The Amber Spyglass

Philip Pullman

The last installment in this trilogy is epic and amazing. Overall the group of books is incredibly nuanced and well-paced, and about the only thing I found lacking through it all was the absence of the status of one character at the end of the second book, not to be heard from again until the seventh chapter in this one. Otherwise the story builds to an amazing point, where the details are clearly stated but the underlying meanings are free to settle in on their own. I like how Pullman plays with the idea of a happy ending, though I have to resist describing how.

Poking around on his site, I discovered that the series lost Pullman’s illustrations in the first US editions (but were later included in the 2002 edition). Then there is also a reference to a companion book, Lyra’s Oxford, as being “a sort of stepping-stone between the trilogy and the book that’s coming next.” What?! Apparently Pullman is working on another book entitled The Book of Dust. It seems also to be intended as a “companion” (i. e., not a continuation of the trilogy exactly), in the form of a collection of short stories, some of which may make it somewhat of a prequel… except that it hasn’t been written, so who knows? (Pullman last mentioned it a year ago.)