Elizabethan London

Elizabethan London
Tyburn was an infamous execution spot west of London, used since medieval times. The Tyburn "tree" - a unique, multi-person gallows - erected in 1571 became a popular public spectacle, drawing crowds of thousands.Tyburn Tree blog is less blood-thirsty but hopefully topical, interesting and informative, if slightly bent to my personal topics of interest - books, writing, history, technology, with a smattering of politics and dash of pop culture, science and the downright strange. So "take a ride to Tyburn" and see what happens...

Friday, December 16, 2005

The Golem's Eye

The Golem's Eye (Bartimaeus Trilogy, Book 2) by Jonathan Stroud

Something strange is afoot in London.

Nathaniel, once a mere magician-in-training, now a rising star in the government, is faced with two vexing problems - first, track down a small and persistant group of underground rebels threatening the stability of the magician's government and, more importantly, find out who or what is behind a mysterious and destructive series of magical attacks now rocking London.

The Golem's Eye is the superlative sequel to Jonathan Strauss's terrific The Amulet of Samarkand. Nathaniel must once again call on the services of the wily, shape-shifting djinni Bartimaeus, in all his devious and humorous forms, to unravel the mystery. The unlikely team of the ambitious student magician and the cynical, wise-cracking 5,000 year old djinni makes for a solid and involving page-turner. In this outing a new character is thrown into the mix - Kitty, a young leader of the resistance - whom Nathaniel must find. Toss in a dangerous, secretive mission to the enemy City of Prague, a deadly hidden menance that the resistence accidently unleashes, and the cold, devious ambitions of an unseen enemy within London itself, and even a djinni with the myrid skills of Bartimaeus ccould find themselves taxed.

Struss has written a fabulously original series of books with the Bartimaeus trilogy, the best magical series since Harry Potter. The new book, Ptolemy's Gate is due out in January 2006 and I for one, will be picking it up as soon as it hits the shelves. They are excellent. Here's a quick excerpt:

"The magician went a bit gog-eyed with forboding; rightly so as it turned out. The smoke coalesced into a muscular black form, some seven feet high, complete with four waving arms. It shuffled slowly around the perimeter of the pentacle, testing for weaknesses.

And to its evident surprise, found one.

The four arms froze for a moment, as if in doubt. Then a dribble of smoke emerged from the base of the figure and prodded the edge of the pentacle with experimental care. Two such prods were all it took. The weak spot was pinpointed: a little hole in the incantatory barrier. Instantly the pseudopodium extended forward and began to stream through the breach...

An instant later, both pentacles were empty, except for a tell-tale scorch where the magician had once stood and a charred book lying beside it.

Throughout the summoning chamber, there was stunned silence. The magicians stood dumbfounded, their clerks limp and sagging in their seats....

We higher beings began a cheery and approving chatter. I exchanged a few remarks with the green maisma and the stilt-legged bird.

'Nice one.'
'Stylishly done.'
'That lucky beggar. You could tell she could hardly believe it.'"

Be sure to visit The Bartimaeus Trilogy online for some additional excerpts.

Wondering what a 'golem' is? Wonder no longer...

Want to find out how to summon one of Bartimaeuses' kindred? It's not recommended but hey, do what you want. Check out this site or this one...but no guarantees.

Thanks for reading BookLinker!

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