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The Amber Spyglass Deluxe Edition [Deckle Edge] [Hardcover]

Philip Pullman
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (711 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug. 28 2007 His Dark Materials (Book 3)
PUBLISHED IN 40 COUNTRIES, with over 5 million copies in print in North America alone, 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.

For these deluxe editions, Philip Pullman has created new material: papers of Lord Asrial for The Golden Compass (15 new pages), papers of Colonel John Parry for the 10-year anniversary of The Subtle Knife (15 new pages), and letters of Mary Malone from secret Magisterium files for The Amber Spyglass (10 new pages). In each book, the new material has been illustrated and handlettered by renowned artist Ian Beck and will be included in the backmatter.

Each deluxe edition also features a ribbon bookmark, rough-edged pages, and Pullman's own chapter-opening spot art. These volumes form a gorgeous collectible set of the trilogy - a perfect gift for loyal Pullman readers and new fans alike.

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From the very start of its very first scene, The Amber Spyglass will set hearts fluttering and minds racing. All we'll say here is that we immediately discover who captured Lyra at the end of The Subtle Knife, though we've yet to discern whether this individual's intent is good, evil, or somewhere in between. We also learn that Will still possesses the blade that allows him to cut between worlds, and has been joined by two winged companions who are determined to escort him to Lord Asriel's mountain redoubt. The boy, however, has only one goal in mind--to rescue his friend and return to her the alethiometer, an instrument that has revealed so much to her and to readers of The Golden Compass and its follow-up. Within a short time, too, we get to experience the "tingle of the starlight" on Serafina Pekkala's skin as she seeks out a famished Iorek Byrnison and enlists him in Lord Asriel's crusade:
A complex web of thoughts was weaving itself in the bear king's mind, with more strands in it than hunger and satisfaction. There was the memory of the little girl Lyra, whom he had named Silvertongue, and whom he had last seen crossing the fragile snow bridge across a crevasse in his own island of Svalbard. Then there was the agitation among the witches, the rumors of pacts and alliances and war; and then there was the surpassingly strange fact of this new world itself, and the witch's insistence that there were many more such worlds, and that the fate of them all hung somehow on the fate of the child.
Meanwhile, two factions of the Church are vying to reach Lyra first. One is even prepared to give a priest "preemptive absolution" should he succeed in committing mortal sin. For these tyrants, killing this girl is no less than "a sacred task."

In the final installment of his trilogy, Philip Pullman has set himself the highest hurdles. He must match its predecessors in terms of sheer action and originality and resolve the enigmas he already created. The good news is that there is no critical bad news--not that The Amber Spyglass doesn't contain standoffs and close calls galore. (Who would have it otherwise?) But Pullman brings his audacious revision of Paradise Lost to a conclusion that is both serene and devastating. In prose that is transparent yet lyrical and 3-D, the author weaves in and out of his principals' thoughts. He also offers up several additional worlds. In one, Dr. Mary Malone is welcomed into an apparently simple society. The environment of the mulefa (again, we'll reveal nothing more) makes them rich in consciousness while their lives possess a slow and stately rhythm. These strange creatures can, however, be very fast on their feet (or on other things entirely) when necessary. Alas, they are on the verge of dying as Dust streams out of their idyllic landscape. Will the Oxford dark-matter researcher see her way to saving them, or does this require our young heroes? And while Mary is puzzling out a cure, Will and Lyra undertake a pilgrimage to a realm devoid of all light and hope, after having been forced into the cruelest of sacrifices--or betrayals.

