Setting[ edit ] The series is set in London during the early s in a parallel universe where trained people can summon demons to do their bidding. Throughout history, various individuals and empires have harnessed these magical forces to obtain great power in the world. The most recent nation to do this is the British empire which London is of course the capital of that has dominated Europe since the mid 19th century and continues to do so at the time of the story. The UK is a magical oligarchy where a ruling elite of magicians hold almost all the political, economic and cultural power. The novels are set in an alternate history , with the effects of magic, magicians, and demons having resulted in many changes, but with many countries, cities, events, and people from actual history such as Prague , Solomon , the Holy Roman Empire , William Ewart Gladstone , Benjamin Disraeli , the American Revolution , etc. In particular these changes are reflected in the contrast between modern aspects such as electricity and cars and older ones colonial-era weapons, including muskets.
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Please help improve it by removing unnecessary details and making it more concise. January Learn how and when to remove this template message The story opens in Jerusalem with the djinni Bartimaeus currently in the service of one of the seventeen High Magicians of King Solomon of Israel , whom the king rules with the use of a mighty Ring. Ezekiel commands Bartimaeus to retrieve a magical artifact from the ancient city of Eridu.
Bartimaeus succeeds, and then tricks the magician into commanding him to use the artefact against him. It sends a spurt of water at him, knocking him from his protective circle. To make Bartimaeus pay for his actions he commands Khaba, an Egyptian and another of the seventeen, to summon Bartimaeus back into his service and punish him.
The king also proposes to the queen of Sheba and is refused. Balkis decides to send her loyal guard captain Asmira to Jerusalem to assassinate Solomon. Another unpleasant element is that one of his fellow slaves is his old rival Faquarl. Bartimaeus uses his trademark wit to infuriate Khaba and the magician unleashes his flail upon the djinn and threatens to place them in his essence cages devices similar to the Mournful Orb in The Amulet of Samarkand should they displease him a second time.
At first, Khaba and his subordinate closely supervise the stages of construction but after a while they stop showing up at the building site and the attitudes of the djinn grow lax. Several days later, Solomon makes an unexpected appearance on the building site. The king interrogates Bartimaeus and the djinni reluctantly admits his guilt while covering for the other spirits.
As Solomon prepares to use the Ring on Bartimaeus, the djinni resorts to grovelling to appease the king. Several days later, out in the desert , Bartimaeus and Faquarl find and defeat bandits attacking the traveller Asmira. Faquarl insists on eating her but Bartimaeus hopes she can intercede with Khaba on their behalf. Asmira is then escorted to Jerusalem by Khaba and manages to persuade him to reluctantly dismiss the two djinn. Faquarl gains his freedom but Bartimaeus is imprisoned in a small bottle by Khaba and his principal slave, the marid Ammet, as punishment for his earlier crimes.
Asmira tries to use her feminine wiles to convince Khaba to get her near Solomon but fails. Asmira frees Bartimaeus from the bottle and commands him as his new master to help her kill Solomon. They encounter the king in his observatory and Asmira stabs him with her dagger, only to discover that it is an illusion set up to trap them.
Bartimaeus escapes, but Asmira is captured and taken before the true King Solomon. Meanwhile Bartimaeus encounters the trapped afrit Philocretes and learns the secret behind Solomon and the Ring, that it causes immense pain to the bearer, in this case King Solomon. He then sneaks into the chamber where Solomon is interrogating Asmira and steals the Ring.
Asmira takes the Ring from him, only to discover that its energies indeed inflict pain upon whoever touches it or uses it. Solomon then maintains that he never sent any ransom demand to Sheba, which causes Asmira to doubt herself and her loyalty to Queen Balkis.
Suddenly Khaba arrives, subdues both girl and djinni and claims the Ring for himself. Meanwhile Bartimeaus has fled the palace with the powerful Ammet in hot pursuit. The two eventually reach the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and, Bartimaeus dips the ring in the sea, fulfilling his command. In an unexpected move, he then puts the Ring on and commands the Spirit to seal Ammet inside a wine jar at the bottom of the sea for a few thousand years.
The king imprisons Khaba and pardons both Asmira and Bartimaeus for their deeds. Solomon then summons Queen Balkis to Jerusalem and clears up the misunderstanding. However, a spiteful Balkis disowns her loyal guard from her service. Solomon then offers Asmira the opportunity to work for him instead. Reception[ edit ] The book received generally positive reception  and was praised for its portrayal of complex characters.
The Ring of Solomon
Ring of Solomon