on December 7, 2008
I am a big huge fan of the His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman.
The trilogy consists of The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass. The story of Lyra Silvertongue and her love for Will is one of the most compelling and one of the most beautiful that I have ever read.
After I finished the trilogy, I bemoaned the fact that there would be no more books about Lyra and Will and the world of His Dark Materials. Well I was gleefully wrong. Some time after the publication of The Amber Spyglass, Pullman published a slim book called Lyra's Oxford.
In it, we were treated to a short story called Lyra and the Birds that took place a few months after the events of The Amber Spyglass, a fold out map and other sorts of bits and bobs. It was short but fantastic and it left me wanting more.
That bit of more came two years later, this year in the form of Once Upon a Time in the North by Philip Pullman. Taking place well before the events of The Golden Copass, Once Upon a Time in the North tells the story of how Lee Scoresby, that air balloon flying cowboy and Iorek Byrnison first met.
It's quite a bit longer than Lyra's Oxford and is a nicely fleshed out story at just over a hundred pages. The story is incredible and moving and leaves me wanting more. I do hope he writes faster.
But that's not the best part. Once Upon a Time in the North also comes with a game! It's called Peril of the Pole and is one of the games mentioned in Once Upon a Time in the North. So it really helps the book come alive.
Either way you look at it, Once Upon a Time in the North is an incredible novella with beautiful writing, an incredible story and a thrilling game. What more could a Dark Materials fan want?
on April 26, 2008
I am Tom's son Adam, and I've read all the His Dark Materials set. I really loved Once Upon a Time in the North. There is so much action in it. It takes place before The Golden Compass, and Lyra's not born yet. It explains the meeting of Lee Scoresby and Iorek Byrnison. In the back of the book, there's also a board game called Peril of the Pole, in which you have to be the last balloon flying to win. There are also some letters that Lyra wrote to the head of Jordan College, after she went to St. Sophia's college, which are neat because they tell you about another part of the whole story. It was the best book ever!