Review: The Amulet of Samarkand – Graphic Novel by Jonathan Stroud, Andrew Dorkin, Lee Sullivan and Nicolas Chapuis

Nathaniel 11, magician apprentice, learns more challenging spells than his master assigns. He summons Bartimaeus, a 5000-year-old djinni, to assist in revenge against the proud ambitious Simon Lovelace by stealing his precious amulet. All are caught in a whirlwind of espionage, murder, and rebellion.

I am not usually a reader of graphic novels, I love the look of them but usually prefer my stories to be told in a wordier format that let my imagination do the image filling. I will also admit that sometimes I find the order in which I should read text in each tile confusing, indeed reading this I did have to re-order the way I read some tiles when it became clear I had made the wrong choice.

I read this one as a book group read – it came up during a discussion that none of us had properly read a graphic novel before and we wanted to give it a try.

I did enjoy it, I found the story very accessible but it still gave enough depth to build the world and get to know Nathaniel and Bartemaus.

The illustrations were richly detailed and helped build the world well. I enjoyed picking the details out of the illustrations as much as the text.

I also enjoyed the speed at which I could read the book – it took me a couple of days instead of the week or so the original book by Jonathan Stroud would have done – and yet I don’t feel like I missed out on any story.

It probably isn’t a format I will do back to often but it had made me more open to trying other stories told in this format.

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