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Ptolemy's Gate: Bartimaeus Trilogy #3


Ptolemy's Gate: Bartimaeus Trilogy #3

We're told "all good things must come to an end." It never lessens the blow, however, when we finally reach the end of a particularly good journey. Sometimes the only solace we have is knowing that it was a great ride. And in Jonathan Stroud's PTOLEMY'S GATE, the final book in The Bartimaeus Trilogy, the best ride was saved for last.

We slip once more into a world populated by imps, demons, djinni and the powerful magicians who lord over it all. Nathaniel, now 17 and an established member of the wizard government, is besieged by mounting problems stemming from unpopular foreign wars, endless terrorist attacks, and insidious corruption from within the government itself. Elsewhere, Kitty's efforts to break the stranglehold magicians have over the djinni leads her to some startling discoveries about Bartimaeus's past. And the saucy djinn himself has reached the end of his tether: he can no longer deal with Nathaniel's callous treatment, plus continued exposure to the real world is weakening Bartimaeus to the point of helplessness. The fates of our three heroes collide once more as a complex conspiracy linked to the Other Place and a faction of demons threaten upheaval of everything they've fought to protect.

As always, Bartimaeus (even when he wallows in self-pity) is at the top of his game with biting wit. We see a more mature (if beleaguered) Nathaniel and a Kitty whose desperation to do the right thing increases to the point of achieving critical mass. The two most striking parts of the book, though, are the big reveal of Bartimaeus's carefully guarded past and a twist at the end that will drop your jaw. Reading this book makes you genuinely glad you got on board with THE AMULET OF SAMARKAND.

In many ways, PTOLEMY'S GATE seems to be the book that Stroud was waiting to write (not that he held back in either of the previous installments). It's such a perfect synthesis of all we know about these characters and how they respond to the crisis at hand that, even though the series is finished, we can't help but feel complete in its ending. The entire series stands out as an achievement in storytelling, for the young adult crowd and beyond.


Reviewed by Brian Farrey on October 18, 2011

Ptolemy's Gate: Bartimaeus Trilogy #3
by Jonathan Stroud

  • Publication Date: December 19, 2005
  • Genres: Fantasy
  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • ISBN-10: 0786818611
  • ISBN-13: 9780786818617