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The Amber Spyglass

(His Dark Materials #3)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  338,437 ratings  ·  12,360 reviews
Will is the bearer of the knife. Now, accompanied by angels, his task is to deliver that powerful, dangerous weapon to Lord Asriel - by the command of his dying father.

But how can he go looking for Lord Asriel when Lyra is gone? Only with her help can he fathom the myriad plots and and intrigues that beset him.

The two great powers of the many worlds are lining up for war,
Paperback, 548 pages
Published September 14th 2001 by Scholastic Point (first published October 10th 2000)
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Boy Blue The temptation was knowledge. Just as in the garden of Eden, Eve is tempted by knowledge. In Lyra's case this is knowledge of love and the other adult…moreThe temptation was knowledge. Just as in the garden of Eden, Eve is tempted by knowledge. In Lyra's case this is knowledge of love and the other adult emotions she is yet to experience. The tempter is Mary and the Fall is Lyra becoming aware of love and adult desire. The allegorical feeding of Will by Lyra again echoes the garden of Eden. This is all matched by the falling away of her innocence. Lyra goes from being an innocent child oblivious to the world around her, to a courageous young women with the ability to make a difficult moral decision about what window to leave open. The fact that she can't easily read the compass at the end of the series is also another sign that she has lost that spiritual purity or innocence. In its place she has been given the opportunity to actually learn how to use it, to gain knowledge through hard work and determination. In this way Pullman presents the Fall as a natural and good thing to happen, which is in stark contrast to the biblical version. He doesn't say it's easy but he does believe it's right.(less)
This question contains spoilers... (view spoiler)
Martin Coloma I think Jon Parry went to the place witches go where their Daemons can't.…moreI think Jon Parry went to the place witches go where their Daemons can't.(less)

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This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

-T.S. Eliot

Warning: Contains spoilers.

The Amber Spyglass is the final volume in His Dark Materials trilogy.

I really enjoyed Northern Lights (or The Golden Compass as it is titled in the US), the first volume of the trilogy. Pullman introducted us to a fantastic world of great scope. It was suspenseful, the presented world was enchanting, and Northern Lights was pregnant with interesting ideas and concepts - that's why I chose to read al
(A-) 83% | Very Good
Notes: A sad but necessary ending; its exceptional last chapters may have seemed unconvincing if penned by a lesser writer.
Jan 19, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
My entire review could be this: Phillip Pullman's "The Amber Spyglass" is one of the poorest closing books of a trilogy ever written.

But I feel compelled to continue. At one point, I actually stopped reading "The Amber Spyglass," put it down and vowed not to finish, but I wanted to be able to slag off the book with authority, so finishing became a must. And I even had a slight hope that Pullman could save his series

I did finish, but it never got any better.

Mulefa? Gallivespians? Iorek Byrnison
Lisa of Troy
Nov 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For a more in depth review, check out this video: Plus meet my daemon (I mean cat)!

#1 Philip Pullman fan here! So how is Mr. Pullman going to pull together the entire His Dark Materials Trilogy? We will find out.

Some have said that the pacing is a bit off in this book; however, please keep in mind that Philip Pullman wrote this book back before the internet, before YouTube, before Smart phones. That being said the first 150 pages were a bit slow but definitely worth
Dave Schaafsma
I would not have read this book were it not for my friend Pat E. who told me several years ago that it was one of the best books she had ever read, and also said it was the first children’s book to have won England’s prestigious Whitbread Prize for Literature. So I read the whole series over the next couple years, and in this process discovered that one of my English department’s medievalists said it was one of his favorite series. Did I know, he asked, that Pullman was actually in conversation ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials, #3), Philip Pullman

His Dark Materials is an epic trilogy of fantasy novels by Philip Pullman consisting of Northern Lights (1995, published as The Golden Compass in North America), The Subtle Knife (1997), and The Amber Spyglass (2000).

It follows the coming of age of two children, Lyra Belacqua and Will Parry, as they wander through a series of parallel universes.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و چهارم ماه آگوست سال2008میلادی

عنوان: سری نیروی اهریمنی اش کتا
- George, wake up!

- Ungh... what time is it?

- I think about four am. You were having a nightmare.

- Mmmn.

- Hey, you're shaking. Come over here. It's alright. Do you want to tell me about it?

