This book is unlike the first two, where it switched from Bartimaeus to Nathaniel (in the first one), or Bartimaeus to Nathaniel to Kitty (in the third one). Sure it doesn’t have a new character being focused on, but the thing is, it also focuses on Bartimaeus’s time with Ptolemaeus (a.k.a. Ptolemy). In fact, the first chapter (you could say) is set on a time where Bartimaeus pretends to be Ptolemy, and saves him from four assassins. It was quite funny in its own way. Then we come to Bartimaeus in the present times. Trapped on Earth for two years, his essence in sore need of recuperation, and yet Nathaniel (Mr. John Mandrake) doesn’t give it to him. So he’s squashed under a lavatory, with only his head showing, unable to get it off himself. Thoroughly humiliating. When Ascobol (another djinn who serves Mandrake) frees him from the lavatory, he goes off to recover, leaving the other djinn to fight the battle, because he is too tired. Then he thinks about how any sane master wouldn’t have kept him on Earth so long (which tells you what he thinks about Nathaniel).
Meanwhile, the aforementioned magician is completely comfortable in his house in London, in fact, he’s having toast with jam and reading the morning newspaper. How very rude, seeing as his “servants”/”slaves” are out there possibly dying. Very, very rude. Anyway, Bartimaeus doesn’t come back so Ascobol makes up some lies to get Bartimaeus in trouble and all that, so Nathaniel gets out his scrying glass and gets the imp to fetch Bartimaeus. Of course, the imp can’t get him to come. So of course Bartimaeus knows there will be consequences, exactly what he wants. Because he needs to talk to Nathaniel. Unfortunately though, Nathaniel has Ms. Piper there as well, so Bartimaeus can’t call him “Nat” or go “Ahthaniel“. XD He’s so subtle isn’t he? So he is given the mission to just tail Clive Jenkins, who is involved in a conspiracy against the government which involved murder. Plus, Jenkins is working for Clem Hopkins. The promise is that once he does that, he will be dismissed to recuperate.
So he goes off to do so, in the form of a bedraggled sparrow. Meanwhile, Kitty Jones is still alive (Bartimaeus told Nathaniel that she had died saving him), and has two false identities. Lizzie Temple and Clara Bell. She is working as an assistant for a magician called Mr. Button, who only conjures entities from The Other Place to find out about them. She also works at The Frog Inn and occasionally delivers books for Jakob’s family. She’s working for Mr. Button and learning magic so she can summon Bartimaeus, the only person she wants to summon. This is my favorite book out of the three, mainly because it tells us more about Bartimaeus’s past, and then around the end of the book Bartimaeus and Nathaniel have some very amusing conversations. And then there is also the fact that Kitty uses Ptolemy’s gate successfully. And we also find out who’s been behind all the bad things happening in the other two books (I don’t mean just the magicians, I mean the magician responsible for the events in the Amulet of Samarkand and The Golem’s Eye). It’s quite surprising actually.
Plus, the ending is rather surprising too, even if what happens to Nathaniel is a little sad. I end this review here seeing as I’ve got Avatar in my mind, and can’t seem to give the best review of this book at this time. 😛 I hope it was a good one anyway though. ^_^