Please help improve it by removing unnecessary details and making it more concise. January Learn how and when to remove this template message The story opens in Jerusalem with the djinni Bartimaeus currently in the service of one of the seventeen High Magicians of King Solomon of Israel , whom the king rules with the use of a mighty Ring. Ezekiel commands Bartimaeus to retrieve a magical artifact from the ancient city of Eridu. Bartimaeus succeeds, and then tricks the magician into commanding him to use the artefact against him.
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Setting[ edit ] The series is set in London during the early s in a parallel universe where trained people can summon demons to do their bidding. Throughout history, various individuals and empires have harnessed these magical forces to obtain great power in the world. The most recent nation to do this is the British empire which London is of course the capital of that has dominated Europe since the mid 19th century and continues to do so at the time of the story.
The UK is a magical oligarchy where a ruling elite of magicians hold almost all the political, economic and cultural power. The novels are set in an alternate history , with the effects of magic, magicians, and demons having resulted in many changes, but with many countries, cities, events, and people from actual history such as Prague , Solomon , the Holy Roman Empire , William Ewart Gladstone , Benjamin Disraeli , the American Revolution , etc. In particular these changes are reflected in the contrast between modern aspects such as electricity and cars and older ones colonial-era weapons, including muskets.
The books incorporate references to various world mythologies and folklore, such as the Arabian Nights and Homer. In the alternate history existing in the story, the government is dictatorial in nature power almost always changes hands through coups and the people are mainly of two classes, magicians and commoners.
The British monarchy is mentioned in passing, but is said to have been overthrown long before the events of the books. The magicians are the governing class and hold all important posts in the government, from a Prime Minister down through assorted other ministers. They are humans, no more magical than other human beings.
For example, their ability to see demons is the result of wearing special contact lenses. They perform their magic indirectly by summoning, binding, and controlling various types of spirits from the Other Place and by creating magical artifacts. Commoners make up the majority of population. They are only allowed to take low-level administrative roles in the government. Education, media and public events are used to propagandize them. Magicians are often depicted as looking down on commoners.
Whilst magicians are not allowed to reproduce, unwanted children are given up by commoner families and brought into the world of the elite in the form of apprentices at an early age. Increasingly during the time period of these stories, some commoners are born with a resistance to magic, or a sensitivity to its presence, or with the ability to see demons naturally.
London in the trilogy still has the Crystal Palace , where the climax occurs. The Tower of London is still used as a prison. A chandelier in the first book is said to be made of "crystal taken from the ruins of Versailles " and it is implied that France, Germany, as well as Italy obey Britain. Apparently, Britain still retains dominion in North America and is sending troops there to suppress dissent. It is also implied that only the New England colonies have large cities, the rest of North America being still under the control of Native Americans.
Plot summary[ edit ] As the books in the trilogy progress, three story arcs become evident. The largest and overarching plot line is the rise and fall of London as a global hegemon.
The second and third are more personal: the boy changing from the pitiful, yet noble, Nathaniel to the power-hungry, arrogant John Mandrake, and finally earning back his humility and nobility; and the third, involving Kitty and Bartimaeus, in which Kitty proves her faith to Bartimaeus by doing something only one non-demon Ptolemy had ever done when she goes to the Other Place.
John Mandrake Nathaniel also shows unusual courage and loyalty when he dismisses Bartimaeus, as surely they were both going to die, thus eventually saving the life of a demon. The Amulet of Samarkand[ edit ] Main article: The Amulet of Samarkand The first book in the trilogy, published , introduces Nathaniel as the gifted year-old apprentice of a middle-aged mid-level magician, Arthur Underwood. He assumes his magician name, John Mandrake, to protect him from rivals who would wish to harm him.
Unknown to his tutor, he begins the study of advanced magic in order to summon the djinni Bartimaeus and enslave him. Things soon get out of hand and Bartimaeus and Nathaniel find themselves caught in the middle of magical espionage, murder, blackmail, and revolt. Together, the two of them defeat Lovelace and his most powerful demon, Ramuthra, who was last seen destroying an entire nation. These actions ended an uneasy truce between the young magician and Bartimaeus, resulting in the demon returning to whence he came.
Nathaniel and Bartimaeus are stuck in a terrifying flood of revenge and murder. In this book Kitty Jones is introduced as an important character. She is a part of the Resistance movement which seeks to end the oppressive rule of the magicians.
Nathaniel is tasked by his superiors with crushing the Resistance and capturing its members. His task is complicated by the unexpected appearance of a seemingly invulnerable clay golem that attacks London.
Much to the displeasure of Bartimaeus, Nathaniel recalls the djinni to aid him in uncovering the origins of the golem and to save his own skin. In the end, the golem is revealed to have been created by Kavka, a Czech magician, and animated by Henry Duvall, the London Chief of Police. Bartimaeus is still trapped on Earth by Nathaniel and is treated with disdain, continuously weakening as he is not allowed to return to the Other Place. Meanwhile, Kitty Jones has been hiding undercover and completing her research on magic and spirits.
