What an utterly beautiful book. The Amber Spyglass is about many things – love, longing, coming-of-age, religion, betrayal… I could go on at length. But at its heart, this book is about a boy, and a girl. About Will, and about Lyra. And I will miss them so very much. Re-reading their adventures has been such a wonderful experience, delving back into locations almost forgotten and re-discovering characters that never really left my heart.
One of the elements I most enjoyed was the increased focus on Lyra’s parents, especially her mother, the enigmatic Marisa Coulter. Their relationship is so nuance and layered, and I could happily have read so much more of it. If there’s any one thing that didn’t work quite as well, it would be Mary’s sojourn to the world of the mulefa, which came together wonderfully at the end, but served to slow down the plot in the meantime. I missed the presence of Lee, Iorec, Serafina and the gyptians, but new characters such as Baruch, Balthamos, Lady Salmakia and the Chevalier Tialys admirably filled their absence.
I can’t believe it took me over a decade to re-read this series. I sincerely hope the next time comes much sooner.
[Read from 11-27 April 2016]