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Serpentine (His Dark Materials, #3.4)
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(His Dark Materials #3.5)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  615 ratings  ·  85 reviews
**Don't miss the second series of His Dark Materials on BBC One this November.**

A brand new short story set in the world of His Dark Materials and The Book of Dust by master storyteller, Philip Pullman.

is a perfect gift for every Pullman fan, new and old.

'Lyra Silvertongue, you're very welcome . . . Yes, I know your new name. Serafina Pekkala told me every
Hardcover, 80 pages
Published October 15th 2020 by Penguin
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Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  615 ratings  ·  85 reviews

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Jul 09, 2020 marked it as maybe-one-day
This has made my year! A new short story set in the His Dark Materials world. I want it!!!
Sep 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Similar to Once upon a Time in the North and Lyra's Oxford I would recommend it for fans of His Dark Materials and the Book of Dust. It is a sweet and very small additional story from Lyras world that is not able to stand on its own, but will shorten the wait for the final part of the Book of Dust trilogy.
Alva McDermott
Oct 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lovely novella, which shows the origins of a major theme within “The Secret Commonwealth”. I suppose it will have to do in tiding me over until the third “Book of Dust”
Oct 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm a little disappointed that it was nearly full book price for what was effectively a short story in a hardback binding, but it added a lot to Lyra's world, and the abundance of illustrations (on every page?) was added value.

This was billed as a thematic and timeline bridge between The Amber Spyglass and The Secret Commonwealth, and it works as both.

Setup: Teenage Lyra gets a summer job helping Oxford grad students at an archaeological dig in (melting) Trollesund.
Oct 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Really, really interesting as a bridge between His Dark Materials and the Book of Dust. Beautifully illustrated too.

More than developing the plot of either of the series, it's more of a story, giving a glimpse of Lyra right after Lyra's Oxford, and her relationship with Pan. It is sort of a prequel to their relationship in the Secret Commonwealth.

Can't wait for the third Book of Dust and Will's Oxford.
Kaye Magistro
Sep 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
I just love this world and I will read everything Philip Pullman writes about it. These short story books are so beautiful but also so... short 😭 I really need the third Book of Dust installment asap.
Rhiannon Johnson
Jul 10, 2020 marked it as to-read
80 pages? But I need more! 😩
Maybe this can tide me over until Book #3 of Book of Dust trilogy releases? 🤔
Oct 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
"That horrible endless bottomless--- It must be like having an abyss right next to you every moment, knowing it's there all the time . . . Just horrible."

A year after the events in Lyra's Oxford, but well before the action described in The Secret Commonwealth, Lyra and Pantalaimon are off on an archaeological dig organised by Jordan College, investigating a settlement of the Proto-Fisher people in the Trollesund region of Arctic Norroway.

While there they take the opportunity to visit Dr Lanseliu
Ashley (אהבה)
Oct 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a lovely little episode of Lyra and Pantalaimon's relationship. Olivia Coleman as the narrator of this was excellent! It's a wonderful short story that gives a little insight as to the journey that Lyra and Pan have been on since we saw them last in Oxford, with all those birds and a witch, and before the start of her journey east. It may help tide me over until we get the last installment of The Book of Dust. Until then I'll savour even the shortest visit to Lyra's world.

I think there's a
Tudor Vlad
Oct 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
The illustrations in this one are simply beautiful. The story is short but personal. A must-read for fans of both the first and the second trilogy.
Sep 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shorter than the other His Dark Materials novellas, more like a short story. Not a complaint though as happy for any extra visit to Lyra and Pan's world. Loved meeting the consul of witches again. A prelude to the second book of dust.
Sep 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-english
A great short story that adds wonderfully to the developments in The Secret Commonwealth! Also, it made me excited again for the third book of the new trilogy! ✨
Oct 19, 2020 rated it it was ok
After struggling with Book of Dust, this has given me a lot more hope that I will at least enjoy the rest of the books in the new series. I like Pullman's writing style, characters, and the moral dilemmas he gives them, and this felt much more like that style than Book of Dust did to me.

That said, I don't think it actually added anything to the character of Lyra, or was honestly all that...good. Perhaps I've merely forgotten what the Pullman's writing style was like after a few years without a
Kathryn Miller
Oct 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
I’ve loved each of these short HDM-world outings. As regards the novels I am passionately devoted to Northern Lights and more respectful-of-the-achievement-but-lukewarm re. the others. But I adore the short stories. They reliably come from the version of HDM I loved so much in Northern Lights while being I’m afraid to move characters on and expand the world in un-nostalgic ways.

I wasn’t sure whether to rate the book as product or the story itself. It’s a shame that Penguin didn’t do more with th
Annette Fuller
Oct 15, 2020 rated it liked it
It’s really hard to review books about Lyra, because she and Pan are so real to me. That’s something the first trilogy gave us that I hope won’t ever go away.

This short story is an interesting bridge between the events of The Amber Spyglass (plus Lyra and the Birds), and The Secret Commonwealth. We need *something* to explain the rift between Lyra and Pan in TSC. And this short story is meant to be the beginnings of that something. But it still leaves a lot of questions unanswered. It fills me w
Oct 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 rounded up because daemons.

