UTC)
Holy crap! I just realied I'm quoted in the sidebar. I feel honored.
emohawk9000 on February 12th, 2008 03:02 pm (UTC)
Or perhaps I realized it. With a 'z.' Like Liza, I suppose.
The Blog of Author Jonathan Stephensjonstephens on February 12th, 2008 04:29 pm (UTC)
Hey, it's not just anything that makes it to the sidebar. It's gotta be gold. So there you go. :)