Throughout his galvanizing epic, Pullman sustains scenes of fierce beauty and tenderness. He also allows us a moment or two of comic respite. At one point, for instance, Lyra's mother bullies a series of ecclesiastical underlings: "The man bowed helplessly and led her away. The guard behind her blew out his cheeks with relief." Needless to say, Mrs. Coulter is as intoxicating and fluid as ever. And can it be that we will come to admire her as she plays out her desperate endgame? In this respect, as in many others, The Amber Spyglass is truly a book of revelations, moving from darkness visible to radiant truth. --Kerry Fried --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

In concluding the spellbinding His Dark Materials trilogy, Pullman produces what may well be the most controversial children's book of recent years. The witch Serafina Pekkala, quoting an angel, sums up the central theme: "All the history of human life has been a struggle between wisdom and stupidity. The rebel angels, the followers of wisdom, have always tried to open minds; the Authority and his churches have always tried to keep them closed." Early on, this "Authority" is explicitly identified as the Judeo-Christian God, and he is far from omnipotent: his Kingdom is ruled by a regent. The cosmic battle to overthrow the Kingdom is only one of the many epic sequences in this novelAso much happens, and the action is split among so many different imagined worlds, that readers will have to work hard to keep up with Pullman. In the opening, for example, Lyra is being hidden and kept in a drugged sleep in a Himalayan cave by her mother, the beautiful and treacherous Mrs. Coulter. Will is guided by two angels across different worlds to find Lyra. The physicist and former nun, Mary Malone, sojourns in an alternatively evolved world. In yet another universe, Lord Asriel has assembled a great horde of otherworldly beings-including the vividly imagined race of haughty, hand-high warriors called GallivespiansAto bring down the Kingdom. Along the way, Pullman riffs on the elemental chords of classical myth and fairy tale. While some sections seem rushed and the prose is not always as brightly polished as fans might expect, Pullman's exuberant work stays rigorously true to its own internal structure. Stirring and highly provocative. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars more than a children's book April 28 2004
This is one of the greatest books I have ever read. In some magical way, this is a book that, through the stories of several very original characters is able to address God, love, maturity, humanity's history and meaning, and countless other wonderful topics. This was more than just a novel to me; it has shaped my philosophy and way of looking at the world. Thos who say that this is a children's book a la "Harry Potter" are wrong. Maybe to the young readers, that's how it is, but I'm 14 and I was able to see that this is more than an easy, pleasurable fantasy like Harry Potter. This is a novel but also a manuscript of Pullman's philosophies and views. It is an extraordinary book that operates on a truly incredible, epic scale. From the first book, things just built up and built up, and here it all comes together in a brilliant, and very sad, climax. Read the series. You'll be enlightened.
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By Andres Consumer TOP 1000 REVIEWER
I remember reading these books as a kid. I still remember every bit of my journey through the universes and how Crushed I was when I flipped the last page of the Amber Spyglass.

These books, with the Amber Spyglass as no exception, will take you on a fantastical journey through magical worlds with incredible objects and even better characters. The story gets more complex as you move forward and you get more and more invested with the characters and story.
This is one of those series that we should all read. They are not a series just for children/teenagers etc... They're for everyone.

