Review of 'The Amber Spyglass'

The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
3rd book in the 'His Dark Materials' series

The final book in the Dark Materials trilogy that seeks to finish up the series on a bit of a bang. And, indeed, it does. The threads that Pullman began weaving in the first book are all tied up fairly neatly, if a bit controversially.

Lyra is now teamed up with Will (and the powerful “subtle knife” of the second novel) in an attempt to fulfil her destinies (as there are many) including travelling to the world of the dead and fighting off those who would wish to see them fail. The researcher, Mary, is in a world of fabulous creatures and stumbles across (via the titular “Amber Spyglass”) curious behaviour of “dust”. The conflict with the church later comes to the fore as battle commences.

I believe this is a good finale to the series with answers to many of the questions raised in previous books. Certain things are tied up, perhaps, a bit too tidily (for example, series characters dying off early in the narrative) but overall it was resolved very satisfactorily indeed. The religious commentary is certainly stepped up a notch from the previous books with several characters saying some fairly controversial things (if you choose to interpret this as a comment on religion in our world).

It will be interested to see how the series appears on the big screen with many of the theological elements having been removed from the first novel's adoption since much of this book concentrates on the theory (amongst the big actions scenes).

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2008-03-13

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Scholastic

Publication Date: 2000

Other reviewed books in the 'His Dark Materials' series:

Other reviewed books by Philip Pullman: