Fiew I caught up with my own readalong again, haha. It was interesting to revisit The Ring of Solomon again because as I was reading I realized that I didn’t actually remember that much from the story, despite that I read it as last.
This is your last reminder that this discussion will have spoilers for the whole trilogy, questions included. Continue at your own risk!
Feel free to pick and choose what you want to respond to. If you have your own discussion question or topic that isn’t in any of these questions, please leave it below in seperate comment so we can all respond to it.
1 The Ring of Solomon is a prequel story and set in Jerusalem 950 BCE. Solomon and the ring were briefly referenced in the trilogy. Do you remember that? Did this prequel live up to your expectations due to that?
2 Do you think people can read this prequel before the main trilogy?
3 How do you find that the plot compares to the main trilogy? How did you find the plot in general?
4 How do you think the cast from the main trilogy and this prequel differ from each other? Or are there overlapses?
5 Did you see in Asmira what Bartimaeus did? What was that?
6 Do you agree with Bartimaeus assessment that Asmira was also a slave like he was?
My Opinion on The Ring of Solomon
When I first read this book I wrote a review for it. Most of that still stands and you can read it here. But for the most part I find this the weakest book I’ve ever read by Jonathan Stroud. I think there could have been better and more interesting stories told that showed some of Bartimaeus earlier experiences on Earth that could have given more depth. Ptolemy’s bits in Ptolemy’s Gate only skimmed the surface on their relationship and I would have preferred that.
Do you think people can read this prequel before the main trilogy?
While there is some repeat I think this prequel is best read after the main trilogy. As I said, this is the weakest book and I wouldn’t want anyone to think that the main trilogy is like any of this book. Because it is different, deeper, dark.
How do you think the cast from the main trilogy and this prequel differ from each other? Or are there overlapses?
Bartimaeus is Bartimaeus.
With the exception of the djinni, so pleased to see Farquarl again, I found the cast somewhat lacking. I didn’t find Asmira had enough depth. We learned so little of her besides her guard duty. I guess maybe she didn’t know that much about herself either? But even so I think the characterization here was a little lacking. That I found very different from the main trilogy where we get some background stories and I feel like we do get in Nathaniel and Kitty’s head.
Also I think the characters here aren’t all so very doom and gloom as in the main trilogy. There are more characters that could be seen as enemy or hero in this book than in the main trilogy. There those lines are more crossed.
Do you agree with Bartimaeus’ assessment that Asmira was also a slave like he was?
I do. The fact that she had no choice in who she became makes her a slave to her queen. A queen who tells her what to do and does not give a choice in the matter. I think in a way Asmira is even worse off than Bartimaeus. At least he lives for a long time and gets to go home and do there what he wants for a while inbetween masters.
So there you have it. We’ve gone through the 4 books in 3 months time! Well done us. Now we only have the graphic novel of the first book left which we will discuss next.