To further prove just how removed I am from literary hipness, let me admit that I enjoy reading fantasy books. To be fair, I am not obsessive about it or anything. It is not a steady part of my reading, but I do enjoy it nonetheless. It started in high school when I needed to read books for book reports. I found to my amazement that authors like J.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Issac Aizmov were on the list. I soaked up a great deal of these author's work, soon doing so without the pressure of a book report being due. After hearing about this interest, a friend of the family recommended some of her favorites. This got me interested in Piers Anthony, Anne McCaffrey, Roger Zelazny & Robert Sheckly, and others. I especially enjoyed the more light hearted side of fantasy as it better avoids the cheese and pathos that epic fantasy can easily fall prey to. Ever since these early years I have enjoyed a good fantasy novel to break up the pace of more serious reading. I even dip into children's and young adult fiction from time to time. Heck, I have read the entire Harry Potter series to date as well as the darker work of Phillip Pullman. I even read Lemmony Snicket (just one).
Which brings me to the point of this ramble, I recently picked up a young adult fantasy book entitled The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud (billing itself as The Bartimaeus Trilogy Part One). Strolling through the bookstore like an alcoholic through the brewery district, the book's cover caught my eye. The plot seemed interesting and I was going on vacation soon . . . So I ended up buying it (one of the useful things about having a book blog is that you can always rationalize your purchases by telling yourself that it will make a good review). So in order to assuage my guilt for buying so many books when I haven't read half the ones I own, here is my review.