There are three characters in this book. A commoner (no magical powers), Kitty Jones, a magician: John Mandrake, and a slave spirit, Bartimaeus.
Nathaniel and Bartimaeus, enemies to the end, must work together to defeat group of people who have cropped up to bring down the British government and to keep Nathanie'ls posistion among the great magicians free from opposing ministers.
Evil spirits spread across London. Nathaniel is the only one who may defeat them. For this, he needs Williams Gladstones magical staff of Power, which no magician save Gladstone himself can wield, or has dared to try, due to its amazing capabilites. With this, Nathaniel can save the world. Hopefully.
This report prepared by Steven Scott