Catch Up with His Dark Materials

Have you been watching His Dark Materials on HBO? We’re obsessed with the series which brings to life some of our favourite books. If you haven’t started yet, we recommend it – and we definitely recommend diving into Philip Pullman’s fantasy world in general. Here’s where you should start:

The Golden Compass
By Philip Pullman
448 Pages | Ages 10+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780440418320 | Knopf BFYR
Lyra is rushing to the cold, far North, where witch clans and armored 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 endeavors? This is Lyra: a savage, a schemer, a liar, and as fierce and true a champion as Roger or Asriel could want. But what Lyra doesn’t know is that to help one of them will be to betray the other. . .

The Subtle Knife
By Philip Pullman
384 Pages | Ages 10+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780440418337 | Knopf BFYR
Lost in a new world, Lyra finds Will – a boy on the run, a murderer – a worthy and welcome ally. For this is a world where soul-eating Specters stalk the streets and witches share the skies with troops of angels. Each is searching – Lyra for the meaning of Dark Matter, Will for his missing father – but what they find instead is a deadly secret, a knife of untold power. And neither Lyra nor Will suspects how tightly their lives, their loves, their destinies are bound together. . .until they are split apart.

The Amber Spyglass
By Philip Pullman
560 Pages | Ages 10+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780440418566 | Knopf BFYR
Throughout the worlds, the forces of both heaven and hell are mustering to take part in Lord Asriel’s audacious rebellion. Each player in this epic drama has a role to play – and a sacrifice to make. Witches, angels, spies, assassins, tempters, and pretenders, no one will remain unscathed. Lyra and Will have the most dangerous task of all. They must journey to a gray-lit world where no living soul has ever gone and from which there is no escape. As war rages and Dust drains from the sky, the fate of the living – and the dead – comes to depend on Lyra and Will. On the choices they make in love, and for love, forevermore.

Lyra’s Oxford
By Philip Pullman
Illustrated by John Lawrence
80 Pages | Ages 10+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780399555459 | Knopf BFYR
This exciting companion to His Dark Materials tells a not-to-be-missed story about Lyra and her world. When a witch’s daemon crashes onto the roof of Jordan College, Lyra and her daemon, Pan, are eager to help. But as this unlikely trio scours the winding streets of Oxford in search of a famed alchemist, their journey takes a deadly turn. . .This volume also includes a fold-out map of Oxford and fascinating extra glimpses of our favorite characters.

Once Upon a Time in the North
By Philip Pullman
Illustrated by John Lawrence
144 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780399555442 | Knopf BFYR
In this prequel episode from Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials universe, Lee Scoresby – Texan aeronaut and future friend to Lyra Belacqua – is just 24 years old, and he’s recently won his hot-air balloon in a poker game. He finds himself floating North to the windswept Arctic island of Novy Odense, where he and his hare daemon Hester are quickly tangled in a deadly plot involving an oil magnate, a corrupt mayoral candidate, and Lee’s longtime nemesis from the Dakota Country, a hired killer with at least twenty murders to his name. It’s only after Lee forms an alliance with one of the island’s reviled armored bears that he can fight to break up the conspiracy in a gun-twirling classic western shoot out – and battle of wits. A glimpse for Pullman fans into the first friendship of two of the most beloved characters in the His Dark Materials trilogy: Lee Scoresby and armored bear Iorek Byrnison.

Serpentine
By Philip Pullman
Illustrated by Tom Duxbury
80 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593377680 | Knopf BFYR
This companion to His Dark Materials and The Book of Dust offers a tantalizing new glimpse of Lyra and her dæmon, Pantalaimon. The world-changing events of The Amber Spyglass are behind them, and Lyra and Pan find themselves utterly changed as well. In Serpentine, they journey to the far North once more, hoping to ask the Consul of Witches a most urgent question. This brand-new story, a beguiling must-read for Pullman fans old and new, is a perfect companion to His Dark Materials and a fascinating bridge to The Book of Dust.

La Belle Sauvage
By Philip Pullman
480 Pages | Ages 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780553510744 | Knopf BFYR
Malcolm Polstead and his daemon, Asta, are used to overhearing news and the occasional scandal at the inn run by his family. But during a winter of unceasing rain, Malcolm finds a mysterious object – and finds himself in grave danger. Inside the object is a cryptic message about something called Dust; and it’s not long before Malcolm is approached by the spy for whom this message was actually intended. When she asks Malcolm to keep his eyes open, he begins to notice suspicious characters everywhere: the explorer Lord Asriel, clearly on the run; enforcement agents from the Magisterium; a gyptian named Coram with warnings just for Malcolm; and a beautiful woman with an evil monkey for a daemon. All are asking about the same thing: a girl – just a baby – named Lyra. Lyra is at the center of a storm, and Malcolm will brave any peril, and make shocking sacrifices, to bring her safely through it.

The Secret Commonwealth
By Philip Pullman
656 Pages | Ages 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780553510706 | Knopf BFYR
The windows between the many worlds have been sealed and the momentous adventures of Lyra Silvertongue’s youth are long behind her – or so she thought. Lyra is now a twenty-year-old undergraduate at St. Sophia’s College and intrigue is swirling around her once more. Her daemon Pantalaimon is witness to a brutal murder, and the dying man entrusts them with secrets that carry echoes from their past. The more Lyra is drawn into these mysteries, the less she is sure of. Even the events of her own past come into question when she learns of Malcolm Polstead’s role in bringing her to Jordan College. Now Lyra and Malcolm will travel far beyond the confines of Oxford, across Europe and into the Levant, searching for a city haunted by daemons, and a desert said to hold the truth of Dust. The dangers they face will challenge everything they thought they knew about the world, and about themselves.

And once you’re done reading, you can catch up with the show!

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