Debilitating illness between the ages of seven and nine led Stroud to seek refuge in books and he soon began writing and illustrating his own alongside reading voraciously. After graduating from the University of York with a degree in English literature, Stroud worked for Walker Books as an editor which gave him invaluable insight into the storytelling process. Whilst at Walker he penned a handful of puzzle books and sticker storybooks and in 1999 his debut YA novel Buried Fire was published by the Bodley Head. Stroud’s breakthrough came in 2003 with The Amulet of Samarkand, the first instalment in the fantastical Bartimaeus sequence which focused on a wonderfully sarcastic djinn in an alternate, magical London. Together with the following books in the sequence – The Golem’s Eye (2004), Ptolemy’s Gate (2005) and the prequel The Ring of Solomon (2010) – The Amulet of Samarkand attracted rave reviews for its multi-layered world-building and use of satire to highlight class inequality.
In 2013, the first book in the Lockwood and Co. series, The Screaming Staircase, was published to similarly rapturous acclaim and led to the subsequent appearance of four sequels. A television adaptation of the series – centred on the eponymous London-based psychic detection agency – hit screens in January 2023. Stroud’s most recent sequence is Scarlett and Browne, set in a dystopian near future and featuring a pair of daring outlaws and their imaginative heists.
The Bartimaeus Sequence in Order
The Lockwood & Co. Series in Order
The Scarlett & Browne Series in Order
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