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SFF Author: Jonathan Stroud

Jonathan Stroud(1970- )
Jonathan Stroud was born in Bedford, England and grew up in St. Albans, near London. After graduating from university with a degree in English, Stroud worked for several years as an editor at Walker Books. His first book, Buried Fire, was published in 1999. THE BARTIMAEUS TRILOGY won the 2006 Mythopoeic Society Award for Children’s literature, and the first book in the series, The Amulet of Samarkand, won the Boston Globe/ Horn Book award in the US in 2004. Learn more about Stroud at his website.



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The Amulet of Samarkand: Highly recommended children’s fantasy

The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud

As I’ve said in previous reviews, if you’re going to set your book in England and have as a main character a young boy learning the art of wizardry, you’ve guaranteed yourself a comparison to HARRY POTTER. With The Amulet of Samarkand, Jonathan Stroud can proudly say, “bring him on — wands at 15 paces!” With so much pallid fantasy out there, Amulet is a breath of fresh air,


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The Golem’s Eye: Good sequel, lacks a bit of the spark

The Golem’s Eye by Jonathan Stroud

The Golem’s Eye is a solidly enjoyable if slightly disappointing follow-up to The Amulet of Samarkand, which admittedly set itself a very high standard. The book returns to the same setting and characters first introduced in Samarkand, while expanding upon the first novel with a few new characters, one new setting (Prague) and a somewhat more complicated plot.

As in the first book, the major story involves a plot against the government which Nathaniel the young ambitious wizard must confront with his much more wise and experienced (and acidic) djinn,


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The Ring of Solomon: Bartimaeus is back!

The Ring of Solomon by Jonathan Stroud

Fans of Jonathan Stroud’s fantastic Bartimaeus Trilogy, which began with The Amulet of Samarkand and ended with Ptolemy’s Gate, will be happy to know that the title character — the wise-cracking fourth-level djinn who has long-standing issues with authority — is back and funny as ever in The Ring of Solomon.

Rather than continue the story of the first trilogy,


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Heroes of the Valley: A quick, enjoyable, often funny YA read

Heroes of the Valley by Jonathan Stroud

In the long ago history of Jonathan Stroud’s YA fantasy Heroes of the Valley, the great hero Svein gathered the other 11 heroes of the Valley to fight the Battle of the Rock against the ravening inhuman Trows who had long terrorized the Valley residents, snatching babies and killing women and children at night — the only time the Trow came out. At the end of the battle, the heroes were all dead but the Trow were driven utterly out of the valley and into the heights.


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The Screaming Staircase: Spooky and fun (but no Bartimaeus)

The Screaming Staircase by Jonathon Stroud

LOCKWOOD & CO. is Jonathan Stroud’s second four-part outing. It follows on from the success of his BARTIMAEUS sequence (which comes highly recommended here at FanLit). Stroud specialises in alternate versions of London for children. In BARTIMAEUS it was a London of djinn-conjuring wizards. This time London is troubled by deadly ghosts. The Screaming Staircase is a pacey, exciting introduction to Stroud’s new London, but it lacks the sense of magic and humour that made BARTIMAEUS such a winner.


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Next SFF Author: Anton Strout
Previous SFF Author: Charles Stross

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