Length: 548 pages
About: Final of fantasy world triology
Style: 3rd person
Where: Fantasy world
When: Not specific
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 and other familiar characters from the first two books 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. So too come startling revelations: the painful price Lyra must pay
to walk through the land of the dead, the haunting power of Dr. Malone's amber spyglass, and the names of who will live—and who will die—for love. And all the while, war rages with the Kingdom of
Heaven, a brutal battle that—in its shocking outcome—will uncover the secret of Dust.
In a valley shaded with rhododendrons, close to the snow line, where a stream milky with meltwater splashed and where doves and linnets flew among the immense pines, lay a cave, half-hidden by the
crag above and the stiff heavy leaves that clustered below.
The woods were full of sound: the stream between the rocks, the wind among the needles of the pine branches, the chitter of insects and the cries of small arboreal mammals, as well as the
birdsong; and from time to time a stronger gust of wind would make one of the branches of a cedar or a fir move against another and groan like a cello.
If anything, The Amber Spyglass is more intense than its predecessors. The climaxes are bigger; there is a fresh fire in the writing; and there is a wonderful new cast of characters - notably, a
pair of gay angels. Above all, Pullman pursues his central philosophical theme with even greater passion.
For full review click here
The Guardian, Julia Eccleshall, 28th October 2000
Not so good
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
For full review click here
Publishers Weekly, 10 September 2000
About the author
Philip Pullman was born in 1946 in Norwich, England and was brought up in Rhodesia, Australia, London and Wales. Philip graduated from Oxford University
in 1973 with a degree in English, and has taught middle school at Westminter College.
His father was killed in a plane crash in 1953 when Pullman was seven, being posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC).
His mother remarried and, with a move to Australia, came Pullman's discovery of comic books including Superman and Batman, a medium which he continues to espouse. From 1957 he was educated at
Ysgol Ardudwy in Harlech, Gwynedd, and spent time in Norfolk with his grandfather, a clergyman. Around this time Pullman discovered John Milton's Paradise Lost, which would become a major influence
for His Dark Materials.
Pullman married Judith Speller in 1970 and began teaching children aged 9 to 13 at Bishop Kirk Middle School in Summertown, North Oxford and writing school plays.