Bartimaeus, everyone's favorite (wise-cracking) djinni, is back in book four of this best-selling series. As alluded to in the footnotes throughout the series, Bartimaeus has served hundreds of magicians during his 5,010 year career. Now, for the first time, fans will go back in time with the... read more
The book begins in 950 BC with the reign of King Solomon in Israel. Bartimaeus is in service of one of Solomon's Seventeen main magicians, which he manages to trick almost instantly. However, Solomon takes offense to this and has Bartimaeus resummoned by the dreaded Khaba the Cruel. Through... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
The book begins in 950 BC with the reign of King Solomon in Israel. Bartimaeus is in service of one of Solomon's Seventeen main magicians, which he manages to trick almost instantly. However, Solomon takes offense to this and has Bartimaeus resummoned by the dreaded Khaba the Cruel. Through Bartimaeus' antics, Khaba and the other Djinni under his control are sent out to try and rid the dessert of bandits. In doing so, Bartimaeus stumbles upon Asmira, who is pretending to be a priestess from Himjar in order to get close to Solomon and assassinate him. Asmira is from Sheba, which is being threatened by Solomon and extorted for goods, and she is sent by the queen on her mission. Asmira ends up dragging Bartimaeus into her plot and the pair makes their best attempt to break into Solomon's palace and steal his famous Ring of power.
“...I'd formulated a plan. Can you define a "plan" as 'a loose sequence of manifestly inadequate observations and conjectures, held together by panic, indecision, and ignorance'? If so, it was a very good plan.”Bartimaeus
“Other forbidden activities in the palace included: fighting, devouring servants, running in the corridors, cursing, drawing rude stick figures on the harem walls, causing unpleasant smells to permeate the kitchens, and spitting on the upholstery. A least these were the ones I'd gotten told off for; there were probably others.”Bartimaeus
“I've killed kings before. Four, in fact: three of them ultra-cool, deliberate acts of political assassination, and one an unfortunate mishap involving a barking dog, a child's toy chariot, a slippery corridor, a short, steep ramp, and a cauldron of boiling beef-fat.”Bartimaeus
“Solomon: "Not only that, you have at all times displayed extraordinary insolence towards my royal person. Your hippo guise-" Bart:" No, no, that was perfectly coincidental! It looks nothing like your wife!" Solomon: "-showed appalling disregard for the sanctity of my temple. That was what I was going to say." Bart: "Oh."”Solomon, Bartimaeus
“"I think he forgives us, Faquarl. Look, he's smiling." "Remember, Bartimaeus--we're upside down"”Bartimaeus, Faquarl
“Kill Solomon? No. It's suicide. I might as well jump down Khaba's throat or take a bath in molten silver. I might as well eat myself feetfirst, or put my head under the bottom of a squatting elephant. At least those options would be entertaining to watch.”Bartimaeus
“Ammet clearly subscribed to the Egyptian curse tradition: keep it succinct and keep it scary. As opposed to (say) those long-winded Sumerian curses that waffle on endlessly about boils, sores, and painful bouts of wind, while you, the intended victim, softly slip away.”Bartimaeus
“When you're in the middle of a fight, you stick to the basics, namely trying to disembowel your enemy while stopping him tearing off your arm and beating you around the head with it. If you've any energy left over, you use it for swearing.”Bartimaeus
“How do you spend your life-or-death chases? In a state of numb bewilderment? Perhaps in continuous toe-tightening panic, or with occasional outbursts of gibbering fear? Reasonable responses, all. Personally, I use them to think. They're good that way. Everything's quiet, you're on your own, and all your other little problems helpfully fade from view as you ponder the essentials.”Bartimaeus
Preceded by Ptolemy's Gate.
Preceded by Ptolemy's Gate.
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