{LIMITED EDITION GIVEAWAY!!} Re-Reading THE GOLDEN COMPASS as an adult: Does the love last???

O P E N I N G   L I N E:

  Lyra and her dæmon moved through the darkening hall, taking care to keep to one side, out of sight of the kitchen. The three great tables that ran the length of the hall were laid already, the silver and the glass catching what little light there was, and the long benches were pulled out ready for the guests. Portraits of former Masters hung high up in the gloom along the walls. Lyra reached the dais and looked back at the open kitchen door, and, seeing no one, stepped up beside the high table. The places here were laid with gold, not silver, and the fourteen seats were not oak benches but mahogany chairs with velvet cushions. 
  Lyra stopped beside the Master's chair and flicked the biggest glass gently with a fingernail. The sound rang clearly through the hall. 
  "You're not taking this seriously," whispered her dæmon. "Behave yourself." 
  Her dæmon's name was Pantalaimon, and he was currently in the form of a moth, a dark brown one so as not to show up in the darkness of the hall. 
  "They're making too much noise to hear from the kitchen," Lyra whispered back. "And the Steward doesn't come in till the first bell. Stop fussing." 
  But she put her palm over the ringing crystal anyway, and Pantalaimon fluttered ahead and through the slightly open door of the Retiring Room at the other end of the dais. After a moment he appeared again. 
  "There's no one there," he whispered. "But we must be quick.

(pgs. 1-2, US paperback edition)

“We are all subject to the fates. But we must act as if we are not, or die of despair.


Growing up, Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials was one of my all-time favorite series, surpassed only by The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. I read both series again and again. The books shattered and broke me, but also filled my heart and took me away on dangerous, captivating adventures.

My own tattered copies, still cherished and kept on a shelf of honor!!!

Poor tattered books!
(I'll likely have to re-buy these if they come out with a pretty new box set!!!)

When I recently heard that the BBC was going to produce the series for TV, I was extremely excited. They've created some compelling series and have great quality, and I trust them to do a great job. Every couple of months, I've been checking to see if there's been any major news on airdates, etc., because I'm so impatient to fall in love with this story all over again.

Earlier this year, I heard that Pullman had finally written his long whispered-about Book of Dust--and that it would be released in three parts!!!

I've been chomping at the bit for a re-read for a long time, and with all this new stuff on the horizon, I knew I really wanted to. When the publisher invited me to be a part of its blog tour to introduce new readers to the series and get longtime fans excited for The Book of Dust, I leapt for joy and said yes as fast as I could.

But...I was nervous, too. What if I didn't like the books as much upon my re-read? What if they don't hold up?

I shouldn't have worried!

Epic quests? Check! Dastardly villains that stick with you? Check! Plucky heroine who doesn't know she's destined for greatness? Check!

I'll admit, it took a few chapters to fall back in this world again. Lyra is pretty obnoxious in the beginning -- but also completely acting her age! Lyra is a girl with the weight of the world on her shoulders: But unlike in most quests, she's unaware of her Destiny. Should she ever find out, her destiny will change and the world will fall. It was so interesting to see all the little asides about Lyra and her destiny, because so many characters know the truth -- and as a re-reader, so do I. I also wanted to cuddle Lyra and keep her safe from all the heartache lying ahead, but I can't.

THE GOLDEN COMPASS has strong world-building, introducing dæmons, who are sort of like pets, only every human has one. They're reminiscent of Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket, a soul, a conscious. There are rules: it's considered vulgar and immoral to touch another person's dæmon, something too intimate to be considered. When bad things start happening to children and their dæmons, it's considered to be a huge violation and the stakes to save them are higher than anyone knows. And I won't go into spoilers, but there are so many cool things about dæmons!

The other thing I love most about this series is how fleshed out the characters are. The villains give you chills. The secondary characters -- secondary ones!! -- make you long for them even when they're gone. Even a few minor characters!! This world is so immersive and its people so unique,  I just can't get enough. I'm so glad I'm taking the time to re-read this captivating series this summer, and can't wait to dive into The Book of Dust this fall!!

Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: --
Language: --
Violence: ( A fight to the death between bears. Some children who are held captive and experimented on, though nothing graphic is revealed.)
Other:  --
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

There are SO MANY versions of this cover  My version. The version I was sent for review. The version I got earlier this month at BEA that came with a sampler of The Book of Dust. And that's just three!!!

For this review, I chose the cover from the new adult-cover printing from BEA that has a sample of The Book of Dust inside because I like the way it looks the best!

And you know what? If the publisher comes out with a deluxe boxset this holiday, I WILL BUY IT AGAIN. I would love something with gold-gilded edges and embossing etc!

O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Philip Pullman
Release Date: 1995
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf // Penguin Random House
Received: Purchased or gifted when younger,
Recently received a new edition for review


Lyra Belacqua is content to run wild among the scholars of Jodan College, with her daemon familiar always by her side. But the arrival of her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, draws her to the heart of a terrible struggle—a struggle born of Gobblers and stolen children, witch clans and armored bears. And as she hurtles toward danger in the cold far North, Lyra never suspects the shocking truth: she alone is destined to win, or to lose, this more-than-mortal battle. 

Philip Pullman's award-winning The Golden Compass is a masterwork of storytelling and suspense, critically acclaimed and hailed as a modern fantasy classic. 

This Yearling paperback edition includes 15 pages of bonus material: some found letters of Lord Asriel, his scientific notes and other archival documents. This edition also features artwork by Philip Pullman at the opening of each chapter. 

A New York Times Bestseller 
A Newsweek Top 100 Book of All Time 
An Entertainment Weekly All-Time Greatest Novel 
Winner of the Guardian Prize for Children's Fiction 

"Very grand indeed." --The New York Times 

"Superb . . . all-stops-out thrilling." --The Washington Post 

"A shattering tale that begins with a promise and delivers an entire universe." --Kirkus Reviews, Starred 

"The Golden Compass is one of the best fantasy / adventure stories that I have read. This is a book no one should miss." --Terry Brooks. 

I have a special gift to share with one LUCKY reader!!!

I have an extra LIMITED EDITION Collectible Print from The Book of Dust that I want to share with one of YOU!!!


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