The Ring of Solomon (Bartimaeus Series #4)

The Ring of Solomon (Bartimaeus Series #4)

by Jonathan Stroud


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Bartimaeus, everyone's favorite (wise-cracking) djinni, is back in book four of this best-selling series, now available in paperback. As alluded to in the footnotes throughout the series, Bartimaeus has served hundreds of magicians during his 5,010 year career. Now fans can go back in time with the djinni, to Jerusalem and the court of King Solomon in 950 BCE. Only in this adventure, it seems the great Bartimaeus has finally met his match. He'll have to contend with an unpleasant master and his sinister servant, and he runs into just a "spot" of trouble with King Solomon's magic ring?.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781423124047
Publisher: Disney Press
Publication date: 01/24/2012
Series: Bartimaeus Series , #4
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 133,817
Product dimensions: 5.24(w) x 7.74(h) x 0.96(d)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

Jonathan Stroud ( is the author of the New York Times best-selling Bartimaeus Trilogy, as well as Heroes of the Valley, The Leap, The Last Siege, and Buried Fire. He lives in England with his family.

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The Ring of Solomon: A Bartimaeus Novel: A Bartimaeus Novel 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 57 reviews.
Cappy56 More than 1 year ago
I found the Bartimaeus books series by accident while looking for something else and was hooked as soon as I read the sample. The main character is funny, sarcastic and practical all at the same time. If you can't take a joke or don't have a sense of humor don't read this book. I also strongly recommend the three other books in the series, I loved them all and hope there will be a "next one" soon. I will also be looking for other things written by Jonathan Stroud, I like his witty style of writing.
LadyHester More than 1 year ago
The book started out slow and I was worried that I would not like it.The new characters felt flat and one dimensional. But as the book progressed I quickly grew to love it! Bartimaeus is hands down one of the sweetest characters. His wit is hilarious and makes you laugh out loud as you read. There is a deep message in the book about slavery, power and the pain of losing free will. In the end the human character Asmira has to confront the end of all her beliefs and change or die. I hope the author keeps writing more!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Have to read. Total greatness with lots of detail. Bartimeus at his best
Graff_Master More than 1 year ago
This book by Stroud is one of his best yet. Set in 950 B.C. Bartimaeus it up to one of his most daunting tasks yet, surviving the life of magicians of Israel. When he makes an uh oh and must be punished for it. He is put under the dominion of Khaba the Cruel, one of Solomon's most powerful magicians. But, all is not as it seems. Solomon's magicians are using his fear for their own good. But, one queen is tired of it. She sends an assassin in an attempt to end Solomon's rule. This book is great from beginning to end and was very refreshing to be back with Bartimaeus again. I cannot wait for him to make another one.
atimco on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In this prequel to the Bartimaeus Trilogy, Jonathan Stroud picks up a strand from the footnotes of the previous volumes to weave a new story featuring everyone's favorite sarcastic djinni. It's 950 BC and Bartimaeus has been pressed into the service of one of King Solomon's magicians, the ruthless Khaba. Bartimaeus is engaged in helping to build Solomon's temple ¿ without magic. Dreadful thought!Meanwhile, when the Queen of Sheba is threatened by one of Solomon's magical emissaries, she dispatches one of her guards, the young and skillful Asmira, to assassinate Solomon and get hold of his famous Ring. But Solomon guards the Ring assiduously; it is the source of all his power and commands the unquestioning obedience of his magicians. Of course Bartimaeus gets himself involved in this plot ¿ what else would we expect?Stroud has a lot to say about the dangers of fundamentalism and fanaticism (or at least, what he defines as fanaticism). And it just falls flat. The questions raised by Asmira's character are excellent ¿ why do we believe what we do? is anyone worth dying for? do we dare question our deepest truths? ¿ but Stroud falls into the trap of preaching at his readers, rather than allowing the power of the story to convey his message. It's a pity, because doggedly pounding home his point greatly mars what is otherwise a good tale. One of my favorite things about the original trilogy is the emotional depth and involvement Stroud creates, while never losing Bartimaeus's humorous perspective. As a prequel, The Ring of Solomon naturally cannot match the brilliance of the last two in terms of emotional resonance, but for high jinks and djinni jokes it's fairly enjoyable. But the trilogy (The Amulet of Samarkand, The Golem's Eye, and Ptolemy's Gate) is much better.