She hopes that this will enable her to break the endless cycles of conflicts between djinn and humans. The main plot of this story is a conspiracy to overthrow the government which causes the most dangerous threat in the history of magic. Together, Nathaniel, Bartimaeus and Kitty try to save the city of London from this dangerous threat. Bartimaeus reveals to the reader the presence of an endless cycle wherein magicians summon spirits, magicians rule over commoners, spirits spread magic throughout a city, some of the commoners gain a resistance to magic, the commoners rebel against the magicians, the magicians are overthrown and the spirits return to the Other Place until another magical empire rises to dominance.
This cycle proves to be the main plot, which culminates in the overthrowing of London. Bartimaeus makes references to other magical empires, such as Baghdad , Rome and Egypt , all of which have fallen from dominance as well. It was released in the United Kingdom on 14 October and in the U. Principal characters[ edit ] This article concentrates unduly on statistical information.
Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information and long lists of statistics may be confusing to readers and reduce the readability and neatness of our articles. In addition, articles should contain sufficient explanatory text to put statistics within the article in their proper context for a general reader Discuss Learn how and when to remove this template message In a Bartimaeus trilogy forum, Jonathan Stroud has remarked that he was planning to make a Bartimaeus "bible".
The biblical Bartimaeus was a man whom Jesus cured from his blindness. Simon was also the name of an apostle.
Mandrake the Magician was a superhero in a syndicated newspaper comic strip. The following is a list of characters in the Bartimaeus series by Jonathan Stroud. The three most prominent characters are Bartimaeus, a djinn, Kitty Jones, a commoner, and Nathaniel, a magician.
Most other characters of any significance are listed by name. Minor characters not listed are implicitly collected in the "Organizations and unnamed characters" section as members of various organizations or types of spirits. By the third book, he is a magician in the British magical oligarchy. He is referred to as the strongest magician on the Council with the possible exception of his former master Jessica Whitwell. He had a charismatic personality that had greatly inspired Mandrake when he was young, though this respect later dwindled.
He had a great passion for the performing arts and so was great friends with the playwright Quentin Makepeace. Near his death, he grew paranoid with all the chances of betrayal within the government.
Simon Lovelace[ edit ] The main antagonist of the first book, Lovelace was a junior minister and rising star in the Ministry of Trade until, in his ambition, he tried to rise too fast and as a result was sidelined by Prime Minister Rupert Devereaux.
Thereafter, he seeks to exact revenge. Henry Duvall[ edit ] The main antagonist of the second book, Duvall used a golem to wreak havoc in London. Though he appeared to be the ringleader of the conspiracy, the real mastermind was later revealed to be Quentin Makepeace. At the end of the second book, he is arrested and imprisoned. He is later mentioned to have committed suicide. Deveraux takes up the role but leaves most of the work to his former apprentice and Deputy Chief Jane Farrar.
In the second book, she attempted to charm and seduce Mandrake to get information for her master, Henry Duvall, though she was never associated with the conspiracy. In the third book, she is also shown as a brief romantic interest to Mandrake, although this connection quickly dwindles. Farrar is easily captured by a demon. After the battle Farrar is missing and presumed dead. He is described as being bald with moist eyes and twin scars on his cheeks.
Originally a student of the priests of Ra in Karnak he left for Jerusalem after gaining enough power. He is perhaps the most powerful magician in the series as he is capable of summoning a marid on his own when, according to Bartimaeus, it normally takes at least two.
Jessica Whitwell[ edit ] Jessica Whitwell was Security Minister throughout the series and died trying to escape the hybrids with Shubit, her afrit, being the only magician with the courage to attempt to stand up to Nouda and the others, other than John Mandrake.
She was considered to be possibly the most powerful magician in the government at the time of the series by John Mandrake. In The Amulet of Samarkand, it is said that she destroyed a marid the most powerful type of spirit summoned by magicians by herself without the help of her own spirit. Throughout the series, she is shown to be very professional, strict, as well as above all, powerful. Arthur Underwood[ edit ] Arthur Underwood was a mediocre magician and the minister of internal affairs.
Nathaniel was his apprentice from the age of five to twelve years old. The boy and his master had a cold and distant relationship. William Ewart Gladstone was a very powerful nineteenth-century British magician, who rose to become a Prime Minister.
He led the Grand Army of the British Empire on conquests that decimated countries and made them a part of the British Empire, largely through the means of his staff. At the height of the Czech Empire, called The Holy Roman Empire by Bartimaeus, he talked the commoner Parliament into handing authority to him and the magicians, as well as raised Britain to a dominating empire. His staff is endowed with vast magical powers. Even without the staff he is still considered to be the most powerful magician in the history of Britain, able to summon a legion of Afrits on his own.
Ptolemy was a second-century BCE magician who was one of the first magicians to study the Other Place and the first one to visit there and return. He features prominently in The Ring of Solomon. Although initially depicted as a typically greedy and heartless ruler it is revealed that he is actually a fairly virtuous individual who mainly uses his ring for the common good.
Kitty Jones[ edit ] Kathleen "Kitty" Jones is a commoner and youthful mid-level member of the Resistance, opposed to the magical oligarchy that rules Britain. Like other members of the Resistance she is resistant to the effects of magical attacks and is able to withstand assaults from demons that would kill normal humans.
Terence E. Pennyfeather[ edit ] Mr. Though his intentions were noble, Kitty came to see Pennyfeather as being as greedy as the magicians themselves.
Ring of Solomon
The Ring of Solomon