Intro: In this thrilling conclusion to “His Dark Materials“, there is to be a war to stop evil from trying to take over the universe. But do our heroes win?
Mrs. Coulter has taken Lyra and hidden her far away from any prying eyes, in fear that the Magisterium would kill Lyra before she starts the original sin all over again. Will goes off to rescue Lyra with help from Iorek Byrinson, but not without a bit of persuasion on Will’s part, like Will cuts Iorek’s armor with the knife. And because of Lord Asriel‘s bridge, Dust is seeping out in large quantities, causing the disaster known as global warming.
Lyra is in a deep sleep, and she encounter her friend Roger’s ghost and promises to help him. Will and Iorek go to rescue Lyra, but Will breaks the knife as soon as he sees Mrs. Coulter.
Mary ends up going into a world where she meets the mulefa, which are elephant-like creatures with wheels on their feet for travel. She learns about their culture and constructs the Amber Spyglass, which she discovers that the Dust is flowing in all directions and the seed pod trees are dying because no Dust is falling on them.
Will and Lyra have escaped and with their tiny companions, they go to the world of the dead and are forced to leave their daemons behind. They go into the world of the dead and free the ghosts of everyone who died, including Roger, Lee Scoresby, and Stanislaus Grumman. Will cuts a window with the repaired knife and the ghosts disappear into the atmosphere and become atoms.
Mrs. Coulter gets arrested on several occasions and disciplined, and she goes to Asriel’s side. She realizes that she DID love Lyra after all and would do anything to protect her. She and Asriel discover that being human and living a simple human life is a “sin” that the Magisterium wants to suppress. Asriel’s army consists of people from various worlds, all who want to crush the Authority, who thinks he’s really God when he’s just simply an angel and represents the Magisterium’s oppression.
By the time Will and Lyra finish their deadly trip, the battle to stop the Authority has begun. The Authority dies after being freed by Will and Lyra. Lee and Grumman and several other ghosts go off to fight in the battle. Mrs. Coulter meets up with Metatron (who was that first angel) and offers to betray Asriel to him. But Metatron himself has been betrayed and Asriel and Mrs. Coulter (who already decided to sacrifice themselves in order to save Lyra and let her live her life) kill him and they all die.
Will and Lyra eventually meet up with Mary and find their daemons. They eventually fall in love, and that love is what saved Dust (and the world). Serafina Pekkala shows up and tells them that they must go back home to their own worlds and clean up the messes that are there. With a lot of sadness, Will and Lyra part.
Will returns to his world with Mary and their (now visible) daemons. Lyra and Pan return to Jordan College, where Lyra decides to dedicate her life to studying the alethiometer and attend another school. The story ends when Will and Lyra plan to meet each other in a place yearly until they die and are reunited.
My review: I can’t think of a better way to end the series than this. This was a greatly written book.
My recommendation: If you want to know how “His Dark Materials” ends, then read this book.
My rating: *****
- The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman – review (guardian.co.uk)
- The Golden Compass is a Cool Medley of Science Fiction, Period Drama and Astounding Fantasia (socyberty.com)
- Censorship in His Dark Materials (thepilgrimx.com)
- Myth Busting and Myth Building in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials (emilyjanuary.wordpress.com)
- Review: The Golden Compass (Northern Lights) by Philip Pullman (roofbeamreader.net)
- Philip Pullman x 2 (bookwitch.wordpress.com)
- His Dark Materials (brightestpersonality.wordpress.com)
- Pullman turns to Grimm task (bbc.co.uk)
- Mini Review: Once Upon a Time in the North by Philip Pullman (moonlightlibrary.wordpress.com)