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

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

Bartimaeus returns -- alas, not to center stage.
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What parents need to know

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.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Pipes, cigarettes, and alcohol all mentioned.

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.

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.

Families can talk about...

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

Book details

Author:Jonathan Stroud
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Hyperion Books for Children
Publication date:September 12, 2004
Number of pages:556
Publisher's recommended age(s):10 - 14

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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 values taught in the books are unforgettable. It tells of redemption and friendship. The only reason I say iffy is because if you aren't old enough to understand the books, then the moral values can and probably will be confused. For those who say the book is annapropriate and has nothing good about, you should finish the series and read 'Ptolemy's Gate'.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 15 years old Written byelenmadil April 9, 2008
Really got me thinking about social classes and stuff like that. And Bartimeus's footnotes are fabulus!
Teen, 15 years old Written byski123 April 9, 2008


this trilogy is awesome!!! Everyone 8 years old and up should read this book.