I raced through the trilogy, glad the only wait I had to experience between volumes was the time it took to catch my breath.
"His Dark Materials," is a deep climb into myth and archetype that is the hero's journey, a critique of organized religion, a travelogue of alternate worlds, and a breathtaking adventure. Philip Pullman has pulled together a cast of characters that seems to touch on the entire diversity of Western mythology, including the wild-western; as well as every dark bedroom fear of childhood. The trilogy is grounded in the coming-of-age story of his protagonists (Lyra and Will), and flies into fantasy with the telling of a new age in the universe.
As a writer Mr. Pullman works a dynamic that races with gore and violence, gentles in natural idyll, provokes with psychology, philosophy, theology, and what some would call "heresy," and compels with deft plotting, and well crafted characters.
I'm glad I read this series as an adult, wish I had read it as a 12 year old, would recommend it to the mature young reader with no hesitation, and to the older reader who has not lost his or her sense of wonder.
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His Dark Materials is a trilogy of fantasy novels by Philip Pullman comprising Northern Lights (1995, published as The Golden Compass in North America), The Subtle Knife (1997) and The Amber Spyglass (2000). It follows the coming-of-age of two children, Lyra Belacqua and Will Parry, as they wander through a series of parallel universes against a backdrop of epic events. The three novels have won various awards, most notably The Amber Spyglass, the 2002 Whitbread Book of the Year prize, while the trilogy as a whole took third place in the BBC's Big Read poll in 2003.
The story involves fantasy elements such as witches and armoured polar bears, and alludes to a broad range of ideas from fields such as physics, philosophy, theology and spirituality. The trilogy functions in part as a retelling and inversion of John Milton's epic, Paradise Lost; with Pullman commending humanity for what Milton saw as its most tragic failing. The series has drawn criticism from some religious individuals and groups due to its alleged negative portrayal of organized religion.
Pullman's publishers have primarily marketed the series to young adults, but Pullman also intended to speak to adults. North American printings of The Amber Spyglass have censored passages describing Lyra's incipient sexuality.
Pullman has published two short stories related to His Dark Materials: "Lyra and the Birds", which appears with accompanying illustrations in the small ...