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Once Upon a Time in the North: His Dark…

Once Upon a Time in the North: His Dark Materials (David Fickling Books) (original 2008; edition 2008)

by Philip Pullman

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,560737,568 (3.8)67
In a time before Lyra Silvertongue was born, the tough American balloonist Lee Scoresby and the great armoured bear Iorek Byrnison meet when Lee and his hare daemon Hester crash-land their trading balloon onto a port in the far Arctic North and find themselves right in the middle of a political powder keg.… (more)
Title:Once Upon a Time in the North: His Dark Materials (David Fickling Books)
Authors:Philip Pullman
Info:Knopf Books for Young Readers (2008), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 112 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:literary fiction, series/trilogy, young adult

Work details

Once Upon a Time in the North by Philip Pullman (2008)

  1. 40
    Lyra's Oxford by Philip Pullman (rosylibrarian)
    rosylibrarian: Both books are related to Pullman's 'His Dark Materials' series and reference many of its beloved characters.
  2. 10
    The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pène du Bois (kaledrina)
  3. 10
    The Creature in the Case by Garth Nix (ed.pendragon)
    ed.pendragon: Alternate Earth fantasy novella featuring magic and non-human creatures.

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» See also 67 mentions

English (68)  German (2)  Swedish (1)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (73)
Showing 1-5 of 68 (next | show all)
I read this one on the train on the way to see [author: Rick Riordan] at Wellesley Booksmith. What a great day!

I was a little worried about this book because Lyra's Oxford was just so weird and read like a writing exercise that they decided to publish to make more money off of suckers like me. I needn't have worried. This is just a fantastic story about how Lee Scoresby and Iorek Byrnison first met. I loved having those characters back with me, and I loved the glimpse into Lyra's post-Spyglass life. I am probably missing an important and obvious connection, but who is the Tom that she writes to? Is that just an indication that she moved on after Will?

One of my old pet peeves did surface, though. The double-page excerpt from The Elements of Aerial Navigation interrupts a sentence. I actually had to flip the pages back and forth a few times because I thought I had mistakenly skipped a page. With all that we can do with book design, why can't we plan these asides so that they don't disrupt the flow of reading?

I haven't tried out the game yet. I'm torn between wanting to see it and wanting to keep my book in pristine condition. Any thoughts? ( )
  amandabock | Dec 10, 2019 |
This is a lively little prequel to the Dark Materials trilogy. 35 years before, Lee Scoresby takes one of his first balloon trips to the North to get into a scrape and meet a certain bear... The addenda give a tiny glimpse into Lyra's future. Pullman is a good narrator backed by a full cast. Hester!!! ( )
  cindywho | May 27, 2019 |
A fun read and a nice companion piece to the trilogy. The physical book is really lovely and the board game in the back is a nice extra. ( )
1 vote Katie80 | Oct 8, 2018 |
Wooo! Two of my favorite characters get a short story on how they met and it was everything I could hope it'd be! ( )
  benuathanasia | Sep 8, 2018 |
I gave the story another go after listening to the audio. I had a much better handle on the political situation going on this time around.

This is still very short and something I'd recommend buying at a discount - I do think it belongs in a collection with Lyra's Oxford and any other tidbits Pullman cares to put out. But this at least adds something to Lee's background, character and history with Iorek (I know how to spell it now!). If you had to pick between this and Lyra for some reason, I'd lean towards this.

Once again, my edition has some nice illustrations and ephemera. ( )
  MillieHennessy | Dec 4, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 68 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pullman, Philipprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lawrence, JohnIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stensen, DanielleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
The battered cargo balloon came in out of a rainstorm over the White Sea, losing height rapidly and swaying in the strong north-west wind as the pilot trimmed the vanes and tried to adjust the gas-valve.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Haiku summary
Lyra Silvertongue's
tale: cowboy meets polar bear
a long time ago.

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