Friday, December 10, 2010

Review: The Ring of Solomon

The Ring of Solomon
Jonathan Stroud
2010; Hyperion; ISBN 978-1-4231-2372-9 (hardcover)

Summary:  In 950 BCE, the great king Solomon relies on his seventeen magicians to help him rule Israel.  The ambitious magicians and the spirits they control all fear Solomon, due to the powerful ring he wears.  Even the mischievious, incorrigible djinni Bartimaeus steers clear of Solomon.  That is, until he's summoned by Asmira, a young woman with little magical skill.  She has been sent by the Queen of Sheba to defeat Solomon and take his ring.  Can Bartimaeus defeat this powerful king and fulfill Asmira's mission?  If he ever wants to leave Earth and return to the Other Place for rest and rejuvenation, Bartimaeus will have to find a way.

A prequel to the popular Bartimaeus trilogy, The Ring of Solomon is a welcome addition.  Bartimaeus's wisecracks and intelligence are showcased in this installment.  Other characters like Asmira, Solomon, and the cruel magician Khaba are equally memorable.  More than just a humorous fantasy romp, The Ring of Solomon poses interesting questions about morals and ethics.  Best of all, all the elements readers loved in the original trilogy are on display in this prequel.  Let's hope this isn't the last book featuring Bartimaeus.

No comments: