The Golden Compass or Northern Lights is the first volume in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy published by Random House. Prepubescent Lyra Belacqua is the heroine of the epic fantasy. Lyra has a gift of stretching the truth. A habit she uses to give importance to herself. Her favorite activities are running across the Oxford University roofs and fighting the town and gyptian children. Roger, the kitchen boy, is her partner in her adventures.
The Golden Compass (Northern Lights)’ Lyra is an orphan. She lives in Jordan College. The College scholars haphazardly provide the female with education and discipline. The powerful Lord Asriel is her uncle. She and the explorer share no sense of family.
Lyra’s Oxford University is not a part of our world. It belongs to an alternative one that is distinct from ours. The people of her world have daemons. A daemon is an extension of the person’s soul. Daemons are there at birth and remains until one’s death. The two cannot survive long periods of time apart.
Lyra Belacqua’s daemon is Pantalaimon or Pan for short. Daemons of those who have not reached puberty can change form. Pantalaimon is a moth at the start of The Golden Compass.
The lyrical world of Lyra changes when she overheads a murder plot against Lord Asriel. She helps him survive the plot. He allows her to listen to his presentation of his last exploration to the North. Roger, her best and only friend, disappears later. There are children disappearing across the country. Lyra is frantic for Roger’s safety.
The country’s population blames the disappearances on the Gobblers. Everyone is afraid and believes the mysterious Gobblers are taking the children to the North. Lyra is determined to go North and recuse Roger. Lord Asriel refuses to take her on his expedition. Lyra overhears talk of a gyptian expedition going North to recapture their missing children. She stowaways on a gyptian boat.
The Golden Compass(Northern Lights) is for children twelve and up. Adults will love the story, too. It is a wonderful epic fantasy novel. The book has a heroine on a quest. It is a noble one, to find her dear friend, Roger. Pan is her companion on the quest. He is her advisor during the journey. Along the trip North, she encounters wondrous characters: witches, talking polar bears and mercenaries.
Philip Pullman’s book, The Golden Compass or Northern Lights, is an original novel with many twists and turns. There are joy, betrayal, heartbreak and endearing friendship. His novel has many new ideas and thoughts not found in other epic fantasy novels. There is plenty of action in the four-hundred page tome. The Children Book Editor recommends The Golden Compass, volume 1 of His Dark Materials trilogy. Take sometime and travel with Lyra and her companions to find the prisoner children. Later, continue Lyra's adventures in The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass.
The Golden Compass
The Subtle Knife
The Amber Spyglass
The Golden Compass
His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman is available in paperback.
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Note: His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman was received complimentary from my editor.