- Ann Coulter and Satan jump into the void and pull him down with them. The evil archangel.

- I'm sorry?

- Ah, it doesn't make much sense, does it? But it did in the dream. It was even noble and tragic. I think.

- What else happened?

- Well, I know I shouldn't have stayed up reading that physics book. There was
mark monday
i just decided to copy-and-paste a response i wrote regarding this book in one of the GR groups. that is inexcusably lazy. so sue me! also, it is full of SPOILERS.

- i think one of the most unique things about this book is the fact that one protagonist is a liar and the other is a murderer. not only is that uncommon, particularly in YA lit, it is transgressive. i like how the tools that help these two in their amazing adventures are ones that are normally displayed by villains. and without their
Jun 09, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
When I was in high school, the local video arcade passed out fliers that that evening, after a $2 admission, you could play all the video games for free. I and several of my friends went and enjoyed ourselves.

And then suddenly they closed the doors, turned off all the games, and a preacher got up and proceeded to try to "save" us.

True, we had already gotten our money's worth, and we we could have gotten up and left (even though all of us wanted to but none of us had the nerve). But we still felt
If you haven’t read the ENTIRE three books, please don’t read any further. I wouldn’t want to spoil it for you because the ending is so endearing and…..lasting, that I would HATE to take it away from you.

I absolutely fell in love with Lyra. Didn’t you? She was the sister I wish I would have had growing up. She was myself as I played with all of my brothers in the mudfields, she was the daughter I’m sure every woman would yearn to have. In my opinion, Philip Pullman was brilliant in his creation
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“All the history of human life has been a struggle between wisdom and stupidity.”

“I stopped believing there was a power of good and a power of evil that were outside us. And I came to believe that good and evil are names for what people do, not for what they are.”

“I will love you forever; whatever happens. Till I die and after I die, and when I find my way out of the land of the dead, I’ll drift about forever, all my atoms, till I find you again… I’ll be looking
Sean Barrs
I’ve been putting this book off for almost four years. I’ve been truly terrified to read it for such a long time. The first book, The Golden Compass, is one of the best fantasy novels I have ever read. I adore it. The second book is something else entirely. I was horrified when I read it and truly disgusted with the unexpected direction the series took. I did not want to read this one because I did not want my memories of the first book shattered completely.

So I finally picked it up and I appro
Jim O'Donnell

Too much. Way too much.

Pullman's series concludes like it started. Good but nothing great. And tiring. Very. The Amber Spyglass weighs as much as the other two books put together....and then some. Pullman pulls in still MORE main characters and still MORE beings and still MORE complications and still MORE unlikely, unbelievable turns-of-event. It just got to be too much. Between the witches and the angels and the cliff-ghasts, the shadows, the specters, the ghosts, the Gallivespians, the
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

“I stopped believing there was a power of good and a power of evil that were outside us. And I came to believe that good and evil are names for what people do, not for what they are.”

Will is the knife bearer and the instructions from his father were clear: Find Lord Asriel. But before he can do this he must find Lyra.

Lyra has been taken by Mrs Coulter and is the sleeping prisoner of her and her vicious golden monkey daemon. Despite their great distance, Will and Lyra must reunite for their
Eric Allen
Feb 02, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review contains crude language, because I'm too pissed off to be eloquent at the moment. Reader beware.

What the fuck did I just read? Seriously! What in the hell was that supposed to be?

Spoilers ect ect ect.

Everything I loved about the first book is completely gone, the author seems to have forgotten that he's telling a story rather than railing against organized religion almost non-stop, the characters seem to have been lobotomized, and it was just long, horribly boring, and extremely an
Coleridge in his criticism of Paradise Lost somewhere wrote that Milton was really of the Devil's party without realising it.

I don't know about Milton, but I feel that what Coleridge wrote was true of Philip Pullman channelling Milton by means of his appearance to William Blake in poetic vision while in Felpham, all of course transmogrified into a children's book - with armoured bears. Even the Jungian Daemons, anima and animus to every character, have their counterparts in Blake, while the sexu
Jun 17, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was an experiment, and while there were moments that were clever and compelling and emotionally resonant, as a whole, the experiment failed. That experiment was to take a piece of complex, religious poetry intended for adults (Paradise Lost), turn it on its head, and make it into an anti-religion/coming-of-age allegory for children. Even though Pullman ultimately failed to create a believable, subtle, or controlled narrative universe, even The Amber Spyglass did have its good moments.

