Published in 40 countries, Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy - The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass - has graced the "New York Times," "Wall Street Journal," "San Francisco Chronicle," "Book Sense," and "Publishers Weekly" bestseller lists.
"The Golden Compass" forms the first part of a story in three volumes. The first volume is set in a world like ours, but different in many ways. The second volume is set partly in the world we know. The third moves between many worlds.
In" The Golden Compass, " readers meet 11-year-old Lyra Belacqua, a precocious orphan growing up within the precincts of Jordan College in Oxford, England. It quickly becomes clear that Lyra's Oxford is not precisely like our own--nor is her world. In Lyra's world, everyone has a personal daemon, a lifelong animal familiar. This is a world in which science, theology and magic are closely intertwined.
"The Subtle Knife" is the second part of the trilogy that began with "The Golden Compass." That first book was set in a world like ours, but different. This book begins in our own world.
In "The Subtle Knife, " readers are introduced to Will Parry, a young boy living in modern-day Oxford, England. Will is only twelve years old, but he bears the responsibilities of an adult. Following the disappearance of his explorer-father, John Parry, during an expedition in the North, Will became parent, provider and protector to his frail, confused mother. And it's in protecting her that he becomes a murderer, too: he accidentally kills a man who breaks into their home to steal valuable letters written by John Parry. After placing his mother in the care of a kind friend, Will takes those letters and sets off to discover the truth about his father.
"The Amber Spyglass" brings the intrigue of "The Golden Compass" and "The Subtle Knife "to a heartstopping close, marking the third and final volume as the most powerful of the trilogy. Along with the return of Lyra, Will, Mrs. Coulter, Lord Asri