Review of the Golem’s Eye

The Golem’s Eye

Book Two of The Bartimaeus Trilogy

By Jonathan Stroud

Genre- Fantasy with elements of steampunk.

Set in an alternate version of London in which the governments officials of the world are not just beaucrats but also magicians capable of summoning enslaved demons to do their dirty work, The Golem’s Eye follows the three main characters as their lives collide and intertwine. Bartimaeus is a quick-witted djinni with just enough snark and humor to just enable him to endure the demands of his arrogant masters. Nathanial is an up and coming young magician who might just make it to the top of the ladder if his conscience doesn’t get in the way and Kitty is a member of the Resistance, a secretive group whose members have been wronged by the corrupt magicians and are bent on stopping them at any cost.

The premise alone is rather intriguing but Stroud’s excellent world building help to bring the story to life. He manages to create an atmosphere that makes his fictional world unique and yet immediately recognizable. Building an entire world with words is, of course, never an easy thing to do and I must be honest

Another technique Stroud gets right is pacing. The plot moves along and none of the scenes or situations in the book feel as if they’re fillers. Each serves a purpose and moves the story forward. The fact that viewpoints alternate between the three main characters between chapters contributes to the brisk pace of the book and reduces monotony.

But perhaps the most striking technique that Stroud uses is humor. In the chapters that he narrates, Bartimaeus commonly digresses from the main story to relate an amusing story or two in the form of a footnote. The conversations between the characters are similarly full of one liners and wit.

-Alda Yuan

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