Lyra is rushing to the cold, far North, where witch clans and armoured bears rule. North, where the Gobblers take the children they steal – including her friend Roger. North, where her fearsome uncle Asriel is trying to build a bridge to a parallel world.
Can one small girl make a difference in such great and terrible endeavours? This is Lyra: a savage, a schemer, a liar, and as fierce and true a champion as Roger or Asriel could want..
Although similarities are drawn, I think The Golden Compass is darker and addresses more political themes than Harry Potter. Perhaps it is just meant for an older audience than where HP begins.
I love the character of Iorek Byronison, an armoured bear who is strong and honourable, and a tad sarcastic. It is very easy to just devour this enjoyable story.
Also released as The Northern Lights in some countries, The Golden Compass is the first book of His Dark Materials trilogy. I haven’t seen the film but I’m told it’s not as good as the books. So read this first!
Pullman has also written a new novel, The Book of Dust, which is set in the same world but will apparently be the first of another trilogy..
‘That’s the duty of the old,’ said the Librarian, ‘to be anxious on the behalf of the young. And the duty of the young is to scorn the anxiety of the old.’
They sat for a while longer, and then parted, for it was late, and they were old and anxious.
GENRE: Youth Lit, Fantasy
AWARDS: Carnegie Medal Winner 1995.