Nathaniel is a magician’s apprentice. All apprentices live in their masters’ homes and their masters teach them magic, how to summon demons, and provide schooling for their apprentices. The also pick a name for them.
The name is so that a magician or demon doesn’t find out what a person’s birth name because knowing someone’s birth name is a source of power to an enemy.Now to the story. The story starts when Nathaniel is selected to be an apprentice to Mr. Arthur Underwood. He trains Nathaniel, only he doesn’t realize that Nathaniel is brighter than he looks. When Nathaniel is ten, he finishes all the books that his master said would keep him until he was twelve. At the age of ten, Nathaniel meets the villain of the story, Simon Lovelace. His master takes the liberty of showing him off to the other magicians.
Simon questions Nathaniel’s smarts, and proves that Nathaniel is smart. Nathaniel answers all the questions correctly, but that ticks Simon off. Then, Simon puts a spell on Nathaniel, and embarrasses himself and his master. Since then, Nathaniel has been focused on revenge.
When he turns twelve, he summons a demon called Bartimaeus. Nathaniel charges him to steal the Amulet of Samarkand. Little does Nathaniel know that Simon was planning to use it to overthrow Mr. Rupert Devereaux, the Prime Minister, and the rest of the government. One day, Nathaniel charged Bartimaeus to spy on his master in the study, but Nathaniel is called down to the study to talk to his master, exactly where Bartimaeus is. Mrs. Underwood uses “Nathaniel” because that’s his name, but it’s also his birth name. Bartimaeus hears it and thinks it’s his second name, but in the study, Mr.
Underwood schedules a day for his official Naming. Bartimaeus is thrilled to hear this because whatever punishment Nathaniel uses, he can just direct it back at Nathaniel. Nathaniel threatens with a spell that confides Bartimaeus in a tin and Bartimaeus eventually backs down.A couple of days after Nathaniel was Named, Mr. Underwood, family, Named apprentices, and other ministers are invited to Parliament for a gathering. Now Nathaniel is officially name John Mandrake. At the gathering, an attack is carried out by a group of people that call themselves the Resistance.
The Head of Internal Affairs, Mr. Underwood, is really upset about this attack because he is supposed to be in charge of the finding and stopping the Resistance. Nathaniel is upset, but has better things to do.Nathaniel makes Bartimaeus to spy on Lovelace. Bartimaeus runs into a messenger imp and reads a letter addressed to Sholto Pinn.
Bartimaeus goes to the shop owed by Sholto Pinn and tries to get more information on the Amulet, but gets caught and is taken to the Tower of London. There he is questioned and put in a prison specially designed for demons. Bartimaeus escapes with the help of Farqual and Jabor, Lovelace’s servants. Bartimaeus loses the servants and goes back to Nathaniel, only to find that Nathaniel has gotten into real trouble with his master. Nathaniel got caught spying and his master was mad, furious more like it, and gets interrupted when Simon shows up at his door. Simon demands to know where Mr.
Underwood hid the Amulet, but Underwood doesn’t know what Simon is talking about. Simon keeps asking whether he can see Underwood’s study. Finally Underwood gives in. During all this, Bartimaeus helps Nathaniel to escape. Despite the djinni’s warning, Nathaniel goes down to the study and confesses.
Simon sends one of his servants to kill everybody in the house and burn it down. Nathaniel gets away, only with difficulty. Thus ends Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Underwood. Nathaniel goes into hiding and begins to plan out his revenge.
Bartimaeus helps him by what he found out about Simon and Lovelace. Nathaniel asks Bartimaeus to go and scout a way to get to the conference that Simon is holding outside of London.Getting bored, Nathaniel goes out and explores the streets and meets a paper boy called Stanley. Carrying his scrying glass, the boy and his friend, Fred, steal it and take it to a girl named Kitty. Nathaniel figured out that he just had an encounter with three of the members of the Resistance.
Bartimaeus comes back and is escorts Nathaniel to the conference building where they sneak in and find their way to the conference room.