Announcing our Top 20 Books of 2022

Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Ptolemy's Gate

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Ptolemy's Gate

The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Book 3

by Jonathan Stroud

Ptolemy's Gate by Jonathan Stroud X
Ptolemy's Gate by Jonathan Stroud
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Dec 2005, 512 pages

    Paperback:
    Jan 2007, 512 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team
Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book

This article relates to Ptolemy's Gate

Print Review

Jonathan Stroud was born in Bedford, England and grew up in St Albans. For many years he had a burning desire to write a full-length work of fiction which he would have wanted to read when he was younger. After graduating from York University he embarked on a publishing and writing career in the game book and non-fiction department at Walker Books. He moved to Kingfisher Publications to edit children's non-fiction, and for a time juggled working with writing; but is now a full-time writer.

He got the idea for the Bartimaeus Trilogy during a 20-minute walk home in the rain. As he trudged along it occurred to him that most fantasies feature heroic wizards battling against evil and he wondered whether it would be interesting to turn this upside-down and instead make the human magicians the villains. As he continued to splash his way home he next wondered who would be the hero? If the humans were the villains, then it stood to reason that a demon/spirit would have to be the hero. He then decided that the book would be set in a recognizable modern London ruled by the magicians who would use the magic of enslaved demons to retain power, and keep ordinary people under their thumb.

When he got home he threw the shopping in a corner and scribbled everything down, deciding that the confrontation would be between a sarcastic, world-weary demon and his master, a young, cold-hearted kid-magician. A few weeks later he started to write and, within minutes, Bartimaeus's voice burst on to the page; in two days he wrote the first four chapters of Book 1 and invented many of the key ideas and characters that run through the series.

It wasn't long before he realized that his plot was too big for one book and the series was born.

Bibliography

Bartimaeus Trilogy

  • The Amulet of Samarkand (2003)
  • The Golem's Eye (2004)
  • Ptolemy's Gate (2005)

Novels

  • Buried Fire (1999)
  • The Leap (2001)
  • The Last Siege (2003)

Filed under

This article relates to Ptolemy's Gate. It first ran in the February 7, 2007 issue of BookBrowse Recommends.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Join and Save 20%!

Become a member and
discover exceptional books.

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket
    Bewilderment
    by Richard Powers
    In 2019, Richard Powers won the Pulitzer Prize for The Overstory, a sprawling novel whose characters...
  • Book Jacket: I'm the Girl
    I'm the Girl
    by Courtney Summers
    YA author Courtney Summers doesn't believe in shielding her teenage readers from the world's darkest...
  • Book Jacket: They're Going to Love You
    They're Going to Love You
    by Meg Howrey
    Teenage Carlisle lives with her mother in Ohio, but their relationship has never felt particularly ...
  • Book Jacket: The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen
    The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen
    by Isaac Blum
    That irreplaceable feeling of everyone knowing your name. The yearning to be anonymous. Parents ...

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Dinosaurs
    by Lydia Millet

    "Tender but never sentimental, wearing its intelligence in a low-slung style, Dinosaurs is a garden of earthly delights."—Vogue

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

W N, W Not

and be entered to win..

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Bell in the Lake
by Lars Mytting
The engrossing epic novel - a #1 bestseller in Norway - of a young woman whose fate plays out against her village's mystical church bells.
Who Said...

What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading, you wish the author that wrote it was a ...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.