Pullman wrote these books well and conveyed a solid story that had me trapped in it until I finished. You will feel empty when you're done, but you will have gained a lot in the process.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The amber spyglass Oct. 17 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A beautiful and heart wrenching ending to an amazing series. I didn't want it to end but i couldn't put it down.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Dark, brilliant, but with a few blemishes May 21 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I just finished this book in geometry class, and let me tell you, it is fantastic! It has everything you'd ever want in a fantasy epic - love, treachery, amazing imagry, well-developed and likeable characters... Pullman really pulls you into the series, especially this one, with the blooming romance of Will and Lyra(who despite their age are obviously quite mature, although some people who read this might feel a bit confused at their ascent).
The only thing that really bothered me was a chapter, no, not even a chapter, a fragment of a chapter, in the end when Pullman uses one of his characters to vent on his atheism. I'm an agnostic, so either way, it doesn't so much matter that he's bashing orthodox religion... The fact is, it doesn't make sense that people could go through so something so eye-opening and fantastical and then openly outrule the existence of something like a creator. It was obvious that he was absent, but non-existant? Isn't that just as rediculous as orthodox religion? Pullman needs to read his own novel, I think. Anything's possible. That's the message I got, anyway.
Either way, the book's a great read, and the best in the series. Read it; you'll enjoy it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A 'must read' for all April 22 2002
By missjay
This book is one of the best young adult books i have ever read.
Lyra and her companions travel through diffrent worlds to make a wonderful end to the series. The best part about this book is that it doesn't treat the christian religion with too much respect. This book gives a new view to god and the kingdom of heaven as a source for imaginitive writing rather than too much reverence.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I can't forget about this book March 11 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I finished this book in on day. If you read this book you will never forget it. Will and Lyra fall in love and must leave each other. The last book of His Dark Materials Trilogy is so sad it mad me cry and I am a tough tom-boy. I think everyboby should read this book. Once I finished this book I could not belive how Philip Pullman ended this sad story.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A huge disappointment Dec 22 2007
By Andy
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I loved the Golden Compass and the Subtle Knife but this book disappointed me terribly. I was outraged. To much ranting about Dust, 'we have to seal all the holes' 'oh but then we cant see each other any more'
really, who cares!? Lyra and Will falling in love was terrible, ruined the plot with nonsense
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Finishing the trilogy leaves me rather depressed. The degeneration of such a marvelous imaginative world of fantasy and science fiction into barely veiled juvenile swipes at Christianity left a bitter taste for the whole series in my mouth. As an elementary school teacher who loves to read out loud to his class I was hoping I'd found another series to use. Unfortunatly not. There is no way this book is appropriate for younger children of parents of Christian backgrounds. I can just imagine the parent calls now...
There were also numerous plot holes in this last book as well, ... It strikes me that perhaps Pullman was so eager to set about Christian bashing that he lost sight of the literary integrity of the story itself. Perhaps he was just falling all over himself as the end of the trilogy came to get to his sermon.
All that talent... such a shame...
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An end to a series I didn't want to stop
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed His Dark Materials trilogy - the Amber Spyglass, in fact, was a book that kept me on edge almost the entire time I was reading it. Read more
Published on July 4 2010 by A. Taylor
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and disappointing
This book, the last of the "His Dark Materials" trilogy, was disappointing in that it didn't, to me, show the big picture clearly. Read more
Published on May 9 2008 by Chris
3.0 out of 5 stars The Temptation of Lyra *SPOILER*
I thought I agreed with everyone that this last book in the series was a complete disappointment. BUT.... Read more
Published on Jan. 6 2008 by Lyndsie Schnoor
3.0 out of 5 stars The real value of this book is not to be found as a standalone, but...
"The amber spyglass" is the third and last book in Phillip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" triology. It is good, but not nearly as engaging as the previous two books in the series,... Read more
Published on Jan. 5 2007 by M. B. Alcat
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable.
This is the third and last book in the His Dark Materials trilogy (after Northern Lights, or The Golden Compass in the US, and The Subtle Knife). Read more
Published on July 30 2004 by Stephanie Noverraz
1.0 out of 5 stars soppy and nonsensical
I'm sorry to say that Pullman's main achievement in this last book is to create yet another soppy paean to adolescence. Read more
Published on July 15 2004 by theskeptic
1.0 out of 5 stars Riveted.....and then sooooo disappointed!!!!
The first two books of this series were wonderfully written, fast paced marvels that held me riveted by the hour - I couldn't put them down. Read more
Published on July 14 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD-but terribly SAD
Ok, this was a GREAT book, but I happened to find one MAJOR flaw in it. The ending. Not that it did not make sense, only that, it sucked. Read more
Published on July 2 2004 by Lee Ann Million
1.0 out of 5 stars There be Yoghurt in them there pages.
(...)That's better. Sorry about that. Just taking out the theological shovel the Reverend Pullman had jabbed into my mouth. Read more
Published on June 18 2004 by Mr. Sa Fyfe
2.0 out of 5 stars'l outta control here.
Got hooked on the first 2 books...great books, original storeyline, great writing.
This one got bizarre. Read more
Published on June 15 2004 by SouthernFried
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