I like reading graphic novels that are adapted from a novel. It has potential for you to see if they match, if the art looks like what you think it “should” look like and you get a “two for one” (so to speak) story. However, when you read a graphic novel adapted from a novel you read so many years ago, you cannot remember what the book was about, you get a surprise.
The Amulet of Samarkand The Graphic Novel is Jonathan Stroud’s novel of the same name adapted by Andrew Donkin. The Bartimaeus Trilogy (or possibly there is a fourth, as I left the sales floor after only three) is a fantasy novel (or graphic novel) where a young magicians apprentice is humiliated by another magician and decides to take a little revenge. What happens is a very mischievous and basically cruel djinni is summoned by our young wizard to be and the sparks, feathers, and magic flies. It is a stereotypical fantasy: do not give your real name, do not conquer outside your station/abilities, mystery, and intrigue. It is obvious who is good, bad and the ugly. It is a fantasy adventure of magic and things are not always what they seem or black and white. Sometimes the grey is deadly.
The art is a combination of dark for the “spooky” and light for the “hopeful” moments. There is London that we know (though a possible alternative world from the 1930s to 1940s) where magic is ruler and the commoners heavily ruled. The details are there, sometimes to crowd the page and sometimes less busy. For the adult reading you know what is happening or going to and the suspense is right for the 10 to 14 crowd (some fantasy violence and content might not be suitable for the more sensitive reader). Lee Sullivan’s illustrations get the job done and show you the world of our young magician and his djinni.
While ending on a closed note for this one storyline, it is also an open ending as you know that while the villains of book one are most likely gone, you also know they were not working alone. However, I have been unable to locate other graphic novels, so if anyone does locate them, please send them my way!