The first volume of Pullman’s iconic fantasy saga is a stunning display of storytelling, characterisation and world-building that leaves all its competitors and imitators for dust. Set in an alternate universe of species-shifting daemons, magical artefacts and forbidden knowledge, Northern Lights is the first step on a phenomenal journey of literary discovery.
Shortlisted for the British Book Awards 30 from 30 Award 2020
Somewhere out there is the origin of all the Dust, all the death, the sin, the misery, the destructiveness of the world. Human beings can’t see anything without wanting to destroy it, Lyra. That’s original sin. And I’m going to destroy it. Death is going to die.
It begins with a girl and her daemon
The girl is Lyra Belacqua, an orphan who lives in a place like, and yet unlike, Oxford in a parallel universe in which science, theology and magic are entwined. Yet for Lyra, her world is about climbing the rooftops of the Oxford colleges with her friend Roger, enthralling the neighbourhood children with her tales and keeping out of the way of the scholars of Jordan College.
Then children start to go missing, snatched mysteriously by a group the children call ‘The Gobblers’. When Roger is taken, Lyra founds herself bound up in a dangerous chase, a daring game of cat-and-mouse that sees her on the run from the highest authorities.
It is a hunt that will take her far from Oxford, to high-society London and the home of the mysterious and beautiful Mrs Coulter and beyond, to the home of the witches and the kingdom of the ice bears where the aurora awaits.
Here Lyra’s quest for answers becomes a mission to understand a mysterious phenomenon called Dust and there are secrets too, about her own family, about a prophecy, about betrayal and about the universe; secrets that come at a deadly cost.
‘Without stories, we wouldn’t be human beings at all.’ - Philip Pullman
‘As always, Pullman is a master at combining impeccable characterizations and seamless plotting, maintaining a crackling pace to create scene upon scene of almost unbearable tension. This glittering gem will leave readers of all ages eagerly awaiting the next instalment of Lyra’s adventures.’— Publishers Weekly
About His Dark Materials:
Published by Scholastic between 1995 and 2000, the His Dark Materials trilogy is widely regarded as a modern classic and is probably the series Waterstones’ booksellers most frequently cite as their favourite.
Its heroine, Lyra Belacqua, frequently tops polls as an all-time favourite character, appearing in the Top 10 Favourite Heroes on World Book Day 2016. The New Statesman wrote of the trilogy: “Once in a lifetime a children’s author emerges who is so extraordinary that the imagination of generations is altered… The most ambitious work since The Lord of the Rings, [His Dark Materials] is as intellectually thrilling as it is magnificently written.”
Individually, the three books of His Dark Materials – Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass – have won several literary prizes, counting amongst them the Carnegie Medal (1996) and Carnegie of Carnegies (2007) and the Costa Award (2001).
The books have been adapted for stage and screen countless times, including Nicholas Wright’s acclaimed 2004 stage adaptation of His Dark Materials, directed by Nicholas Hytner at the National Theatre. His Dark Materials will appear once again in a BBC One adaptation in 2018, adapted by Jack Thorne and produced by Bad Wolf and New Line Cinema. The BBC called the upcoming adaptation “a drama event for young and old - a real family treat that shows [the BBC’s] commitment to original and ambitious storytelling.”
Number of pages: 448
Weight: 280 g
Dimensions: 203 x 142 x 29 mm
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I adore this series of books. Beautifully written they are full of magic, fantasy and adventure. You cannot help but get absorbed by Pullman's world and his characters. Everyone should read them.
“Pan is my favorite character”
Northern Lights by Philip Pullman is set in parallel universe where peoples souls are in animal forms, a dæmon, and there is a mysterious thing called dust witch is what Lyra and Pan set off the investigate.... More
Lyra and her daemon, Pan, have lives their wholes lives in Jordan College, Oxford. Lyra has been raised by the scholars there and has grown up half-wild, not listening to authority, always getting into trouble, not... More
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