Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy (The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass) has become a modern classic of fantasy literature, beloved by adults as well as children. Lyra's Oxford offers a return, however briefly, to this distinctive and unforgettable world. This compact volume contains a forty-nine-page short story, "Lyra and the Birds," that is as enchanting as the earlier novels -- though I dare not reveal any of the details for those readers who have yet to experience Pullman's series firsthand (what are you waiting for?). What is arguably most notable about this book is the ephemera included: gorgeous engravings by John Lawrence, some reproductions of authentic-seeming postcards, and a fold-out map of Pullman's Oxford. As noted in the introduction, "The world is full of...all kinds of things that once served a real and useful purpose, but have now become cut adrift from the things and the people they relate to." These are the very miscellanies with which Pullman has filled his book, and they are intriguing both individually and in tandem with the story. While it will most likely be a curiosity piece to the uninitiated, for any true Pullman fan Lyra's Oxford offers a delicious puzzle and a little something extra, like a slice of pie and a scoop of ice cream after a sumptuous feast. Chris Bolton, Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
, a collectible clothbound gift hardcover, includes not
only a beguiling new His Dark Materials episode from Whitbread
Award-winning author Philip Pullman but also black-and-white woodcut
illustrations by John Lawrence, a lavishly-illustrated fold-out map of
in three colors, and other ephemera never before seen
in this world.
Lyra's Oxford opens in the thrilling comfort and familiarity of Jordan
College, where Lyra and Pantalaimon sit on the sun-drenched roof looking
out over all of Oxford. But their peace is shattered when a strange bird
a witch's daemon, on its own tumbles out of the sky. It is
Ragi, daemon of Yelena Pazhets, and he seeks a healing elixir from an
infamous Oxford alchemist (and rumored man slaughterer) to cure his witch
of a strange new disease from the South. Lyra and Pan decide to help and
guide him witches are friends, of course but the closer their
winding walk leads them to the alchemist's house, the stronger Lyra's sense
that she's walking into a deadly trap.
"Fans who can't get enough of Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy will embrace this small, gifty-looking cloth volume....[P]uzzle enthusiasts will enjoy poring over the clues." Publishers Weekly
Lyra's Oxford is a short story depicting the fate of Lyra Belacqua after her adventures in the His Dark Materials trilogy.
An exciting new tale set in the world of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials saga. This collectible hardcover volume includes a short story by Mr. Pullman, plus a fold-out map of Oxford and various "souvenirs" from the past. The book is illustrated throughout with woodcut illustrations by John Lawrence.
About the Author
Philip Pullman has won many distinguished prizes, including the Carnegie Medal for The Golden Compass
(and the reader-voted "Carnegie of Carnegies" for the best children's book of the past seventy years); the Whitbread (now Costa) Book of the Year Award for The Amber Spyglass
; a Booker Prize long-list nomination (The Amber Spyglass
); Parents' Choice Gold Awards (The Subtle Knife
and The Amber Spyglass
); and the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, in honor of his body of work. In 2004, he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
Philip Pullman is the author of many books for young readers, including two volumes related to the His Dark Materials trilogy: Lyra's Oxford and Once Upon a Time in the North. He lives in Oxford, England. To learn more, please visit www.philip-pullman.com and www.hisdarkmaterials.com.