Nathaniel is 17 now, the sweetheart of the government after saving everyone in The Golem's Eye and even worse when it comes to believing the goverment’s line about the supremacy of magicians and mistreating Bartimaeus.
As you might guess, in much the same way as in The Golem's Eye, I didn’t really care for Nathaniel. Bartimaeus is still pretty cool, but where this book really shines is seeing what Kitty has gotten up to over the past few years and actually digging into what Ptolemy was like.
The worldbuilding around that is just fascinating, seeing the world as a demon sees it, where they came from and why they have such problems being summoned to Earth. It’s a point of view I don’t think I’ve personally read before and it was pretty neat.
On top of that, we get to build a lot more on the idea of summoning creatures and binding them to people, rather than forcing them to create their own forms, a theme which was touched on with Gladstone’s bones in the previous book. We get a lot more of that here, which is an interesting idea, especially seeing how it can both be done for good and for evil.
And finally, wow that book got quite a bit darker. Bartimaeus isn’t in great shape throughout the book and Nathaniel is often straight out a jerk. There is a lot more violence and then at the end… well. Let’s just say I did not expecting quite that sad of an ending from what’s ostensibly still a children’s book. That’s going to raise some discussions if/when my own children read this book.
Overall, it’s still a solid conclusion and fits well with the direction the Golem’s Eye took the book. I’m glad to have read it. Ready to try something else though.