Solomon Always Rings Twice

The Ring of Solomon, by Jonathan StroudWhen I wrote about the Testament of Solomon, Amy mentioned this book, which expands on the idea of Solomon being a magician who has a ring that gives him power over demons. It takes place in the same world as Stroud’s Bartimaeus Trilogy, which I haven’t read, so this was my first introduction to the character of the djinni Bartimaeus. There are several stories about djinn being forced to do the bidding of their masters, yet finding loopholes in the wording that allow them to cause trouble. Bartimaeus is one these djinn, and he’s an interestingly ambivalent character,resenting his slavery but having as much fun with his deeds as he can, and not caring much for humanity but having a grudging respect for some particular humans. One of these is the other protagonist, Asmira, a guard from Sheba who has the mission of assassinating Solomon and stealing his ring. The two main characters cross paths and learn that there’s a lot more going on in the court of Jerusalem than it seems, largely involving the scheming magicians who work for the King of Israel. While obviously working with biblical themes, I believe the only two characters who are actually from the Bible are Solomon himself and the Queen of Sheba, and there really isn’t much on religion. It was a fun read and a clever look at tales of summoned spirits from the spirits’ point of view. I might have to read the other Bartimaeus books at some point, although there are other things I want to get through first.

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4 Responses to Solomon Always Rings Twice

  1. J. L. Bell says:

    I thought that Stroud’s original Bartimaeus trilogy was terrific, and highly recommend it. I haven’t gotten to this prequel yet.

  2. Pingback: Djinni from the Block | VoVatia

  3. Pingback: Mixed Mythology Makes Mischief | VoVatia

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