Something I had been wanting to do for a while is organize a readalong. Having fun with each other is one of the reasons I like the book blogging community and the reading community in general. So I wanted to add to that. And what better way to do that then pay homage to one of my favorite series?
September 2003 was the first time The Amulet of Samarkand was released and that means that this year it will have been 15 years. Fifteen years of our Bartimaeus. Can you imagine that? I didn’t pick up this series until I found The Golem’s Eye in 2008 (I think) at random in a bookstore because the cover appealed to me. So it has been ten years for me with my favorite book. Another celebration.
This readalong is welcoming to new readers as well as old readers. This is casual. If you want to hop on at book 2, go right ahead. Want to start later? No problem.
What is it about?
Nathaniel is a boy magician-in-training, sold to the government by his birth parents at the age of five and sent to live as an apprentice to a master. Powerful magicians rule Britain, and its empire, and Nathaniel is told his is the “ultimate sacrifice” for a “noble destiny.”
If leaving his parents and erasing his past life isn’t tough enough, Nathaniel’s master, Arthur Underwood, is a cold, condescending, and cruel middle-ranking magician in the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The boy’s only saving grace is the master’s wife, Martha Underwood, who shows him genuine affection that he rewards with fierce devotion. Nathaniel gets along tolerably well over the years in the Underwood household until the summer before his eleventh birthday. Everything changes when he is publicly humiliated by the ruthless magician Simon Lovelace and betrayed by his cowardly master who does not defend him.
Nathaniel vows revenge. In a Faustian fever, he devours magical texts and hones his magic skills, all the while trying to appear subservient to his master. When he musters the strength to summon the 5,000-year-old djinni Bartimaeus to avenge Lovelace by stealing the powerful Amulet of Samarkand, the boy magician plunges into a situation more dangerous and deadly than anything he could ever imagine.
You might have seen my poll on twitter at the start of July about the length to take with each book. I know a lot of the votes went for two weeks but there were a decent amount for three weeks and a month too. So I decided to sit in the middle with three weeks. Hopefully that will work for everyone. We will be focusing on the main trilogy but after that we can go into the bonuses for the lovers which are the prequel book and the graphic novel.
This is completely optional and only for those that like to read by a set schedule like that. You are welcome to participate in anyway you like.
The Amulet of Samarkand
Sept 3rd to Sept 9th – Chapter 1 to 15
Sept 10th to 16th – Chapter 16 to 30
Sept 17th to Sept 23rd – Chapter 31 to 44
The Golem’s Eye
Sept 24th to 30th – Prologue to Chapter 15
Oct 1st to Oct 7th – Chapter 16 to 31
Oct 8th to Oct 14th – Chapter 32 to 47
Oct 15th to Oct 21st – Prologue to Chapter 12
Oct 22nd to Oct 28th – Chapter 13 to 25
Oct 29th to Nov 4th – Chapter 26 to 38
The Ring of Solomon
Nov 5th to Nov 11th – Chapter 1 to 13
Nov 12th to Nov 18th – Chapter 14 to 26
Nov 19th to Nov 25th – Chapter 27 to 38
The Amulet of Samarkand – Graphic Novel
Nov 26th to Dec 2nd – Whole Graphic Novel
I’ve decided to do only one thing for discussions and that is a blog post with discussion questions about each book and one to open our readalong on September 3rd. While I love Twitter as a medium it is too fast paced and limited to really be able to discuss the books like most of us will want to. I also don’t want to spoil people who might see our tweets.
The discussion post will be an area that is completely open to spoilers for the focused on book and if you wander in here it is at your own risk. Be aware of that. I will post a list of questions and a bit of my own experience in rereading the books. You are welcome to respond to this by a blog post or in the comments. If there are a lot of people responding by blog post I’ll be opening up a linky in each discussion post. Otherwise you can leave a link in the comments so we can still find it.
These are just the dates when the discussions will be posted. You are welcome to come to them at any time, even well after the readalong stops, and discuss your thoughts. I will still be replying at whatever time.
The Amulet of Samarkand – September 22nd
The Golem’s Eye – October 13th
Ptolemy’s Gate – November 3rd
The Ring of Solomon – November 24th
Graphic Novel – December 1st
There is no real sign-up involved. I would however appreciate it that if you plan on taking part to leave a comment below. I would also appreciate it if you could share this post. Anywhere really. Thanks in advance.
You are free to use the graphic up there with the dates and/or this banner below.