Dependent on a mean-spirited, morally weak master, and publicly humiliated by a cruel, not to mention powerful, wizard, young apprentice Nathaniel decides to seek revenge. He plans to call upon an awe inspiring djinni to work his will. Instead, he summons, Bartimaeus, the biggest smart aleck in existence. Bartimaeus does not feel at all kindly toward magicians, not even one as young as Nathaniel. After all, magicians believe that magical creatures are nothing more than slaves to be commanded and punished.
In spite of this, Bartiimaeus begins to develop a grudging fondness for Nathaniel, despite the young magician's complete lack of appreciation for the djinni's constant wisecracks. The two become even closer when they find themselves entangled in a dangerous web of intrigue, including a plot to murder the prime minister and overthrow the British Empire. Who is behind it? The young teens caught up in the Resistance movement? Ambitious government magicians? Some mysterious third party?
All Bartimaeus and Nathaniel know is that their attempt to steal the powerful Amulet of Samarkand seems to set off a manhunt (or perhaps djinni hunt) that will only end in their deaths.
This fast-paced, funny, heart pounding adventure is set in an alternate world London. Look for the sequels: The Golem's Eye and Ptolemy's Gate.