- Used Books
- Kobo eReading
- Staff Picks
- Gifts & Gift Cards
- Sell Books
- Stores & Events
Special Offers see all
More at Powell's
Recently Viewed clear list
Used Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
More copies of this ISBN
This title in other editions
Other titles in the His Dark Materials series:
The Amber Spyglass: His Dark Materials, Book IIIby Philip Pullman
Synopses & Reviews
The Amber Spyglass brings the intrigue of The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife to a heart-stopping end, marking the final volume of His Dark Materials as the most powerful of the trilogy. Along with the return of Lyra, Will, Mrs. Coulter, Lord Asriel, Dr. Mary Malone, and Iorek Byrnison the armored bear, come a host of new characters: the Mulefa, mysterious wheeled creatures with the power to see Dust; Gallivespian Lord Roke, a hand-high spymaster to Lord Asriel; and Metatron, a fierce and mighty angel. So, too, come startling revelations: the painful price Lyra must pay to walk through the land of the dead, the haunting power of Dr. Malone's amber spyglass, and the names of who will live — and who will die — for love. And all the while, war rages with the Kingdom of Heaven, a brutal battle that — in its shocking outcome — will uncover the secret of Dust. Philip Pullman deftly brings the cliff-hangers and mysteries of His Dark Materials to an earthshattering conclusion — and confirms his fantasy trilogy as an undoubted and enduring classic.
"[S]atisfies deeply: full of grand set pieces, resplendent language, and glorious storytelling....[A] brilliant and vivid canvas....There are roaring battles and moments of great tenderness; there are unforgettable scenes....Readers will be chastened — and warmed — and sorry to see the last page." Kirkus Reviews
"Absorbing....Like Harry Potter creator J. K. Rowling, [Pullman] invents a world filled with strange divinations and wordplays." Newsweek
"Impossible to put down, so firmly and relentlessly does Pullman draw you into his tale....[A] gripping saga pitting the magnetic young Lyra Belacqua and her friend Will Parry against the forces of both Heaven and Hell." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"Pullman places himself in a tradition of serious symbol makers....[W]hile Pullman may have become caught up in adult theology — and while he has won more grown-up readers with each Dark Materials book — he keeps the swooping plots and passionate characters that make his earlier books so appealing to young readers....[The Amber Spyglass] is nearly as satisfying as the first two [books in the trilogy]....Pullman has mustered a spectacular array of forces in a three-sided battle for control over the universe of universes....He shuts doors and ties up loose ends in a way that feels, for the first time, slightly artificial. Still, that's a very minor flaw in what stands with The Lord of the Rings as one of the most resonant fantasies of our time." Polly Shulman, Salon.com
"Philip Pullman is a writer I very much admire. I think he can write most adult authors off the page....I think he's amazing." J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series
"In concluding the spellbinding His Dark Materials trilogy, Pullman produces what may well be the most controversial children's book of recent years....Stirring and highly provocative." Publishers Weekly
"The book rollicks and careers with the narrative gale force we've come to expect. Philip Pullman achieves effects that rival the best accomplishments of the earlier books. In any given chapter Pullman offers more sensuous description and narrative brio than are found in most entire novels." Horn Book (starred review)
Published in 40 countries, Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy – The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass – has graced the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, Book Sense, and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists.
The Golden Compass forms the first part of a story in three volumes. The first volume is set in a world like ours, but different in many ways. The second volume is set partly in the world we know. The third moves between many worlds.
In The Golden Compass, readers meet 11-year-old Lyra Belacqua, a precocious orphan growing up within the precincts of Jordan College in Oxford, England. It quickly becomes clear that Lyra's Oxford is not precisely like our own—nor is her world. In Lyra's world, everyone has a personal dæmon, a lifelong animal familiar. This is a world in which science, theology and magic are closely intertwined.
The Subtle Knife is the second part of the trilogy that began with The Golden Compass. That first book was set in a world like ours, but different. This book begins in our own world.
In The Subtle Knife, readers are introduced to Will Parry, a young boy living in modern-day Oxford, England. Will is only twelve years old, but he bears the responsibilities of an adult. Following the disappearance of his explorer-father, John Parry, during an expedition in the North, Will became parent, provider and protector to his frail, confused mother. And it's in protecting her that he becomes a murderer, too: he accidentally kills a man who breaks into their home to steal valuable letters written by John Parry. After placing his mother in the care of a kind friend, Will takes those letters and sets off to discover the truth about his father.
The Amber Spyglass brings the intrigue of The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife to a heartstopping close, marking the third and final volume as the most powerful of the trilogy. Along with the return of Lyra, Will, Mrs. Coulter, Lord Asriel, Dr. Mary Malone, and Iorek Byrnison the armored bear, The Amber Spyglass introduces a host of new characters: the Mulefa, mysterious wheeled creatures with the power to see Dust; Gallivespian Lord Roke, a hand-high spy-master to Lord Asriel; and Metatron, a fierce and mighty angel. And this final volume brings startling revelations, too: the painful price Lyra must pay to walk through the land of the dead, the haunting power of Dr. Malone's amber spyglass, and the names of who will live—and who will die—for love. And all the while, war rages with the Kingdom of Heaven, a brutal battle that—in its shocking outcome—will reveal the secret of Dust.
1. Dust, Dark Matter, and Sraf are three different names for the same material. How do these names reflect the different worlds they come from? What attitudes and feelings does each society have about this material?
2. Why do you think the subtle knife breaks when Will thinks of his mother? When the knife breaks, do you think Mrs. Coulter is aware of her influence on Will? Are there any connections between Mrs. Coulter and Will's mother?
3. In each book of the His Dark Materials trilogy, a special device (such as the alethiometer, the subtle knife, or the amber spyglass) is introduced in connection with the pursuit of Dust. What are the different properties of each instrument? How does each instrument reflect the personality of the person that uses it (i.e., Lyra, Will, and Dr. Malone)?
4. When asked to mend the subtle knife, Iorek is hesitant: "Sometimes a tool may have other uses that you don't know. Sometimes in doing what you intend you also do what the knife intends, without knowing." What do you think the knife's intentions are? Based on these intentions, who do you think created the knife and for what purpose?
5. By the end of The Amber Spyglass, what similiarites can you see between Lyra and Mrs. Coulter? How is Lyra's storytelling different from Mrs. Coulter's lying?
6. In The Amber Spyglass, Mrs. Coulter goes through a dramatic transformation as her maternal feelings for Lyra break through to the surface. What is the catalyst for this change?
About the Author
A graduate of Oxford University and a former teacher at Westminster College, Philip Pullman has written novels, plays, and picture books for readers of all ages. He lives with his family in England.
What Our Readers Are Saying
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:
Other books you might like