The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials, #3)

by Philip Pullman

David Scutt (Illustrator)

4 of 5 stars 27 ratings • 4 reviews • 35 shelved
Book cover for The Amber Spyglass

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The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials, #3)

by Philip Pullman

David Scutt (Illustrator)

4 of 5 stars 27 ratings • 4 reviews • 35 shelved

The unforgettable His Dark Materials trilogy that began with The Golden Compass—the modern fantasy classic that Entertainment Weekly named an "All-Time Greatest Novel" and Newsweek hailed as a "Top 100 Book of All Time"—and continued with The Subtle Knife, reaches its astonishing conclusion in The Amber Spyglass.

Throughout the worlds, the forces of both heaven and hell are mustering to take part in Lord Asriel's audacious rebellion. Each player in this epic drama has a role to play—and a sacrifice to make. Witches, angels, spies, assassins, tempters, and pretenders, no one will remain unscathed.

Lyra and Will have the most dangerous task of all. They must journey to a gray-lit world where no living soul has ever gone and from which there is no escape.

As war rages and Dust drains from the sky, the fate of the living—and the dead—comes to depend on Lyra and Will. On the choices they make in love, and for love, forevermore.

A #1 New York Times Bestseller
Winner of the Whitbread Award
Winner of the British Book Award (Children's)
Published in 40 Countries
"Masterful.... This title confirms Pullman's inclusion in the company of C.S. Lewis and Tolkien." —Smithsonian Magazine

"Pullman has created the last great fantasy masterpiece of the twentieth century. An astounding achievement." —The Cincinnati Enquirer

"War, politics, magic, science, individual lives and cosmic destinies are all here . . . shaped and assembled into a narrative of tremendous pace by a man with a generous, precise intelligence. I am completely enchanted." —The New York Times Book Review

"Breathtaking adventure . . . a terrific story, eloquently told." The Boston Globe

Don't miss Philip Pullman's epic new trilogy set in the world of His Dark Materials!
La Belle Sauvage
The Secret Commonwealth
  • ISBN10 0590542443
  • ISBN13 9780590542449
  • Publish Date 12 February 2000
  • Publish Status Out of Print
  • Out of Print 26 February 2010
  • Publish Country GB
  • Publisher Scholastic
  • Imprint Scholastic Press
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 560
  • Language English


Avatar for clq

clq 4 of 5 stars
This book was a strange experience. I was thoroughly bored the first 100 pages. As with The Subtle Knife, I failed to immerse myself in the universe of the book enough to appreciate what was essentially an elaboration on the politics between, and within, the races established in the previous books. I put most of the blame for this on myself, and I should have seen it coming after The Subtle Knife. I knew that the book was probably giving me good stuff, I just didn't appreciate what the book was giving me.

Then, after 100 pages, The Amber Spyglass started getting really interesting to me as well. Once Death turned up, I found myself getting on board. It then turned into quite an exploration of what Death is and isn't, and takes elements of religion and, completely without respect (in a good way), tears them up and employs them in its own story-telling. I can imagine that much of the treatment of religion would probably be quite controversial, especially in a children's book, but it got really entertaining.

The story also ties up very nicely, and sometimes it becomes properly emotional. While the mythology of the book might be subtle in places, there is nothing subtle about the plot. The emotion, the love, and the hard choices the characters have to make are all used for all they are worth - and then a little more for good measure. This works well, and the over-the-top'ness of elements of the plot kind of works well with the ambiguity (for me at least) of the universe it takes place in.

The Amber Spyglass is undoubtedly a good book, and I can really see how someone could love The Dark Materials trilogy. I didn't love it, but I'm glad to have read it, and given the amount of people who absolutely love these books I think everyone should probably give them a try to see if they might be one of them.

Avatar for clementine

clementine 4 of 5 stars
I understand the criticisms of this book as the end of the series - it doesn't feel as cohesive as the previous two, there are a lot of characters to keep track of (some of whom don't necessarily add a lot to the narrative), it's quite a departure from the plot of The Golden Compass, some of the characters are taken to surprising and possibly unrealistic places, the idea of two twelve-year-old children achieving so much is in itself unrealistic...

And yet none of this significantly detracts from my enjoyment of the book and the series as a whole. I don't mind that these are extraordinary children, because the point is that they're the fulfilment of a prophecy - they're not normal kids thrust into a wild situation, they are incredible and that's why they exist. They're still believably children - afraid, stubborn, idealistic, naïve. Pullman captures childhood incredibly accurately; he doesn't underestimate or overestimate their capacity for intelligence, resourcefulness, affect.

Once again, Pullman manages to invoke such strong emotions. The longing I had to experience the languid, gentle world of the mulefa, the sorrow at the world of the dead, the absolute devastation of Lyra and Pan's separation, the alethiometer's sudden illegibility, the revelation that Will and Lyra must part ways. The pain of growing up is explored so beautifully here.

If anything, there are so many different locales explored in this book that I wish I'd had more time in each world. Though this is a long book at over 500 pages, I wanted more development of certain aspects. I'd remembered Will and Lyra's time in the world of the dead as much longer and more drawn out, and though it was painful and dark and scary and sad, it was perhaps too brief for such a fascinating and complex place. And I wanted to know more about Mary, who is such a compelling secondary character.

That said, Pullman's writing is simply beautiful and so evocative that it's hard not to be pulled in to the story, wherever he takes it. This ending is perfect to me - satisfying in some ways, heartbreaking beyond belief in others. That's exactly as it should be.

Avatar for purplemoonmyst

Hillary 5 of 5 stars

This is the third book in His Dark Materials trilogy. I read the first two during Banned Book Week but never got around to reading this one until I got my Nook for Christmas and downloaded it from my library.
From Good Reads: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.
My Review: This book is just as good as the previous two in the trilogy.  The story continues with Will trying to find Lyra and the angel’s who want him to give the Subtle Knife to Lord Asriel in the fight against the authority.
Lyra and Will want to travel to the Land of the Dead but will they be willing to pay the price to do so?
This book covers a multitude of feelings. The lengths people will go to for love. The price people must pay for things they feel they must do among other things. This book will cause one to think about how in real life we must do these things too.This review was originally posted on Adventures in Never Never Land

Avatar for adastra

adastra 2 of 5 stars
I like the message and the ideas behind these books, but the plot didn't really blow me off my feet. Especially the whole big battle is completely underdeveloped for something which was granted so much attention in the earlier books. The dusty conclusion doesn't really satisfy after 3 volumes of building up to... what exactly?!