Emily B
I just wasn’t a huge fan of this series in general but really wanted to complete the trilogy and give it a fair chance.

For me too much was happening in this book, one wild thing after another. It also seemed kind of fragmented.
The ending wasn’t very satisfying, with lots of the ‘answers’ or ‘missing pieces’ being filled in by more minor character who figured it out with any explanation, they just turn up with the knowledge we have been looking for in three books.

I’m giving it three stars beca
Apr 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ve finally finished my reread of His Dark Materials before starting The Book of Dust. It is literally decades since I read it and all I could remember was that I loved it, and the mulefa. But of course there was so much more to it than that. And I cried my eyes out at the end.
It also made me feel like I’d love to chat to Philip Pullman about his metaphysical beliefs and the meaning of life. Wonderful writing. Wonderful story.
Apr 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heartbreaking, cynical, beautiful, potentially life-changing.
Sep 13, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I actually finished this book a couple weeks ago. But life outside of goodreads, my general frustrations with the book, and the sense that reading it and thinking about it was contributing to an extended bought of grumpiness kept me from putting any thought or effort towards commenting on it here.
I suppose I should get it over with now. I have to say that reading this book was at times overwhelmingly painful and my main motivation for actually finishing it was to be able to know for myself that
Jan 17, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dannii Elle
This is the third instalment in the His Dark Materials series.

Lyra has been captured, the worlds are tearing apart, and a new species has been discovered. This might the final book in a series but that sure doesn't mean Pullman is winding down his adventures any time soon!

It's hard for me to admit that I didn't fully love this. I used to adore this series as a young teen and have so many good memories of reading it, but this reread hasn't been as fulfilling. I'll always have a soft spot in my he
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the conclusion to the trilogy known as His Dark Materials. I’m glad I was told about the connection to Milton, but in this last volume there are hints enough for the reader in form of poems and quotes at the beginning of each chapter; of William Blake, Emily Dickinson and John Milton.

The Amber Spyglass is about Will further travelling through the worlds, now in the possession of the Subtle Knife (how much I love that boy with his quiet courage and sense of duty and faithfulness). Lyra ha
Seth T.
Dec 05, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
(This fits within the scope of my review of the full series)

Book three was just a mess. It's almost nonsensical as it strives against reason and its own narrative to bring the story to some kind of resolution. The great betrayal prophesied? Not really a betrayal at all. Lyra being tempted? Never happens. Mary playing the role of the serpent? Nope. She just kind of stands around. Oh, and the big plan to take war to heaven and kill God? Has nothing to do with anything in the story really. Though t
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-books, favorites
OH MY GOODNESS!!! This cannot be a children's book, because I am not feeling child-sized feelings right heart...oh my heart....
This was SOOOO good, the entire trilogy, amazing! This book, however, was the best of the entire trilogy. HANDS DOWN!

Wonderful, amazing, and so damn relevant. What an amazingly brave and thought provoking book....I'm gushing.....This book makes me gush.

I can't wait for the new trilogy to come out...please find a way...(those who read it know what I'm talking ab
Will Byrnes
Pullman continues the tale begun in The golden Compass. It remains fascinating, moving and carries significant intellectual payload, although I expect much of that will go over the heads of younger readers. One of the best series of its generation.
Mar 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2019-shelf, ya
Re-read 11/4/19:

I'm regularly astounded at how well-beloved this series is. I mean, let's look at this for a moment: we're surrounded by liars who are heroes, murderers who are the best of folks, drunkards who are the most noble, and a God who is feeble, the push of the devil is a rather positive thing, and we're meant to root for the big battle against Enoch, one of two of the only men in the Bible to ever have been raptured up to heaven. (Of course, he was promoted well beyond his ability and
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As a passionate believer in the democracy of reading, I don't think it's the task of the author of a book to tell the reader what it means.

The meaning of a story emerges in the meeting between the words on the page and the thoughts in the reader's mind. So when people ask me what I meant by this story, or what was the message I was trying to convey in that one, I have to explain that I'm not going

Other books in the series

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

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