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The Golden Compassby Philip Pullman
Synopses & Reviews
When Lyra and her daemon Pantalaimon decide to spy on a presentation her uncle, the commanding Lord Asriel, is making to the elders of Jordan College, they have no idea that they will become witnesses to an attempted murder — and even less that they are taking the first steps in a journey that will lead them into danger and adventure unlike anything Lyra's unfettered imagination has conjured up.
Though she has been raised at the college in an atmosphere of benign neglect that has allowed her to become a half-wild child of the streets, Lyra soon finds herself apprenticed to the elegant Mrs. Coulter — and in possession of a strange device called the alethiometer, a "golden compass" that reads not true worth, but truth itself.
But truth is a precious commodity, and before long Lyra and Pan are running for their lives, the object of an obsessive hunt by mysterious forces who have been stealing children for dark purposes that no one understands. Lyra will need all her street-learned wiles if she and Pan are to survive.
"Fantastic....A shattering tale that begins with a promise and delivers an entire universe." Kirkus Reviews
"Very grand indeed...scene after scene of power and beauty." The New York Times Book Review
"Arguably the best juvenile fantasy novel of the past 20 years....It's sheerly, breathtakingly, all-stops-out thrilling." The Washington Post
Now available in true digest format comes Pullman's bestselling fantasy of Lyra Belacqua and her daemon familiar, Pantalaimon. When her uncle returns from the North with tales of mystery and danger, his visit sets off a chain of events that draws Lyra into the heart of a terrible struggle.
Lyra Belaqua is content to run wild among the scholars of Jordan College, with her daemon familiar Pantalaimon always by her side. But the arrival of her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, draws her to the heart of a terrible strugglea struggle born of Gobblers and stolen children, witch clans and armored bears. And as she hurtles toward danger in the cold, far North, young Lyra never suspects the shocking truth: She alone is destined to win, or to lose, this more-than-mortal battle.
In a landmark epic of fantasy and storytelling, Philip Pullman invites readers into a world as convincing and thoroughly realized as Narnia, Earthsea, or Redwall. Here lives an orphaned ward named Lyra Belacqua, whose carefree life among the scholars at Oxford's Jordan College is shattered by the arrival of two powerful visitors. First, her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, appears with evidence of mystery and danger in the far North, including photographs of a mysterious celestial phenomenon called Dust and the dim outline of a city suspended in the Aurora Borealis that he suspects is part of an alternate universe. He leaves Lyra in the care of Mrs. Coulter, an enigmatic scholar and explorer who offers to give Lyra the attention her uncle has long refused her. In this multilayered narrative, however, nothing is as it seems. Lyra sets out for the top of the world in search of her kidnapped playmate, Roger, bearing a rare truth-telling instrument, the compass of the title. All around her children are disappearing--victims of so-called Gobblers--and being used as subjects in terrible experiments that separate humans from their daemons, creatures that reflect each person's inner being. And somehow, both Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter are involved.
About the Author
Philip Pullman is a renowned author and storyteller both here and abroad. His books for young readers include the Sally Lockhart trilogy, Spring-Heeled Jack, I Was a Rat!, and Puss in Boots.
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