My first encounter with Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy was when I downloaded the first book, Northern Lights, onto my audible app as part of a 2 for 1 deal. The first book in the trilogy is now being marketed as The Golden Compass because of the film of the same name which was based on the book.
My daughter went on to listen to it and when she finished, I downloaded book 2, The Subtle Knife, for her to listen to. I had enjoyed the first book and the film and was very excited when I heard that the BBC had made a television series of the whole trilogy and decided to listen to The Subtle Knife as well. By the time I’d watch the first two episodes of the TV series I’d finished The Subtle Knife and downloaded the third book in the trilogy, The Amber Spyglass, which I am listening to now.
The themes within the trilogy are not made explicit until the end of the second book, but having studied John Milton and William Blake for my Masters Degree I was interested to see how this aspect of the story developed and am interested in how it might conclude in the third book.
The TV series has introduced elements from The Subtle Knife surprisingly early in the series but I imagine that this is to help the viewers understand how the story develops and has not detracted from the enjoyment of the series at all, so far.
I am enjoying the series so much that I even bought a hardback version of La Belle Sauvage, which was on special offer at one of my local bookshops. This is the first book in a prequel trilogy called The Book of Dust which begins 12 years before His Dark Materials. The second book in this trilogy, The Secret Commonwealth, which was published this year, is set 20 years after La Belle Sauvage and seven years after The Amber Spyglass and follows the life of the protagonist of both series, Lyra, as she becomes an undergraduate. There doesn’t seem to be any news on when the third book in this trilogy will be released but I, for one will be waiting for it eagerly.
(all paid links)