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The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
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The Amber Spyglass (2000)

by Philip Pullman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: His Dark Materials (3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
16,683290106 (4.02)103
  1. 52
    The Neverending Story by Michael Ende (Leishai)
    Leishai: Also a story about fantasy with another world
  2. 10
    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (thebookpile)
  3. 10
    Sabriel by Garth Nix (Morteana)
  4. 10
    Cold Fire by Kate Elliott (Jen448)
  5. 21
    The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers (Leishai)
  6. 00
    The Once and Future King by T. H. White (themulhern)
    themulhern: This book follows a similar trajectory to the HDM trilogy, starting out fairly light and bright and growing gradually more somber, mature, and troubled.
  7. 11
    Lycidas by Christoph Marzi (Leishai)
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» See also 103 mentions

English (278)  French (2)  Spanish (2)  Italian (1)  Croatian (1)  Swedish (1)  German (1)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (288)
Showing 1-5 of 278 (next | show all)
In the third and final installment of the His Dark Materials trilogy, Lyra has been kidnapped by her mother. She's been drugged into a deep sleep, presumably for her own protection, as her mother has just now started feeling maternal instincts, however misguided they may be. It's up to Will to rescue her so they can continue on their journey from the previous book.

Lyra and Will must head into the world of the dead for two reasons: for Lyra to make amends with Roger, and for Will to speak with his father. As the two of them search for the way to the world of the dead (because it's not quite as simple as just cutting a window), they meet tiny Gallivespian spies and sassy angels. While Lyra and Will journey into this unknown world, Mary Malone begins a new life with the Mulefa in a parallel world, where she inadvertently expands upon her previous research on Dust.

Oh, this book broke my heart. I cried. More than once. This one wasn't particularly fun to read, and it doesn't have a happy ending. But the ending was fitting, and if you've read the other two books of the series, you wouldn't expect this installment to be particularly fun anyway.

Lyra and Will grow up in this book. Sure, they started to grow up in The Subtle Knife, but they become almost-adults here. They learn tough lessons. They get their hearts and spirits broken. Pullman's not shy with destroying their hopes and dreams, or the hopes and dreams of his readers.

As with my previous reviews of the series, here are four things I really liked in this book:

1) Mary Malone and the Mulefa. Of all the parallel worlds we encounter in this trilogy, I think the world of the Mulefa was my favorite. These oddly diamond-shaped creatures who roll around on wheels was such a departure from Pullman's other worlds, whose creatures were fairly similar to ours. The ability of the Mulefa to live hand-in-hand with nature was wonderful, and I loved the way Mary's previous research tied into their needs.

2) Death. I loved the whole idea of death in this book, in particular the idea that your death is floating around you all the time, and if you just acknowledge it, it can be almost a comfort to you. However, if you fear your death, try to avoid and ignore it, it becomes something that haunts you. I really liked the idea of personifying death to be someone that will help you through to the world of the dead.

3) Mrs. Coulter. I know, I know. How can I have liked her in this book? It's not so much her character that I liked, but what Pullman did with it. Is she good? Is she evil? Has she had a change of heart? Does she really care about Lyra, or is she just using her? Does she plan to betray Lord Asriel or not? She kept me on my toes. I much prefer that to a character who is obviously a bad person.

4) As with The Subtle Knife, Will and Lyra's relationship. These two were responsible for at least half my tears in this book. The way things turned out was heartbreaking, but it fit with the overall theme of the book, and I can't fault Pullman for that.

What a book. What a series. I'm so glad I read it, and only upset that I didn't do it sooner. ( )
  Sara.Newhouse | Feb 11, 2016 |
Excellent ending to His Dark Materials! This is a good series to engage your imagination, particularly the audio version. ( )
  deldevries | Jan 31, 2016 |
Almost as good as the first (and best) in the trilogy, but loses points for, in my opinion, the needless cruelty of the ending. I'm sorry, I get the thematic relevance, I just don't care. I'm also not looking for a 100% happy ending, but COME ON. ( )
  thebookmagpie | Jan 30, 2016 |
Almost as good as the first (and best) in the trilogy, but loses points for, in my opinion, the needless cruelty of the ending. I'm sorry, I get the thematic relevance, I just don't care. I'm also not looking for a 100% happy ending, but COME ON. ( )
  hoegbottom | Jan 30, 2016 |
Almost as good as the first (and best) in the trilogy, but loses points for, in my opinion, the needless cruelty of the ending. I'm sorry, I get the thematic relevance, I just don't care. I'm also not looking for a 100% happy ending, but COME ON. ( )
  hoegbottom | Jan 30, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 278 (next | show all)
And as the bumpy journey among these dark materials comes to an end, there is the most moving of scenes: all fantasy subdued and only human frailty revealed in the real world of Oxford's Botanic Garden.
 

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pullman, Philipprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bützow, HeleneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bruno, FrancescoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pullman, PhilipNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
O tell of His might, O sing of His grace,
Whose robe is the light, whose canopy space,
His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form,
And dark is His path on the wings of the storm.

    Robert Grant, from Hymns Ancient and Modern.
O stars,
isn't it from you that the lover's desire for the face
of his beloved arises? Doesn't his secret insight
into her pure features come from pure constellations?

    Ranier Maria Rilke, The Third Elegy.
    From The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke (transl. Stephen Michell)
Fine vapors escape from whatever is doing the living.
The night is cold and delicate and full of angels
Pounding down the living. The factories are all lit up,
The chime goes unheard.
We are together at last, though far apart.

    John Ashbery, The Ecclesiast.
    From River and Mountains.
Dedication
First words
In a valley shaded with rhododendrons, close to the snow line, where a stream milky with melt-water 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.
Quotations
I used to be a nun, you see. I thought physics could be done to the glory of God, till I saw there wasn't any God at all and that physics was more interesting anyway. The Christian religion is a very powerful and convincing mistake, that's all.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
The unabridged audio recording is narrated by a full cast, so there are a large number of narrators.
Publisher's editors
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Book description
In the astonishing finale to the His Dark Materials trilogy, Lyra and Will are in unspeakable danger. With help from Iorek Byrnison the armored bear and two tiny Gallivespian spies, they must journey to a dank and gray-lit world where no living soul has ever gone. All the while, Dr. Mary Malone builds a magnificent Amber Spyglass. An assassin hunts her down, and Lord Asriel, with a troop of shining angels, fights his mighty rebellion, in a battle of strange allies—and shocking sacrifice.

As war rages and Dust drains from the sky, the fate of the living—and the dead—finally comes to depend on two children and the simple truth of one simple story.
Haiku summary
Heroine suffers.
But in the end it's only
Midi-chlorians.
(Noisy)

No descriptions found.

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Lyra and Will find themselves at the center of a battle between the forces of the Authority and those gathered by Lyra's father, Lord Asriel.

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