Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Book Review: The Ring of Solomon by Jonathan Stroud

We've all heard of Solomon the Wise. Well, through this book we discover the 'true' nature of King Solomon's incredible power: a little golden ring he wears all the time. He has to just touch it and an immensely strong magical spirit appears to do his bidding. Solomon has several powerful magicians under him, to take care of administration and other affairs that a king concerns himself with. Each of these magicians is not only powerful but also would give their right arm to get the Ring and access the tremendous power that makes Solomon invincible.

This is a prequel to the Bartimaeus trilogy (reviewed on this blog) and a delight to read from start to end. Bartimaeus is one of the hundreds of djinn, foliots, imps and afrits working in the kingdom, but HE is the one in the most trouble due to his (adorable) impudence and audacity. For example, he gets caught in the act by Solomon himself, when Bartimaeus, instead of constructing the Temple of Solomon, is in the guise of a hippo in a skirt, singing lewd songs about the king. The hippo is his (and everyone's) representation of one of Solomon's wives. To top this off, he is a slave of Khaba, the palace's cruelest magician.

Asmira is a royal guard of the Queen of Sheba and is sent on a mission across the deserts to assassinate King Solomon. A strip of a girl aims to do what powerful magicians have not--

Oops, here comes Bartimaeus!

Jonathan Stroud is a decent writer, I mean, he does a fairly good job of bringing out my style, my impressive repertoire of skills, my supreme importance in the history of the world. Fair job, I say. After all, you cannot expect a mere human to do me justice--he wastes a lot of pages on the humans in the story instead of putting his pen to better use describing my many talents (he'd need to write volumes, though, he wouldn't be up to it - piddly human, after all). Hope you heard that Master Stroud (chuckle), you'd need several VOLUMES to write about a handful of my glorious acts on earth. All right! You may write about my insufferable masters as well. Now get on with it!

Each book in this series is getting better and better! Now how many authors do you know who can do that? Please, Mr Stroud, more Bartimaeus books! Prequels, sequels, anything...


Samprita said...

Awesome #. Loved the imitation of Bartimaeus, and truly second the request for more books from Mr. Stroud.


Jonathan Stroud said...

Great review, Hasmita - and a wonderful impression of Bart! It made my day!

monideepa said...

Read the book and loved it. Adding my little note after the celebrity comment by Mr. Stroud himself :-)

yasho said...

Hashmita, that was a great review and it's lovely to see the author himself take a bow on your podium.

Tushar Mankad said...

Congratulations Hasmita