The negatives are easy: this is very short (very short for $12.99). The woodcut-style art is lovely, but since the story is mostly Lyra having an extended conversation with Dr. Lanselius, then an extended conversation with Pan, the artist clearly struggled with finding new ways to depict this at times -- there's lots of faces drawn from slightly different angles. And there's too much use of the word lover. (Ugh, even just writing it there was too much.)

But: daemons
Pamela Scott
Oct 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philip-pullman

His Dark Materials and The Book of Dust are among my favourite book series. I hope the final book in The Book of Dust is released soon. In the meantime, this delightful novella filled the Lyra-shaped hole in my heart. The second season of His Dark Materials will help further when it airs next month. This is set just after the end of His Dark Materials. The story focuses on the change in Lyra and her daemon’s relationship now they can separate, a thing only
Oct 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I loved this glimpse at Lyra and her world, although this was all-too-brief even compared to the other "bonus" tales. Though the story is lighter than even Lyra and the Birds (and The Collectors), I found it just as absorbing. I almost wish Serpentine had been released before The Secret Commonwealth (it could have been - it was written 16 years ago), because it anticipates several developments that seemed to come out of nowhere in that book, and answers one or two questions I was left with at th ...more
Helen Leigh-Phippard
How to review this short story? It’s important to say that- this is a very short story, packaged as a small book (and sold at £7.99!).

It’s a beautiful little book, illustrated by Tom Duxbury with wonderful lino-print style images (his bio in the book states that he's influenced by lino-print so I don’t think these are in fact actual lino-prints but they look great anyway). And it’s always wonderful to be back in the world of Lyra and Pan, but this is a 20 minute read even if you take it slowly
Oct 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At Home. This is my place to be when I needto get out ofthe world the public places where every human has the right to be present I want to return here and talk to Serafina Pekkala and Lyra and I being

Morgana Silverhand because of my charitable hand crafting will be myself in this world the socalled real world is not my place this is not mine either I DO NOT BELONG not anywhere the do - gooders think being my age and my hip being broken mean someone needs their care they are kind and sad 😢 bein
Karen Burnside
Oct 15, 2020 rated it liked it
I hate to say it but I'm disappointed. I did really like the front cover and the artwork however the actual story it's self seemed to be a bit pointless It wasn't really a story at all. It is simply a short conversation that should be a tiny part of another story. It didn't really add anything to either the original or the new trilogy. I've read the other short stories and enjoyed those but this one wasn't worth paying the price of a full sized book for a 10 minute (if that) read.
Rajiv Moté
Oct 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
This tiny story, set between The Amber Spyglass and The Secret Commonwealth, sets up the main conflict in the latter book: what happens when a person and their dæmon (essentially, a person and their own soul) are divided betweeth themselves. The story doesn’t provide answers, but frames the issue. "You know, it isn't really surprising that there are things about ourselves that still remain a mystery to us." I can't think of a better thematic prologue for The Secret Commonwealth.
Gregg Hower
Oct 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Reading through this copiously illustrated story I was reminded of the great reading adventure that was His Dark Materials. How pleasant to meet an older and changing Lyra and Pantalaimon, and to find brief mentions of other beloved characters. This is a fast read, loaded with evocative illustrations. But the story feels fragmentary, portending something bigger which is apparently The Book of Dust, a series I have not read.
Oct 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It's really a very little story, like a chapter with lovely illustrations. Not necessary, but very much part of the HDM world. Fits in where ypu would imagine it to. Don't seek the book if you don't love the world and want just a bit more from it, because you won't really find a new adventure, just a new little idea.
Oct 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, audio
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this novella that connects his dark materials with the book of dust through Lyra's exploration into why she is able to do actions others can't. It is easy to read and focuses on Lyra's understanding of herself. The illustrations are also great, making it really accessible. I am so pleased that this book has been released after 16 years. A must for all fans of Phillip Pullman's writing.
Oct 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
My favorite one of the 3 companion books.
It quite short, again, but gives an beautiful view into the connections between Lyra, Pantalaimon and the witches.
Would recommend for “His dark Materials” Fans who are waiting for Book of Dust 3
To be honest, this felt like a pretty pointless flash fiction read, but I love this world and these characters too much to give it less than 3 stars. Definitely something to flip through if you’re a super-fan, but not an independent way to introduce yourself to Lyra’s world.
Victoria Roe (Reading Addict)
Beautiful episode

Just beautiful, it’s so lovely to be back in this world that has given me so much joy for so many years!
I cannot wait for the third and final book in the Book of Dust trilogy!
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In 1946, acclaimed author Philip Pullman was born in Norwich, England, into a Protestant family. Although his beloved grandfather was an Anglican priest, Pullman became an atheist in his teenage years. He graduated from Exeter College in Oxford with a degree in English, and spent 23 years as a teacher while working on publishing 13 books and numerous short stories. Pullman has received many awards ...more

Other books in the series

His Dark Materials (3 books)
  • The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, #1)
  • The Subtle Knife  (His Dark Materials, #2)
  • The Amber Spyglass  (His Dark Materials, #3)

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