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Lyra's Oxford Hardcover – October 28, 2003
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Attention all serious book collectors and fans of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials. This undoubtedly beautiful package--cloth-bound in a classy red and adorned by numerous illustrations by master engraver and illustrator John Lawrence--is a must-purchase. A pint-sized pocket volume, Lyra's Oxford packages together a short story set in the same universe as his famous trilogy, a fold-out map of the alternate-reality city of Oxford, a short brochure for a cruise to The Levant aboard the S.S. Zenobia, and a postcard from the inventor of the amber spyglass, Mary Malone. Pullman, in his introduction, suggests that the peripheral items within "might be connected with the story, or they might not; they might be connected to stories that havent appeared yet. It's difficult to tell."
A very sumptuous and lovingly crafted but tantalizingly brief book , Lyra's Oxford begins when Lyra and Pantalaimon spot a witch's daemon called Ragi being pursued over the rooftops of Oxford by a frenzied pack of birds. The daemon heads straight for Lyra (the creature was given Lyras name as somebody who might help) and is given shelter. Together Lyra and Pan try to guide the daemon to the home of Sebastian Makepeacean alchemist living in a part of Oxford known as Jericho--but it is a journey fraught with more danger than they had at first anticipated. (Age 10 and over) --John McLay
From School Library Journal
Grade 5-9-Pullman returns to the universe of "His Dark Materials" with this gift-book package anchored by a new short story, "Lyra and the Birds." There are a few other goodies, including a pullout map of Oxford and a postcard from Dr. Mary Malone. In his preface, Pullman indicates that these "-other things might be connected with the story, or they might not; they might be connected to stories that haven't appeared yet. It's not easy to tell." These "souvenirs" give readers something to puzzle out, and to determine how they might (or might not) relate to anything. The short story itself doesn't lack for action. Lyra and her daemon companion, Pantalaimon, happen upon a witch's daemon named Ragi, who has sought out Lyra's help to find an alchemist named Sebastian Makepeace, who may be able to help his witch, Yelena Pazhets, who has been struck by a mysterious illness. The story winds its way through Oxford toward the alchemist's home, ending with an unexpected but ultimately hopeful resolution. The lovely woodcut engravings fit both the design of the book and the tone of the tale perfectly. Full appreciation of the story is very much dependent on having read Pullman's much-acclaimed trilogy.
Tim Wadham, Maricopa County Library District, Phoenix, AZ
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Top customer reviews
If you were a fan of the series, I suggest going to your local library and reading this instead of buying it