Britain is ruled by magicians in this first book of a trilogy, and eleven-year-old Nathaniel is an obedient apprentice to a cold, weak, mid-level magician named Arthur Underwood. Nathaniel has survived for 5 years or so in this forbidding environment where his salvation is Mrs. Underwood. Then, the day comes when Nathaniel finds himself thoroughly humiliated by a magician named Simon Lovelace. He responds by dedicating himself to becoming as knowledgeable a magician as possible and planning to get revenge through his own potential power. Along the way, Nathaniel summons a "djinni" named Bartimaeus. Suddenly, amid the pain and the belittling, Nathaniel has a powerful tool whose sense of humor delights the reader until the last page. Great imagination. Great adventure and mystery. Wonderful humor. Golem's Eye and Ptolemy's Gate complete the trilogy.
Bartimaeus Trilogy, Book 1: Amulet of Samarkand