The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
Book One of His Dark Materials
Published by Laurel Leaf
In the world of The Golden Compass, every human has a daemon. They are an extension of a person’s soul. Whatever a daemon feels, their human feels as well. Lyra and her daemon Pan spend their days wandering around Oxford college, listening to the Scholars when they choose and wandering the streets to play with other children. Always ready for another adventure, Lyra is excited to learn she will be traveling North with Mrs. Coulter. Until she learns the horrible truth of what happens in the North. Her journey becomes a race to save her friends and family. Along the way, she will learn the bitter truth about betrayal and dark ambitions.
The Golden Compass is one of those books that stays with you. I first read this ten years ago, and I have never forgotten the elegant writing style or the gripping story of Lyra as she tries to save those she cares about. Lyra is a girl with a rabid imagination, able to spin a tale at the drop of a hat and entrance whatever audience she has, including the reader. Phillip Pullman has woven together a vivid display of cultures and philosophical theories into one enchanting tale.
I know there are people who refer to this book as religious, or political. Being someone who doesn’t necessarily follow organized religion, or politics, the details that some readers pick up on that revolve on religion or politics simply are beyond me. To me, this was an intricate fantasy tale that I found entertaining from start to finish. Yes, when Iorek and the bears are introduced it mentions Christianity, but I just took it as another piece of world-building. I have never read beyond the first book, so perhaps I will pick up more on these themes as I continue to read.
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