30 Days Book Challenge
Day 9: A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving

Harry Potter was my very first foray to magical world stories, and to my very young self, it’s unfathomable to imagine a magical world being described in any different way. That’s the very reason I avoided magic-related stories like plague until I was much older. It was with trepidation that I tried reading Jonathan Stroud’s Amulet of Samarkand (which is the first book of his Bartimaeus Trilogy). Who knew that I would fall head over heel by the end of the book?

Until this day, I still dubbed this trilogy as a more somber, less black-and-white version of Harry Potter in my mind. Both Harry and Nathaniel have a crappy childhood, but while Harry found best friends and loving mentors during school, Nathaniel found every possible reason to stop being the sweet child that he was because of the cruel “school system” in that world. Both were forced to be heroes in their respective world, but while Harry was instantly likeable and always backed his resolve with positivity, Nathaniel was a fascinating and sometimes downright hateful antihero who has to fight for his own place. While the wizards from Harry Potter world used a non troublesome wand as their tool, the ones from Bartimaeus world enslaved demons to do their bidding, presenting us with a complex moral conundrum as the story went on.

Whenever I need a little bit of reminder that difficult questions on gray areas actually existed in children fantasy book, I always turned to this trilogy without fail. And I think as I get older, I appreciated the idea of a “hero” like Nathaniel so much more.

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    Thank you for this entry! I finally got around to reading my Belgariad books during the quarantine, and they keep promoting this trilogy in the end notes. I was hesitating because while I love fantasy stories, the Belgariad is at times heavier to stomach than my usual light fiction (like Harry Potter), and this trilogy seems to belong in that same category.

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    I remember you recommended me that trilogy, that description of the hero is quite interesting , will let you know when I’ll reach it on my to-read list ^^

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    I keep wondering whether there’s going to be a sequel…

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    Going on my To read list

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