At the crossroads between a multitude of connected worlds: a boy and a girl meet.
Sometimes, one meeting is all it takes to change everything.
(armored polar bears, witches, gypsies, ghosts, angels, shapeshifting animal familiars, tiny spies on the back of dragonflies, clockwork insects, magical artifacts, harpies, shamans, strange creatures and airships may help move things along a bit...)
The Trilogy contains three books: "Northern Lights" (The Golden Compass), "The Subtle Knife" and "The Amber Spyglass"
There are a few books in this world that I genuinely think everyone should read at least once in their lifetime. Not because they are true or should be emulated without question, but because they are relevant, uplifting and inspirational. They keep us up at night thinking about what we've read. They make us ask questions. And most importantly, they make sense of a seemingly meaningless universe. One is, oddly enough, The Bible.
Even for those who aren't in the least bit religious, the Bible is a must. It is, quite simply, "The Greatest Story Ever Told." The nastiness comes about from the percieved need to prove whether that story is true or not. I could really care less. It is a story so universal in it's adventure, appeal and insight that it can speak to each and every one of us on some level.
This is another of those stories. And like the Bible: even if you are 100% against what the books have to say about the meaning of life, the purpose of humanity and the role of theology ~ it will still thrill your heart and move you to tears.
Life is about being challenged. Morality is about making informed decisions about right and wrong, good and evil. It is about pain, suffering, loss, deciet, betrayal, rebellion, confusion, guilt, and all sorts of other little nasties we like to ignore in our modern fairy-tales.
These books are dark, they are challenging and in spite of being "Children's literature" they contain ideas that we've learned to shelter our children (and ourselves) against. They are beautiful, seductive and subversive. Very much like the Bible.
The controversy is deserved. The books are vehemently anti-Church, anti-establishment, and pro-earthly knowledge. They argue that sin is the very nature of the world, goodness, light and love. In repressing it: we are repressing life itself. Eve is innocent. God is absent and dying. The Authority that runs our universe now was once a man.
Oddly enough, the books do not deny the existance of God or religion. In fact, they rely on the Bible having been, to a point, true. God exists. He was a good overseer once. There are angels, all of them are beautiful and a few of them are heroes. It is not religion itself that is evil -- it is the use of religious dogma to repress, harm, intimidate, wound, supress, opress and imbalance.
If you are religious, you may even find yourself enraged by what you read.
But rage is just as worthy an emotional experience as any other.
Read them because you are brave, because you think that you know exactly who you are and what it is that you believe. Read them because you want to know more about what else might be out there. Read them to enforce what you already think you know. Read them to "know your enemy". Read them to inspire debate. Read for escapist fantasy fun. Read them to cry your eyes out.
I don't care why you read them -- but you really should.
Pullman is offering you the fruit...
I'm happy to play the serpent ~