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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
20,123346127 (4)163
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.
  1. 52
    The Neverending Story by Michael Ende (Leishai)
    Leishai: Also a story about fantasy with another world
  2. 30
    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (thebookpile)
  3. 20
    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 163 mentions

English (332)  Spanish (2)  French (2)  Italian (2)  German (2)  Croatian (1)  Swedish (1)  Danish (1)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (345)
Showing 1-5 of 332 (next | show all)
Pullman, Philip. The Amber Spyglass. His Dark Materials No. 3. Scholastic, 2000.
Be warned: Here there be spoilers. If this were football, I would penalize Pullman 15 yards for piling on. We have another magical McGuffin that allows an ex-nun, Mary Malone (no points for name originality), to see stuff no good nun should see. We have a Miltonic battle that takes our two villains into an abyss, but don’t worry, one of them is saving humanity, because she has learned to appreciate motherhood. Really. We have more critters, the best being wheeled trees, because, oh well, we are going to need them after we harrow hell. We harrow hell, because you can never have too much allegory or allusions to Homer and Dante to go with your Miltonic main course. We also could not just leave Roger, the Kitchen Boy, hanging out in hell. there is some unrequited Romeo and Juliet, a corny way to break a magic knife. Lots of ghosts and witches and fairy-like gritters, and dust—we do finally figure out what is going on with it, and the Gyptians barely make it in at the end. Whew. And, dang it, Pandalamion decides to settle as a nasty little pine marten. Eew. I have no idea how to rate this mess. It does seem to be beloved by everyone but me. ( )
  Tom-e | Aug 19, 2020 |
I must admit I had some difficulty to finish this book and was a bit disappointed with it. Maybe I will read it again (when I have finished reading the 1929 books on my reading list). ( )
  phcallefr | Aug 15, 2020 |
The final book in the ‘His dark materials’ trilogy is the most complex of the three, with the action taking place across multiple worlds. Metatron, the Regent of the Authority, from whose malign power, the Magisterium derived its influence and control joins his forces in a fearful battle with those of Asriel. After a titanic struggle this comes to a terrifying climax, which is only resolved by a great sacrifice which may allow Lyra and Will to continue their attempt to resolve the mystery of Dust. In fact, the theme of willing sacrifice echoes throughout the three books, for this is necessary for Lyra and Will to protect the various worlds and to save them from losing their inhabitants’ feeling of enjoyment and compassion. This leads to the most harrowing choice for Lyra and Will and makes for an extremely moving and touching ending to Pullman’s terrific series.
  camharlow2 | Aug 1, 2020 |
I honestly don't know how to review this book. I liked it but it was weird. The end felt weird. I thought the battle with the forces of the Authority and Metatron would be... more. And that Lyra and Will would have a more active part on it.

I got bored with all the Mary side story in that world. I thought that the conflict within the two groups of creatures (the giants birds and the mulefa) would be explored more and that that was going to be the main point on that side story. But then all ended in... nothing.

What I did like was the feeling of true epic fantasy of this book. The different worlds and creatures presented were cool, and my favorite part was definitely the world of the dead. I was confused at first when Will's daemon didn't appear like his father's but then it kind of make sense... kind of.

I also liked the message of the book, but the ending felt like it should be different. I don't know. I still feel weird about it.

Anyway, a good book in general, a little disappointing because the start of the trilogy was great, but still good and I like it. ( )
  Merlucito | Jul 30, 2020 |
This book disappointed me. Lyra spends much of the book lieing, cheating, misleading, while justifying it all as necessary yet maintaining that it is important to keep promises. The author seems kind of heavy handed in promoting his world view, and, at least to me, it just doesn't hold up as something i'd want to emulate at all. Book 2 was the highlight of the trilogy. ( )
  JohnKaess | Jul 23, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 332 (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 (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pullman, Philipprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bailey, PeterIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bützow, HeleneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bruno, FrancescoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rohmann, EricCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tulinius, Gretesecondary 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.
“But there’s my mother. I’ve got to go back and look after her. I just left her with Mrs Cooper, and it’s not fair on either of them.”

“But it’s not fair on you to have to do that.”

“No,” he said, “but that’s a different sort of not fair. That’s just like an earthquake or a rainstorm. It might not be fair, but no one’s to blame. But if I just leave my mother with an old lady who isn’t very well herself, then that’s a different kind of not fair. That would be wrong.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

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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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)

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