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(His Dark Materials #3.6)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  3,519 ratings  ·  426 reviews
A story in the Arctic from the world of His Dark Materials and The Book of Dust by master storyteller, Philip Pullman and read by Olivia Colman.

'Lyra Silvertongue, you're very welcome . . . Yes, I know your new name. Serafina Pekkala told me everything about your exploits'

Lyra and her daemon Pantalaimon have left the events of His Dark Materials far behind.
In this snapsho
Audio CD, 1 page
Published October 15th 2020 by Penguin
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Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,519 ratings  ·  426 reviews

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Dec 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Serpentine is sweet story about Lyra and Pantalaimon, exploring their relationship after their separation. It won't make sense to those who haven't read His Dark Materials trilogy, so I recommend reading those books before any of the short stories. ...more
Oct 28, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
A charming if brief return to the world of Lyra Silvertongue
You know, it isn't really surprising that there are things about ourselves that still remain a mystery to us, he said. Maybe we should be comforted that the knowledge is there, even if it's withheld for a while.

Serpentine has us return to the work of His Dark Materials. Firmly set after The Amber Spyglass (I don't think this story is readable without intimate knowledge on the trilogy) we follow Lyra and her companion in the far North. T
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
Ms. Smartarse
Back in The Amber Spyglass Lyra and Pantalaimon had to weather through their biggest trial yet: separating from each other in the Netherworld. For all that it's been quite a while since, our heroine still worries about the best way to approach her daemon about his trials during the separation.

Lyra and Pan studying

I'm struggling with how to write a coherent review opinion on this short story. It starts out promising enough, leading the reader through a number of guilt-ridden musings, only to have them end up exactly
Dannii Elle
This is an illustrated novella following the events that occur after both the His Dark Materials trilogy and the other short story that follows it, Lyra's Oxford. This focuses on the series' central character, Lyra Belacqua, but her daemon, Pan, also shares equal focus. Other characters from the preceding books also feature, either physically or in speech, and much of what has previously occurred between them is mentioned.

This didn't provide the reader with a whole amount of new information abou
Dave Schaafsma
I like the little side stories along the way as we journey for years through Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials series, now expanded to five full books and heading to (maybe) the finale. Serpentine is a short story Pullman wrote to help raise money for The National Theater, who had mounted a hugely successful theatrical production based on the initial series. He had the story in his head since the months he had finished the third book, he says in 2004, so it now serves as a kind of sweet momen ...more
Jul 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This has made my year! A new short story set in the His Dark Materials world.
I am a massive fan of this series so despite Serpentine being teeny tiny I was very excited to read it. It is definitely worth it if you want to know how Lyra and Pan are coping after the events of The Amber Spyglass and hints at things past and hopefully more things to come.
If Philip Pullman wrote what Lyra had for breakfast I'd read it but what I really want is more about Will. (I am crossing all my fingers and toes
Connor MacNeil
Oct 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was like a Starbucks drink. It's beautiful, it's delicious, but it's gone in five minutes and it's $13. ...more
Dec 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the companion book to the The Book of Dust trilogy. Chronologically, one should have read it right between the two series. Considering the publication dates, that wasn't possible (it also doesn't matter too much since La Belle Sauvage takes place before the first trilogy).

As readers of the series know, Lyra's and Pan's lives have changed significantly due to the events in His Dark Materials (their forced parting on the shores of the world of the dead). And not really for the better. In s
A short story about Lyra and Pan after the end of the first trilogy. Their interaction is a little prickly but it’s interesting after the changes they went through in book 3.
Sep 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, fantasy
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. ...more
Jan 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the dark materials series so much and this book was no exception
Oct 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Ashley (אהבה)
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
Lisa Wolf
A sweet story about Lyra and Pan, set after the events of The Amber Spyglass. It's very short, but a nice read (with great illustrations). ...more
Elizabeth A
Dec 15, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stories, kids-ya, 2020, art
No. No. No.

Why do authors do this? Well, Pullman explains in the afterword that this very short story was written to be auctioned at a fundraiser. I guess everyone involved decided that it should be published. I do not concur.

The writing felt forced and uninspired and boring. While it was nice to hang out with Lyra and Pan again, this book feels very much like a way to make more money (and it's quite expensive for what you get). Sigh. I liked the illustrations. They are the only redeeming part
Anna Dawson
Oct 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An intriguing snapshot of Pullman’s beautifully realised world and characters. Interesting that this was written well before The Secret Commonwealth was conceived, and I’m eager to see where this story will conclude.
Not a true novella, barely even a short story - this is really just a "scene" that takes place sometime after the events of The Amber Spyglass. I was tempted to write this off as a cynical cash grab, but then I read Pullman's note at the end explaining that this was written for a charity auction and raised quite a lot of money, so good for him. (Never mind that after seeing what it went for under the hammer, and then later realizing with 2019's The Secret Commonwealth that there was still a mark ...more
Dec 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a charming and very sweet read. Its always lovely to be back in this universe and with these characters.
Oct 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Michael Kotsarinis
A beautifully illustrated book with a short story featuring Lyra and Pantalaimon. It reminds us of some defining moments and names from the original trilogy, my main complaint being that it's too short! ...more
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”
Rebecca | Velvet Opus
Short but sweet, beautifully illustrated Serpentine is a snapshot of Lyra and Pan following their separation on the shores of the Dead, as they ask the question: what happens next for them?

It was lovely to dive back into Lyra's glittering world but the story was incredibly short, although the story behind how it was created - an original story for a charity auction over 17 years ago - is lovely. I wouldn’t recommend reading it unless you’re already a fan of the series as it’s so closely intertwi
Tudor Vlad
Oct 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Lauren James
A (very, very) short and sweet interlude to the Book of dust trilogy, with Lyra trying to heal her relationship with Pan, who is keeping secrets from her. Beautifully illustrated with wood cuts (almost more of these than words!), this is a little treasure.
Nov 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps closer to 3.5 stars than 4.

The thing about this book is that I perhaps liked it mostly because I am already so invested in the universe (multiverse) that these books are set in. Other than that, it might be a bit overly short and simple to really merit those four stars. However, it fits beautifully between the two trilogies, and it does, as Pullman wrote in the note at the end, succeed quite well at being a book that is "about being alive and being human". And as always, it makes me simu
Nov 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: electronic
And we jump back to His Dark Materials. Had me confused at first, then I realized that this was written way before The Book of Dust was conceived.

The illustrations are beautiful.
Daniela Valentina
so short!!!
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. ...more
Sep 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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! ✨
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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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