The Golem’s Eye, by Jonathan Stroud

Hullo again, Bartimaeus! You are my good friend. Let us hang out.

This book picks up a couple of years after the Amulet Incident, with our hero Nathaniel/John Mandrake using his saving-the-prime-minister karma to move himself up in government. Yes, that’s right, our idealistic young magician has grown up into an ambitious but uninspired slightly-less-young magician. I really dislike Nathaniel (pretty sure I’m supposed to, so that’s good!).

But! Lucky for me, he breaks his not-summoning-Bartimaeus-anymore promise and my favorite djinni is around to make sarcastic remarks in Nathaniel’s direction, which really makes the kid more tolerable. Also interesting, if expected, in this book is the introduction of Kitty Jones, who was in the previous book briefly as a petty magical-stuff thief and returns as a more practiced and awesome magical-stuff thief.

The first part of that last sentence is important; I absolutely loved the first book in this series because it went against every fantasy trope that I anticipated. This book, less so. Lots of fairly obvious things happen, and things that you know are going to be important later are totally important later.

But! I loved the story nonetheless. Kitty’s in a group called the Resistance that is made up of non-magicians and is out to undermine the magician ruling class. Nathaniel/Mandrake is charged with stopping the Resistance. Someone else is wreaking major havoc on London and blaming on the Resistance, but Nathaniel’s pretty sure it’s more sinister than that. And, of course, it is. Love it.

Recommendation: Oh, really, just read this series. Unless you don’t like magic or fantasy. No, even if! You might like this!

Rating: 9/10
(A to Z Challenge)

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