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His Dark Materials The Golden Compass (Book 1)


His Dark Materials Omnibus


"His Dark Materials" is a trilogy that includes "Northern Lights" (also known as "The Golden Compass" in North America), "The Subtle Knife," and "The Amber Spyglass." This series, written by Philip Pullman, is set across a multiverse, navigating through various worlds. It follows the journey of Lyra Belacqua and Will Parry as they explore the complexities of existence, authority, and freedom.


  • Authority and Rebellion: Challenges the concept of absolute authority, particularly critiquing organized religion and its role in society.
  • Knowledge and Ignorance: Explores the pursuit of knowledge, the Adam and Eve story, and the loss of innocence as a necessary part of growing up.
  • Freedom and Predestination: Questions the nature of free will versus destiny, emphasizing the importance of personal choice.

Key Characters

  • Lyra Belacqua: A young girl with the ability to read the Alethiometer, embarking on a journey to understand Dust.
  • Will Parry: A boy from our world who becomes the bearer of the Subtle Knife, capable of cutting between worlds.
  • Marisa Coulter: Lyra's mother, a complex character with conflicting motivations.
  • Lord Asriel: Lyra's father, whose ambitious plans involve challenging the Authority.

Plot Summary

Northern Lights/The Golden Compass

Lyra's adventure begins at Jordan College, Oxford, leading to the discovery of a sinister plot involving kidnapped children and Dust. Her journey north involves armored bears, witches, and the alethiometer, a truth-telling device.

The Subtle Knife

Introduces Will Parry and the titular Subtle Knife, a tool that cuts between worlds. Their paths cross, and together, they explore the themes of loss and discovery.

The Amber Spyglass

The final volume brings all threads together, with battles across worlds, explorations of the afterlife, and the ultimate confrontation with Authority. The resolution brings both heartache and hope.


"His Dark Materials" is more than a fantasy adventure; it's a profound exploration of adolescence, authority, and the quest for truth. Pullman's work invites readers to question the world around them and consider the power of stories to shape reality.