The Golem's Eye (The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Book 2)

Book review by
Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
The Golem's Eye (The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Book 2) Book Poster Image
Popular with kids
Bartimaeus returns -- alas, not to center stage.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 12 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

The main character, and pretty much everyone else, behave selfishly, unscrupulously, deviously, and dishonestly. The only relatively good character lies and steals.


Lots of fantasy violence, including quite a few deaths, involving all sorts of magical creatures, monsters, and devices.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Pipes, cigarettes, and alcohol all mentioned.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this book is full of amoral and immoral characters. There's only one semi-admirable character, but most readers won't be rooting for her to succeed.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byKitty Jones April 9, 2008

I laughed till my sides ached1

this funny and noble djinni bartimaeus better have more to say because i wanna hear it! I'd say 4 thumbs up but i only have two Everyone should read the se... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old September 21, 2009

An Amazing Series But For More Tween Readers

This series centers around three characters: Kitty, Nathaniel, and Bartimaeus. The book is kind of like Harry Potter, only in my opinion, better. The moral valu... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bySchismatic-Sha August 24, 2009

Just a great book in general.

I think this site puts too much empathsis on the small matters in the book. Sure the demon is a bit cheeky, the boy isnt that great, and the girl is part of a g... Continue reading

What's the story?

Nathaniel, the main human character (though certainly not the hero) of the first book, is now the youngest junior minister ever in the government of an alternative British Empire run by magicians. To him falls the job of dealing with the increasingly annoying anti-magician resistance movement. When the destruction grows in scale, no one will believe Nathaniel that it's unrelated to the resistance, that it is in fact the work of a golem, controlled by a traitor in the government. So he summons Bartimaeus, as snide and reluctant as ever, and travels to Prague to find the secret of the golem.

Meanwhile Kitty, a member of the commoner resistance introduced briefly in the first book, is part of a group planning to raid Gladstone's tomb for artifacts of great power. Both her plans and Nathaniel's go badly wrong, setting the stage for a climactic confrontation with the golem.

Is it any good?

The good news is that Bartimaeus is back; the bad news is that there's not enough of him. What made the first book in this series a standout was his sarcastic commentary, self-aggrandizing descriptions, witty banter, and delightful footnotes detailing the workings of magic and demons in this alternative world. They're all still here, just less of them.

Meanwhile Nathaniel and Kitty alternately take center stage in a complex and often exciting, if too loosely edited, adventure involving, among many other things, grave-robbing, a demon living in Gladstone's bones, political intrigue, war, werewolf police, destruction, and a shadowy figure who seems to be playing all sides like puppets. Nathaniel, one of the least likeable main characters in children's literature, continues to fascinate and frustrate the reader with his growing power -- and obtuseness. The stage is clearly set for a grand finale in Book 3, presumably including Nathaniel's reclamation.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the characters' morality. Do you like any of them? Why? How have your opinions of them changed?

Book details

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