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Ptolemy's Gate

The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Book 3

by Jonathan Stroud

Ptolemy's Gate by Jonathan Stroud X
Ptolemy's Gate by Jonathan Stroud
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  • First Published:
    Dec 2005, 512 pages

    Jan 2007, 512 pages


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Beyond the Book

This article relates to Ptolemy's Gate

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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.


Bartimaeus Trilogy

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


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

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

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