bell7 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Before he was summoned by a magician hoping to get revenge in an alternate England, Bartimaeus served one of the many magicians working for King Solomon. Yes, that King Solomon known far and wide for his wisdom and his many wives. But this King Solomon is also known for the ring he possesses, a ring that gives him much power to make demands and to rule over powerful magicians too afraid to cross him. Over in Sheba, young Asmira serves her Queen and country. When Solomon demands that the queen marry him or pay tribute, Queen Balkis sends Asmira on an assassination mission.Though billed as the prequel to the Bartimaeus Trilogy, this story could absolutely stand on its own. A few characters reappear including, of course, Bartimaeus himself, but this recognition is not necessary at all to the enjoyment of the story. If you have read The Bartimaeus Trilogy, some of the storytelling devices may sound familiar. We are given two characters whose points of view we move between: Bartimaeus and a human. Bartimaeus is his wise-cracking, sarcastic self, and his first-person narration is complete with footnotes. Asmira's side of the story is told in third-person, so we are a little more distanced from her while still understanding her motivations and desires. Unlike The Bartimaeus Trilogy, I wasn't hooked right away. At first the story didn't grip me, and the humor felt forced. But once I hit the halfway point, I felt like something gave. The plot started moving faster, the jokes made me chuckle, and I wanted to devote reading time to seeing what happened. Once again, Bartimaeus won me over.
djfifitrix on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This new book by Jonathan Stroud totally lives up to expectations, and is just as funny as the previous three Bartimaeus books, it had me laughing out aloud at the most inopportune moments!Without trying to give away the plot, the story is great, without confusing sub-plots, and basically involves Bartimaeus helping his summoner procure a ring of great power. All sorts of hijinks occur, as usual when Bartimaeus is around, and mix in a little violence (not too gratuitous!), lots of magic, and some hilarious moments and lines, and what you have is an alltogether entertaining read.You don't need to have read any of the previous Bartimaeus books, since this book is a prequel, so it doesn't matter what knowledge you have, although I did find myself thinking back to the previous books and descriptions of djinni, demons etc. which did help a little. Since I have read the other books, I cannot say for sure whether some of the descriptions/footnotes etc of Bartimaeus and the magic used are compelete enough to give a new reader enough understanding. However, if you read this book before the others, you will hopefully enjoy it so much that you will go out and read them anyway!The footnotes are particularly entertaining, and don't really detract from reading the main text, in fact I think they are there specifically to lure the reader away from the main text, if only for a few seconds, with really quite hilarious comments that make you enjoy the book even more.
mamzel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Marvelous fantasy story about a djinni of extraordinary intelligence and wit bound to serve stupid, selfish humans. This is a prequel to the Bartimaeus series where he is bound to a young, vengeful magician. I actually like this story better. Bartimaeus becomes bound to a young priestess who is sent by her queen from Sheba to Solomon in Israel to kill him and steal from him a ring with the power to summon many creatures. Along the way, Asmira learns that things are not always what they seem and the orders that she was sworn to follow may not be the best for her country and her queen.I love the sarcasm used by Bartimaeus and the ways he uses humans' orders to serve his own purpose. His sole aim is always to be set free so that he could return to The Other Place. I would love to read a book where Bartimaeus takes us there to see what the world of magical beings is like without humans.
fyrefly98 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Summary: In the world of the Bartimaeus books, magic is done by sorcerers - but what the sorcerers actually do is call up and bind powerful spirits, and force them to do their bidding. The spirits, of course, resent this enslavement, and any sorcerer who makes the smallest mistake in their spells is immediately set upon and devoured. Bartimaeus is a djinn - powerful enough that only skilled magicians can control him, but not as powerful as an afrit or marid - and he's also clever, resourceful, terribly sarcastic, and thoroughly full of himself.As the book opens, Bartimaeus is enslaved to one of the magicians of King Solomon's court. Solomon wields great power and influence, due to his magical ring - a ring that can summon spirits of unspeakable power with the merest touch. Bartimaeus chafes under his enslavement, and is punished for his habitual cheek by being sent to rid the desert of bandits. Also chafing under Solomon's rule is the Queen of Sheba, who responds to one of his demands for tribute by sending one of her guards, Asmira, to assassinate the king and steal the ring. This task is thoroughly impossible for any single person (or spirit), but when Asmira encounters Bartimaeus on her way to Jerusalem, the two together just might have a chance of accomplishing their goal and freeing themselves.Review: This book was a slow starter for me. Partly the slow start was due to the fact that Simon Jones's voice is pitched low enough that I had a hard time hearing it over the noise of my tires, so I couldn't listen to it while doing my holiday traveling. However, even if I'd been listening to it in other circumstances, I think I would have still had a hard time getting into it. The first half of the books alternates chapters between Bartimaeus's and Asmira's points of view, but their stories are completely separate. It's obvious from very early on that their storylines are going to cross eventually, so all the time they spend mucking around on their own just felt like stalling.However, the good news is that once they do meet, the pace picks up dramatically. Asmira's a good foil for Bartimaeus, and I really enjoyed their interactions. One of my favorite things about Bartimaeus is that he's got this soft spot for humans that he's desperately trying to keep hidden underneath all of the bluster and self-aggrandizement and snarkiness (which are available in ample supply, and hilariously wonderful to read). The manifestation of this soft spot is different here than it was in the original trilogy, but it's there nevertheless, and it gives the story a subtle depth underneath the silliness and adventure.In the end, I wound up enjoying this story every bit as much as the original trilogy. It was fun, funny, and a good distraction that made doing my post-holiday chores much more bearable. I also love these books in audio; Jones's rendition of Bartimaeus is just so perfectly dry and catty that it really adds something that you don't get reading them in print. 4 out of 5 stars.Recommendation: The Ring of Solomon is completely independent, plot-wise, from the books of the main trilogy, and could easily be picked up as a stand-alone. Recommended for YA fantasy fans who want a book with a unique setting, a unique way of doing magic, and/or a main character that is dripping (occasionally literally) with snark.
lilibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Bartimaeus is a smart-alec djinni who has been enslaved to a cruel magician in King Solomon¿s Jerusalem. Solomon wears a ring of power, which makes him capable of great acts. On a mission in the desert, Bartimaeus meets a female assassin sent by the Queen of Sheba to assassinate Solomon and take his ring.
francescadefreitas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Oh joy, I was so happy to meet Bartimaeus, although this is a younger version, before his encounter with Ptolemy. This felt slight compared to the original trilogy, and the plot was pretty transparent, but the characters are full of fun and irreverence. While it is a prequal, I think you'd enjoyed it more having read the other three books first.Bartimaeus is summoned by nasty magician in the service of King Solomon. While on a punishment duty in the desert, he runs into one of the Queen of Sheba's guards - on a mission to assassinate Solomon and steal the source of his power. Also, this is one series where I enjoy the audiobooks more than the printed books - I missed Simon Jones' interpretation.
owenino on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The newest Bartimaeus book is more light-hearted and merely entertaining than the trilogy in which the djinn works for the young magician John Mandrake. The trilogy, set in a parallel, somewhat contemporary London ruled by an unsavory elite of magicians, has a rough dystopic edge. Stroud seemed to get a lot of writerly energy from portraying England in the grip of an elite even more unattractive than the crowd that is actually in charge there. One sensed, too, that he had business to settle with J.K. Rowling about what magicians would really be like if they lived alongside the rest of us. She opted for a hidden society of high-minded eccentrics touchingly damaged by the strain of having magical powers, and a few (very) bad apples; he prefers the notion that magic would necessarily corrupt those who wield it, and that they would use it to run the whole show, to their own benefit."The Ring of Solomon," set in the Kingdom of Israel and surrounding places in 1000 B.C., lacks that gritty, vaguely Thatcher-inspired roughness. Instead, we get lots and lots of Bartimaeus more or less doing whatever he likes. The result is delightful--a respite in a grim decade full of grim and violent books.
mjsbooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I liked this prequel even better than the books in the Bartimaeus Trilogy, which I thought dwelt on political infighting more than most young readers would enjoy. Barimaeus has met his match here in Asmira, a scrappy guard in Queen Sheba's court who has been given the task of stealing King Solomon's magic ring.
EdGoldberg on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
For fans of the Bazrtimaeus Trilogy, The Ring of Solomon is a treat. Rather than London, this takes place in 2,500 BC in Jerusalem. King Solomon is all powerful, partly because of a magic ring he wears. He has proposed twice to the Queen of Sheba who has turned him down. The messenger bearing the prposal, warns the Queen that she has a fortnight to decide and if she refuses, there will be a tremendous tax put on Sheba. If she refuses, there will be devastation in her land.She sends one of her bodyguards, Asmira to Jerusalem to kill Solomon and steal his ring, thus saving her land.Meanwhile in Jerusalem, 17 magicians are in Solomon's inner circle. Bartimaeus kills one of the magicians and, as punishment, he is put under the thumb of the meanest magician, Khaba. Of course, Bartimaeus has not lost his cynicism and sarcastic nature. He is funny, conceited, but talented and, due to Khaba's mistake, Bartimaeus becomes enslaved to Asmira. Together they attempt to steal the ring.There is action, humor, and philosophy all rolled into one in The Ring of Solomon. Stroud continues with footnotes at the bottom of many pages which add to humor. I highly recommend The Ring of Solomon.
robertbdouglas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Stroud brings back the character Bartimaeus in true style. There are a few holes in the plot, but it is a fun read that provides the reader some quality time with their favorite djinni, as well as introducing us to a few new ones. I wouldn't necessarily recommend this book to people who are not already familiar wih Bartimaeus, although one can enjoy the story without having read the trilogy. However, it would be impossible to full appreciate the demon's sharp wit and irreverence without having known him beforehand.
baystateRA on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Love audiobook narrator Simon Jones as the voice of Bartimaeus, the wise-ass djinni!
