The Golden Compass

by Philip Pullman
The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials #1) - Philip Pullman 8.08   514

Published in the UK as Northern Lights.

Lyra and her daemon are eavesdropping when they uncover a plot to murder Lord Asriel. He has returned from the far North where he tells of strange sights – a beautiful city hovering in the sky above the pole, a shimmering Dust that settles on and delineates all but human children. Lyra is scarcely able to save his life before Lord Asriel is off again, on a quest to answer the riddle of the world.

Meanwhile, children are disappearing, and when Lyra's dearest friend is taken by the Gobblers, she determines to save him – a decision which leads her on a great journey, a journey that will lead to the discovery of her mother, a disastrous betrayal and the beginning of the unravelling of the mystery of Dust.

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Release date 1995
Details updated August 23, 2022

His Dark Materials :: Series

Series contains 3 primary works and has 7 total works.

Main series His Dark Materials Universe

Once Upon a Time in the North (His Dark Materials #0.5) 6.50   2
The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials #1) 8.08   514
The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials #2) 7.72   407
The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials #3) 8.00   371
Lyra's Oxford (His Dark Materials #3.5) 6.06   115
Serpentine (His Dark Materials #3.6) 7.00   1
The Imagination Chamber (His Dark Materials #3.7) N/A

Community Reviews & Rates

26 ratings
2 reviews
0 posts
May 7, 2014
10 / 10

I don't know what to say since Tim summarized it pretty nicely. I read the series in Finnish when I was around 13-14 years old and this is one of the two series which I can honestly say truly affected or changed the way I started to think or see things. I consider these books essential part of all that which made me who I am - and therefore I cannot really review these, only thank mr. Pullman.

566 ratings
34 reviews
2 posts
June 13, 2013
8 / 10

Since the publication of "Northern Lights" or "The Golden Compass" in the USA in 1995, 18 years have passed since I write this. In those years, many things have changed. First of all, the original series is now completed. Secondly, Pullman has written a few spin-off stories. Thirdly, the world is still waiting for "The Book of Dust", which he is now writing for about 8 years. Fourthly, "Northern Lights" is now a film titled "The Golden Compass" - and unfortunately, the other two books won't be shown on the big screen because in the USA there were not many good reaction to the film. And fifthly, we can easily that "Northern Lights" is one of the most modern classics. It really is a book which will endure the Tooth of Time. Now, millions of copies have been sold and dozens of publications are released. In my opinion: if you haven't read this book, you have missed something extraordinary good, and you don't know real fantasy. Because for me, "His Dark Materials" is a synonym for fantasy.

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