Tolkien and C.S. Lewis were great friends—both Oxford writers and scholars. Both important to this day.
Philip Pullman is another Oxford man, one who believes he should be ranked with those great writers.
I wouldn’t go that far.
Certainly Lyra in The Golden Compass (also known as Northern Lights) is one of the great children characters in fiction.
Certainly Pullman’s invention of the daemon is one of the great fantasy inventions.
A film adaptation of Northern Lights, titled The Golden Compass, was released in December 2007 by New Line Cinema, starring Dakota Blue Richards as Lyra, along with Daniel Craig, Nicole Kidman, Eva Green, Sam Elliott and Ian McKellen. Though it was a financial failure, I personally like the film.
That all said, the plot of this other world is simply too scattered. Seems he started without knowing how it would end.
Secret Commonwealth is 5th in the series, and weakest so far.
Racism, xenophobia, and the refugee crisis. Sexism, violence, and rape. Propaganda, the suppression of free speech, and religious fundamentalism.
Recall Pullman’s His Dark Materials series:
His The Book of Dust series is a prequel and sequels:
- La Belle Sauvage (2017)
- The Secret Commonwealth (2019)
- … TBD
The relationship between Lyra and her dæmon, Pantalaimon, has been severely strained …
This is my least favourite of the 5 books, so far. Too confusing. Too random. I certainly hope book 6 wraps up Lyra’s endless and seemingly pointless journey in some satisfying way.