Title: Ptolemy’s Gate (2006)
Author: Jonathan Stroud
Genres: Fantasy, Young adult, Magic and Comedy
Release Date: 1st January 2006
Reviewed by: David
“Two thousand years have passed since Bartimaeus was at the height of his powers – invincible in battle and befriended by the great magician Ptolemy. Now, trapped on Earth and treated with disdain by his master, Nathaniel, Bartimaeus finds his energies are fading fast.
Meanwhile, undercover in London, the fugitive Kitty Jones has been stealthily completing her research on magic and demons. She hopes she can break the endless cycle of conflict between djinn and humans.
This extraordinary conclusion to the Bartimaeus Trilogy moves across the centuries and into unknown worlds. The destinies of Bartimaeus, Nathaniel and Kitty are entwined for a final time. Together, they must defeat treacherous magicians, uncover a chilling conspiracy and face the most dangerous threat in the history of magic. Worst of all, they must contend with each other…”
This installment in the Bartimaeus trilogy is set a few years after the first two books. The magician Nathaniel has risen meteorically through the ranks of government, albeit at the expense of his servant Bartimaeus. Meanwhile his old nemesis Kitty Jones attempts to learn more about the history of the magicians and demons and Bartimaeus in particular. However, dark events transpire that draw all three together for the tremendous finale of the trilogy!
This is far and away my favourite book in the Bartimaeus trilogy and unlike a lot of trilogies finishes as strongly as it began if not even stronger. Stroud again takes his approach from the second book The Golem’s Eye of having three main protagonists and intertwining their fates and plot lines together very elegantly. This creates an incredibly rich and deeply layered narrative, and Stroud’s ability to do this so successfully is part of what makes this series so enjoyable.
All the other elements that made the first three books so good are all abundant in this book as well such as humour and the incredibly rich lore and world building. Stroud has perfected his skill in each area over the course of writing these books, as he builds upon the second instalment, which introduced much in the way of lore and world building, and he further expands the world, even giving us an idea of what the world of demons is like. The humour in all of this trilogy is excellent but I feel it is truly at it’s finest in this book, as all three of his protagonists now have a complex relationship which really allows the comedy to take on extra dimensions that were not present in the first two instalments.
However, that is not to say that Stroud cannot put a great deal of emotion into his characters. Although they bicker and squabble with one another this book really hits home just how much they have all come to care for and depend on one another over the course of the books, although they probably wouldn’t openly admit it! Nowhere is this more apparent than in the grand finale of this series. The plot of this series is incredible, spanning all three books but it is really all brought together in this final book into one cohesive story with no loose ends or rushed endings. It is apparent that Stroud carefully planned this from the first page of The Amulet of Samarkand to the last page of Ptolemy’s Gate. The ending is truly incredible and resolves the characters of Bartimaeus, Nathaniel and Kitty incredibly well. It is also an incredibly emotional ending to a fantastic series.
Overall, I cannot recommend this book and this entire trilogy enough. All three books are incredibly good reads that are suitable for any reader from child through to adult. This epic conclusion is the culmination of all the best aspects of the other two previous books and gives a fantastic series, the fantastic ending it deserves.
Find David’s reviews of the other instalments in this series here:
Be sure to check it out on Book Depository using our link here: Loisreadsbooks
Until next time,