KarenBall on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Hurrah for the return of my absolute favorite snotty, sarcastic, irreverent djinni! Set in Jerusalem during an alternate version of biblical times (950 BCE), Bartimaeus is enslaved by one of King Solomon's magicians. He manages to get rid of him almost immediately, but is caught and enslaved by Khaba, yet another magician, who forces Bartimaeus to work manually constructing a new temple. Bored and lazy, Bartimaeus gets caught not only using magic to set the temple stones in place, but in the form of a grass-skirted hippo singing rude songs about one of Solomon's wives. Let's just say that doesn't go over too well. As punishment, Khaba and all of the djinni have to search out and destroy troublesome groups of desert bandits. There, Bartimaeus meets Asmira, who is a guard for the Queen of Sheba. Asmira is on a mission to kill Solomon and steal his ring of power, so that her queen is not forced to send massive tributes or go to war with Solomon for refusing. Bartimaeus ends up enslaved by Asmira, and thus having to assist her in her quest. Nothing is quite what it seems, however, and when things go awry, it leads to more adventure! Bartimaeus is the most original and hilariously sarcastic magical being around, and the footnotes of his side comments are wonderfully funny. I like the chapters narrated by him the best. Lots of action, twists and turns, excellent slimy evil characters, and plenty of magical battles! Strong 6th grade readers and up.
The_Hibernator on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the prequel to the Bartimaeus trilogy (which I loved). It could function as a stand-alone book, though I highly recommend the original trilogy too. Bartimaeus is a begrudgingly good-hearted, wise-cracking djinni who is always saving the world from careless humans and their naughty demons. In The Ring of Solomon, Bartimaeus is summoned to serve for an evil wizard under the rule of the powerful King Solomon of Israel. While serving, he encounters a young assassin who is hell-bent on killing Solomon and stealing his powerful ring (in service of her country Sheba). Delightful confusion ensues. These books are funny, witty, cute, and adventurous. I love Bartimaeus¿ silly footnotes where he inserts amusing ¿historical¿ points.
AngelaCinVA on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Review of the audio book edition ready by Simon Jones.What can I say? I absolutely love the snarky djinni Bartimaeus. And Simon Jones does a wonderful job of bringing him to life. After having listened to The Amulet of Samarkand, also read by Simon Jones, when I saw this title on the list of Top 10 Audiobooks, I knew I had to listen to it. This time, the wisecracking demon is loose in the court of King Solomon. Under the supervision of Khaba, one of Solomon¿s court magicians, Bartimaeus is part of the team building the new temple. When his bad behavior draws Solomon¿s attention, Khaba and his demons are sent to the desert to hunt bandits. There they cross paths with Asmira, loyal guard of the Queen of Sheba on a secret mission to assassinate King Solomon. The Ring of Solomon is funny, action packed, and full of great characters with an underlying serious theme of slavery and freedom. I¿m sure this is a wonderful book to read. But Simon Jones¿ narration puts it over the top. I¿m sure that if I were to read any of the Bartimaeus books now, I would hear Jones¿ version of his voice in my head. And that would be an excellent thing.
molliekay on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A prequel to Stroud's Bartimaeus trilogy. Another well done, descriptive and entertaining book. Bartimaeus has been summoned by a magician of King Solomon. Because of his antics, he is assigned to catch thieves lurking in the desert. While dispatching of a tribe of magician ruffians and their demons, he meets a guard of the Queen of Sheba. Together they must figure out how to take down King Solomon and dispose of his powerful ring. A good book for someone who has read the trilogy and knows the back story behind Bartimaeus.
momma2 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another thoroughly enjoyable story featuring Bartimaeus. And this story did feature him quite prominently. Although it wasn't always told from the demon's point of view is was more his story than the previous trilogy was. And, unlike the trilogy, it was very easy to see Bartimaeus as the protagonist. Although it was difficult to decide whether to side with Sheba or Jerusalem, there was none of bad guy/good guy ambiguity we have seen in Stroud's past story lines. Bartimaeus' wit and heroics make this book funny and exciting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This series is very entertaining.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful continuation of the Bartimaeus trilogy. Lots of action, surprises, and as usual, Bartimaeus' tricks, clever disguises, and how he always manages to get out of impossible situations.