The Amber Spyglass brings the intrigue of The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife to a heart-stopping end, marking the final volume of His Dark Materials as the most powerful of the trilogy.Along with the return of Lyra, Will, Mrs. Coulter, Lord Asriel, Dr. Mary Malone, and Iorek Byrnison the armored bear, come a host of new characters: the Mulefa, mysterious wheeled creatures with the power to see Dust; Gallivespian Lord Roke, a hand-high spymaster to Lord Asriel; and Metatron, a fierce and mighty angel.
- Costa Book Awards
In concluding the spellbinding His Dark Materials trilogy, Pullman produces what may well be the most controversial children's book of recent years. The witch Serafina Pekkala, quoting an angel, sums up the central theme: "All the history of human life has been a struggle between wisdom and stupidity. The rebel angels, the followers of wisdom, have always tried to open minds; the Authority and his churches have always tried to keep them closed." Early on, this "Authority" is explicitly identified as the Judeo-Christian God, and he is far from omnipotent: his Kingdom is ruled by a regent. The cosmic battle to overthrow the Kingdom is only one of the many epic sequences in this novel--so much happens, and the action is split among so many different imagined worlds, that readers will have to work hard to keep up with Pullman. In the opening, for example, Lyra is being hidden and kept in a drugged sleep in a Himalayan cave by her mother, the beautiful and treacherous Mrs. Coulter. Will is guided by two angels across different worlds to find Lyra. The physicist and former nun, Mary Malone, sojourns in an alternatively evolved world. In yet another universe, Lord Asriel has assembled a great horde of otherworldly beings-including the vividly imagined race of haughty, hand-high warriors called Gallivespians--to bring down the Kingdom. Along the way, Pullman riffs on the elemental chords of classical myth and fairy tale. While some sections seem rushed and the prose is not always as brightly polished as fans might expect, Pullman's exuberant work stays rigorously true to its own internal structure. Stirring and highly provocative. Ages 12-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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1 . My favorite book in my favorite series of all time
Posted June 21, 2009 by Avery , The Woodlands, TXI bought this book at a local book fair in the first weeks of release. The author was not well known, and all of the controversy that is currently behind the book didn't exist. Reading the first, which is a little slow to start, I was then swept in to a magical and flat-out amazing world. As the story progressed, culminating in this little atom-bomb of a book, there was nothing that could keep me from finishing. I've read each of the three books at least 5 times each over the years, and I literally find tons of information and new meaning that I have missed. I assure you that this is not because of poor reading skills, there are literally layers of meaning and symbolism here for everyone to sort through.
The only thing that makes me sad is how this book is marketed for young adults, which I don't understand. Clearly written for a more mature audience, it is sad to see how many adults miss out on this amazing trilogy due to its classification as a Y.A. novel. It has the charming allure of a rich fantasy that any age group can enjoy. I recommend giving it a chance, because you will not be disappointed.
Knopf Books for Young Readers
December 31, 1999
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