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Book Review: Ptolemy’s Gate by Jonathan Stroud

Title: Ptolemy’s Gate

Author: Jonathan Stroud

Series: Bartimaeus #3

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

The Overview: Nathaniel 17 treats Bartimaeus worse than ever. The long-suffering djinni is weak from too much time in this world, near the end of his patience. Rebel Kitty 18 hides, stealthily finishing her research on magic, demons, and Bartimaeus. She has a daring plan that she hopes will break the endless cycle of conflict between djinn and humans. But will anyone listen to what she has to say? Together the trio face treacherous magicians, a complex conspiracy, and a rebellious faction of demons. To survive, they must test the limits of this world and question the deepest parts of themselves. -Goodreads

The Review:

It’s official: Bartimaeus is a new favorite series.

I cannot believe I let this one collect dust on my shelves for so many years. I had an inkling I’d like it, so I saved it for a rainy day… [Note to self: stop doing that!!! Read the best books now!]. I imagine had it not won for book club, I would’ve continued passing it up for several more years. Almost 20 was long enough.

For me this series had a Harry Potter-level of addictive quality. I was completely absorbed. I loved the atmosphere Stroud created, and couldn’t get enough of the demons. Picture if you will a story of magic and mayhem set London – evoking nostalgia of the muggle-heavy sections of Harry Potter where you get to see how magic in the world affects us very sadly ungifted people. It’s “magical” quality was strong through all three books and one of the reasons I found it so compelling.

I liked this third book as much as the first one. It gave me backstory on a couple of characters that I’d been craving from the beginning. Beyond that the pacing was on point, the characters had arcs I found completely satisfying, and the action was gripping. And it all culminated into one of the best endings I’ve read in ages. Truly a slam-dunk!

Recommendations: if you want a great story that will make you feel like a kid again, this is the series for you. It has the added bonus of being presented in a sophisticated, completely accessible for adults format with great humor and witty dialogue. The footnotes are everything, so I’d recommend going the print or ebook route for this one.

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