Ptolemy's Gate (2005) by Jonathan Stroud
The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Book 3
With this final book, the trilogy comes to an end in excitement, adventure and an unexpected turn towards tenderness and true values. Jonathan Stroud weaves together his characters in an unreal kingdom of power and cruelty that culminates in an unexpected ending with a psychological and moral turn.
Jonathan Mandrake, a handsome young man with ambition of power was once a small weedy and lonely boy called Nathaniel. His passion and craving to become a powerful magician finally leads him to a powerful position in the government. He works his way up to join the elite group of the government, to become Minister of Information.
As a boy, Nathaniel yearned for power and now that he has finally achieved it, subconsciously he is still Nathaniel and is no longer sure his past ambition is the right path to take.
Bartimaeus, a djinni, is summoned by Mandrake from his world to be at his service for two years. This period on Earth turns out to be too long for Bartimaeus and almost kills him. The tormented djinni is growing weaker and more vulnerable the more he stays in this world, and his composure is about to crack.
Meanwhile Kitty a common human is undercover in London. She has been secretly researching all information she can glean on magic, demons, and Bartimaeuss past. She has worked out a plan that she hopes will interrupt the ever-ending cycle of antagonism between the djinni and humans. She has to gain the respect of the higher beings for her plans to work.
Three years have passed since the magician Nathaniel helped stop the catastrophic attack on London. He is now a respected member of the British Government and is now faced with multiple problems, such as foreign wars and rebellions that are fermenting amidst the commoners, and all kinds of resistance. He has Bartimaeus on his side to help but treats him worse than ever. His enemies consider John Mandrake dangerous and talented, and as soon as he is promoted to Information Minister they plot to assassinate him. When all the attempts fail, Mandrake, exasperated with all these attempts publicly challenges all hidden enemies to come and affront him in a magical combat. But the enemy cowers at the challenge and Mandrakes power rises even higher.
In this third and last adventure, the destinies of Nathaniel, Bartimaeus and Kitty are entwined together for the last time. We discover the secrets behind Bartimaeuss past. Together the three travel to the Other World, the world of demons, where they face treacherous magicians and uncover an artfully complex conspiracy and defeat multiple demons. This is the episode where they also come to terms with one another. Here we learn to appreciate Kittys intelligence and discover that there is still some good in Nathaniels heart. Together with Bartimaeuss magic they face up to the nightmarish adventures.
Ptolemys Gate is a brilliant, irresistible read. With unexpected twists and turns in the plot. A detailed and touching detailed description of the characters makes its style stand out from other similar adventure books. It leaves the reader with many unanswered questions, hoping for more adventures to follow.
It is an excellent conclusion to the trilogy. A Fascinating read.