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The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials, Book 3) Hardcover – October 10, 2000
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A complex web of thoughts was weaving itself in the bear king's mind, with more strands in it than hunger and satisfaction. There was the memory of the little girl Lyra, whom he had named Silvertongue, and whom he had last seen crossing the fragile snow bridge across a crevasse in his own island of Svalbard. Then there was the agitation among the witches, the rumors of pacts and alliances and war; and then there was the surpassingly strange fact of this new world itself, and the witch's insistence that there were many more such worlds, and that the fate of them all hung somehow on the fate of the child.Meanwhile, two factions of the Church are vying to reach Lyra first. One is even prepared to give a priest "preemptive absolution" should he succeed in committing mortal sin. For these tyrants, killing this girl is no less than "a sacred task."
In the final installment of his trilogy, Philip Pullman has set himself the highest hurdles. He must match its predecessors in terms of sheer action and originality and resolve the enigmas he already created. The good news is that there is no critical bad news--not that The Amber Spyglass doesn't contain standoffs and close calls galore. (Who would have it otherwise?) But Pullman brings his audacious revision of Paradise Lost to a conclusion that is both serene and devastating. In prose that is transparent yet lyrical and 3-D, the author weaves in and out of his principals' thoughts. He also offers up several additional worlds. In one, Dr. Mary Malone is welcomed into an apparently simple society. The environment of the mulefa (again, we'll reveal nothing more) makes them rich in consciousness while their lives possess a slow and stately rhythm. These strange creatures can, however, be very fast on their feet (or on other things entirely) when necessary. Alas, they are on the verge of dying as Dust streams out of their idyllic landscape. Will the Oxford dark-matter researcher see her way to saving them, or does this require our young heroes? And while Mary is puzzling out a cure, Will and Lyra undertake a pilgrimage to a realm devoid of all light and hope, after having been forced into the cruelest of sacrifices--or betrayals.
Throughout his galvanizing epic, Pullman sustains scenes of fierce beauty and tenderness. He also allows us a moment or two of comic respite. At one point, for instance, Lyra's mother bullies a series of ecclesiastical underlings: "The man bowed helplessly and led her away. The guard behind her blew out his cheeks with relief." Needless to say, Mrs. Coulter is as intoxicating and fluid as ever. And can it be that we will come to admire her as she plays out her desperate endgame? In this respect, as in many others, The Amber Spyglass is truly a book of revelations, moving from darkness visible to radiant truth. --Kerry Fried
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
Based on some of the reviews here, much of this series seems to personally offend anyone that is christian. It seems like anything that is threatening to their beliefs is deemed dangerous and negative. However, I think it is a good thing to have your beliefs challenged; it makes you use your mind, question things, and creates thought!
I would much rather have my girls read something they didn't agree with and found distasteful than have their right to read what they want denied. I am grateful for the freedom they experience in our country and the opportunities they are afforded because of it--opportunities to read something like these books that will make them use their minds, for example!
It comes down to this: If you are someone who likes to read, likes to be entertained, likes to use your imagination, and likes to think for yourself rather than allowing someone else to think for you, you will find value in this series!
This three volume boxed set contains the books in hardcover with their original dustcovers. Their artwork is lovely. It also contains a map: a necessity in today's complex world of fantasy.Read more ›
A lot of people say this book is anti-religious, anti-God, atheistic, etc. Most of these reviews have obviously not read the series. I actually found The Golden Compass in the book closet of the Catholic school where I taught English Lit! This book for certain is NOT anti-Christian. It does not preach evil values, & it does not encourage children to kill God. The book has a lot of religious aspects: souls, angels, and spirits. This book IS anti-religious corruption, and it IS against using religion to justify evil. One review mentioned the book encourages female circumcision: so wrong!...what the book said was that religions have used faith in God to cause harm to many, including the cutting of genitalia! And if Pullman is an atheist, so what? C.S. Lewis was a Christian. Does that mean Jews, Muslims and Buddhists can't enjoy the Narnia series, even though its messages aren't parallell to their own religious values?
One thing that I do like is that Pullman creates very strong-minded children for his main characters, especially Lyra.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What a wonderful delightful and complex story, beautifully told! Full of everything I've ever wondered and imagined, woven skillfully together into a fascinating and far-reaching... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Cynthia
great book, of the course the ending is somewhat disappointing but the read was very goodPublished 3 days ago by AvidBuyer2000
I was so happy to find this edition of the set. Came in great condition!Published 5 days ago by Suzanne
Thoroughly enjoyed the wrap up to the trilogy. Everything fell into it's place, ending the childrens' saga. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Think about this
Book 1 and 2 are great! The third is good but you can certainly feel the author getting a bit lazy/bored with the story.Published 29 days ago by average joe