this is a really good series by Johnathan Stroud about a kid in some alternate England who is training to become a magician. Not the kind you see in Vegas, but sort of a wizard(w/o the magic wand). They summon deamons from the Other Place. In book one~The Amulet of Samarkand~ the main character, Nathaniel, is taken in by a wizened old magician by the name of Arthur Underwood. When a young magician named Simon Lovelace humiliates him, Nathaniel first summons Bartimaeus, a djinni, to steal the Amulet of Samarkand. Setting in motion life changing events.
In book 2~ The Golem's Eye~ Nathaniel is just leaving his apprenticeship from his new mentor~Jessica Witwell. Also a new character, Kitty Jones, who is a member of the Resistence. A golem is rampageing around England and Nathaniel has to break his promise to Bartimaeus and summon him once more to help solve the mystery.
In book 3~Ptolmey's Gate~ we look more into Bartimaeus' past w/ his favourite master, Ptolmey. They discover a plot to take over London Parliment and eventually rule the world. By the deamons and magicians merging, unlimited power is unfolded. But when a playwrite, Quentin Makepeace, takes on Nouda, things go horribly wrong.
Simply outstanding!!! After Harry Potter, I needed a book that will amuse me a lot concerning wizards, witches, goblins, spells and magic potions. Stroud's characterization of Nathaniel and Bartimaeus (the demon's character flies off from the pages!) are excellent. Every chapter is a twist and turn. All I can say is I read it at nighttime after work, walk towards work while reading it and walk towards home while reading it as well. Engrossing, smart and witty, Stroud is a great contender to J.K. Rowling's throne. I hope his stories will not suffer in quality as I find her storytelling of Harry Potter's adventures getting weaker after the fourth book. Get your own copy if you love these types of stories. Nathaniel will be YOU as you read his plight through every page and laugh your head off with the smart aleck, Bartimaeus! Happy reading!!!