Ptolemy’s Gate is the final book of The Bartimaeus Trilogy. This book brings down the curtains on the series containing The Amulet of Samarkand and The Golem’s Eye as the other two offerings. Plot
After his exertions in bringing down The Golem in The Golem’s Eye, John Mandraka aka Nathaniel is now a formal member of the council of ministers. His post is that of Information Minister and his prime responsibility is to recruit as many commoners to go and fight in America as can be possible. To this end, Mandrake comes up with inspirational stories and posters and keeps recruiting people for the war.
But, with unrest growing both amongst the magicians and the commoners over the long drawn out war, a sinister plot is being hatched to overthrow the Government. Inspired by the exploits of Honorius in The Golem’s Eye, a set of magicians and their spirits decide to conduct dangerous experiments in summoning the spirits within humans and to use the power gathered from it to take over the Government. The spirits conspiring see this as an opportunity to take over their masters and roam freely in the world.
John Mandrake, once again joins with Kitty and his loyal spirit Bartimaeus to try and save the Empire. Can he do it again? Do the spirit and magicians learn to live in harmony? Check out this last offering in this interesting trilogy for the details. Critic’s Viewpoint
The final book in the series lives up to the plot of the other two books and keeps the readers hooked on. The story is again told from three viewpoints namely the viewpoint of John Mandrake aka Nathaniel, the viewpoint of Bartimaeus the djinni and Kitty the commoner. The story of Ptolemy and Bartimaeus runs in the background as a flashback. This flashback is connected loosely with the plot of this novel.
The story telling is of a high order and the usual mix of humor and cynicism along with a light hearted presentation of murder, blood and treachery is evident in this book. The one good thing about the story telling of Jonathan Stroud is the fact that he does not glorify the pain and violence. He just mentions them as a matter of fact and that makes the book remarkably light and less darker than similar books.
The story itself seems to have some parts taken from concepts made familiar by other famous writers. For e.g. the Other World concept on oneness is remarkably similar to the Gaia concept that Sir Isaac Asimov presented in his Foundation Series. Similarly the concept of possessing a body in the other world is one of the oldest concepts in any of the alien movies and stories. Also, though the storytelling is gripping, the plot itself is quite simplistic and there is nothing that really stands out as unique in this novel. Summary
Overall the book is a decent ending to a series that began very well with The Amulet of Samarkand. But the book never fulfills the promise that the first book seemed to show.
I will give this book a high 4 star rating.About the Author
Jonathan Stroud has studied English Literature at York University and started his career as an editor in a publishing firm. Stroud lives in St. Albans with his wife and small daughter. A film based on The Amulet of Samarkand is in the pipeline shortly.
(Taken from my review published earlier at http://www.epinions.com/review/Book_Ptolemy_ s_Gate_Jonathan_Stroud_2050024414/content_497547447940and www.shopping.com)