The Ring of Solomon
Author: Jonathan Stroud
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Rate: 4 stars
The dust clouds slowly settled. Side by side we sat there, wedged into the ground like broken teeth or titling statues. Several of us were gently steaming. Our heads were half-buried in the dirt, our legs sagged in the air like wilting steams.
I spat out a pebble. "I think he forgives us, Farqual," I croaked. "Look, he's smiling."
"Remember, Bartimaeus-we're upside-down."
It is 950 B.C.E and King Solomon rules Jerusalem with a steely hand; a hand on which gleams a magic ring of immense and unforgiving power. He assigned one of his magician Khaba to oversee the construction of his temple. The workforces are a bunch of ill-behaved djinns including Bartimaeus, our favorite sarcastic djinn. But after a silly joke - including dressed as pygmy hippo in skirt - Bartimaeus and the rest of Khaba's djinns were kicked from the construction and forced to hunt a group of bandits in the desert. Here he crossed path with Asmira, a loyal and devoted captain to Queen Sheba who was assigned on a deadly task to kill Solomon. Bartimaeus has no intention to help her, until she makes him an offer he can't refuse...
AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE BARTIMAEUS!
Ok, enough with the fangirlsm. Yes, I go fangirl over a sarcastic djinni who enjoy himself by mocking everybody and bragging about his past glory - including his record in eating his past masters. I just love everything about Bartimaeus; his mockery, his sarcasm, and his occasionally melancholic state of mind. I always love a character that has much depth that what it seen from the surface and Bartimaeus is just like that. The first time I knew him in the Bartimaeus Trilogy - he seemed to be a typical djinn - if there is typical djinn - but it turned out he was different from the rest.
The Ring of Solomon didn't affect me the way other Bartimaeus Trilogy books did; perhaps because it's too short or the other character did not appeal to me the way the characters in Bartimaeus Trilogy did. Don't get me wrong, I like them but not as much as I like Nathaniel or Kitty (if you'd read Bartimaeus Trilogy, you know them). King Solomon is quite interesting, he's also more than what he appeared to be in front of the mass. Asmira just okay, she's your typical delusional warrior who willing to sacrifice everything for her Queen even though she doesn't understand a thing. Farqual... as usual fighting with Bartimaeus, although it's nice to see them chatted like civilize djinn for awhile.
This is a very nice reading for those of you who miss Bartimaeus. It wasn't as epic as Bartimaeus Trilogy but it's good enough for you to laugh at his mockery and once again to understand his point of view about life. I just wish it was longer so I could read more about Bartimaeus...