Fantasy, Fiction, Loved-it, Well known books

5 Reasons To Read His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman One Of The Musts For A Fantasy Lover

One of the most famous and beloved fantasy book trilogies you can think of. One that has been tried to adapt into a movie, but it failed, as some things (okay, most things!) are probably best left in book form. It’s so epic, I can only compare it to Harry Potter. If you haven’t read it yet, let me see if I can remedy that!

5 Reasons To Read His Dark Materials

Northern Lights (His Dark Materials #1) The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials #2) The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials #3)

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★★★★★
Endless number of stars

His Dark Materials is a sweeping epic that tells of a story bigger than you can imagine, but it’s also a story told through the smallest characters – a story of a world, the fate of which lies in the hands of children. In a way, it’s all about the fight between good and evil, wisdom and darkness, but not in your usual fantasy sense. This is more philosophical than you might have expected it to be, but it’s also so imaginative, so full of adventure and unbelievable details, that you’ll never get bogged down with any of the philosophy. It’s a series that you can eat through a week – no matter how long the books actually are. You won’t sleep, if you have to.

Don’t You Just Wish Your Cat Was Your Daemon??

Daemons are talking animals that are… curiously, they’re part of you. They’re kind of your spirit animal, which also makes up part of your soul. It’s incredibly interesting, cute, and it goes so well with the story! You can talk to it, it will help you and defend you, and even if you’re utterly and completely alone, it will be your companion. It’s likely that by the end of the series, you will find yourself trying to figure out what your daemon would look like. Or maybe even does look like. (more on why I say that – in the actual book!)

There Are Wonders And Mysteries

Obviously, it wouldn’t be cool if I just gave it away to you, now would it. But let me just tell you that there are worlds to explore. That there are reasons the entire world is falling, and you need to find them out. And the reasons are all pretty grand as well. It’s not your typical overused YA tropes either, for example – oh, this or that super power has just decided to thwart the main character and their family, and you need a special snowflake to fix it. No, it’s far better than that! That said, the main character (who is a little girl) IS special, and she’s IS key to the saving of the world, but she’s no special snowflake. We’re getting to that in the next point.

The Characters Have Flaws, They’re Not Perfect

Having imperfect characters is great! Especially so, because it prevents the aforementioned ‘special snowflake’ syndrome. The main female character, Lyra, is as flawed as can be – she lies, she’s not loyal, she’s subject to other people’s manipulation. She is also ridiculously dramatic, and it’s maintained throughout the entire series in the way she talks (I specifically loved that!). The main male character Will is also a great character. He’s strong willed and he’s trustable, but he can also be ruthless, hard and cold. Both of them symbolize many things, but typical special snowflakes they are not. As for symbolizing? We get to point 4…

The Symbolism

This story has layers upon layers of symbolism, mostly to do with mythologies, or namely – Christian mythologies, exposing them quite ruthlessly at times. This is magical and super interesting, merging religious symbolism with scientific fantasy (is that.. a thing, scientific fantasy..?), and weaving together a magical build of the world, of the universe. I will not tell you what the main characters (and many others) symbolize, because that would take away from your pleasure of discovering it yourself. However, if you are religious (not only Christian, basically, any religion that is based on a single deity)be warned, as this book might seem controversial to you. It’s not kind to organized religion. You need an open mind to read it. If you are religious, and still really want to read it (which you should!), I suggest remembering that this is just fiction and it’s an invented world.

The Feels

(when you read it, you will know why the Doctor Who GIF works so well here too.)

This series ends with a bad case of the feels. As bad as it gets. But it’s also the kind of feels you want in a book! Basically, the kind of feels we all read books for. But please, prepare napkins.

Have you read this amazing series? What did you think about it?
And what would your daemon be, do you think? Why?

I’m Evelina and I try to blog about books that matter, with a bit of fun there too! Disability and equality will be topics you see a lot, but there’s also a lot of scifi, fantasy and… GIFs. I’m also the proud founder of #ARCsAnonymous.

39 thoughts on “5 Reasons To Read His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman One Of The Musts For A Fantasy Lover

  1. I have the large collected edition they came out with. My partner has told me to read this, he is into this type of story. I haven’t gotten around to it yet. You, however, make the series so much better than what I was expecting it to be. I am putting them on my list to be read after I finish the ten books on my page to be read on my blog, since it stays on my new years theme of only reading books on my actual shelf.
    Cassie Winters recently posted…Locke and Key: Clockworks ReviewMy Profile

    1. Collected edition! Is it pretty? You should bookstagram it! And yes yes, it’s very very VERY worth reading (in case you didn’t already pick up on that from my review 😀 haha)
      And the series COMPLETELY blew my mind. I wasn’t expecting anything good myself, cause the last book rec I got from my boyfriend? Wasn’t that good xD but this… This is definitely in the top 5 of my reads of all time, if I had to choose one.
      Would you share your review with me when you do finish it? 🙂 I’d love to see what you thought.

    1. I actually wanted an apple and a snake GIF! But I couldn’t find one xD took me ages and I had to go with that one 😀 creepy, but pretty impressive, isn’t it.
      And yeah, this series is amazing! Definitely, definitely worth it 🙂

  2. You definitely made me feel bad that I haven’t read it already!!! 😛 Love the sound of a series that is simply bigger than life. The ideas, the world, the symbolism, honestly everything sounds perfect. Oddly, I did see The Golden Compass movie though. Good thing it has been a very long time now. Would love to go into this blind now and be immersed by it all. Wonderful list of reasons to read this series, Evelina. 🙂

    1. I also saw the movie before I read The series. But that movie is kind of messed up 😀 it’s no spoiler, because it omits.. only the entire plot 😀 I thought the movie was okay when I hadn’t read the book, but then after I read it… basically, there is a reason they never continued with the other movies xD

  3. Well, I guess I’ll just have to check around for a copy of this one. I hadn’t heard of it before (which might be weird, but it’s the truth), but I’ve heard good things about Pullman’s writing recently. Also, this review glows too much to be ignored.

    Wait, this is the Golden Compass series? Okay, I feel dumb now–just saw that on Goodreads.
    Okay, still haven’t read it, but have definitely heard of it. 😛

    1. See, the funny thing 😀 it was called Northern Lights. Then they released that REALLY BAD movie!! And renamed the book!! Renaming a book over a movie… And a bad movie, no less! Urghhh!
      But I guess a lot of us only know it because of that movie. This series had missed me as well. I saw the movie first, but luckily it’s not a lot like the book. So I wasn’t too spoiled 🙂
      Anyway! Totally recommended 🙂

      1. Very interesting! I wonder how often that sort of thing happens.
        Well, now I don’t feel so silly at least. Thanks for informing me! Also, I never did see the movie, so I guess I’m even more primed for enjoying the book. I’ll be sure and check it out!

  4. Oh I love this post so, so much and your arguments are on point. This is one of my favorite series of all times and every single time I think about it, I’m just in love all over again. I think what amazes me the most here, is how many LAYERS this series has, how it is a fantastic story, imaginative, creative and so on, but just as well, how it talks about the world and religion and everything.
    Did you see the movie? Did you read The Book of Dust already? WHAT DID YOU THINK? 😀
    Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books recently posted…Monthly wrap-up – November 2017My Profile

    1. I know right, I can’t believe I only read it for the first time now 🙂 and yes, the layers! I wonder how I would have felt, had I read it when I was a kid? Probably would have missed half the references. Either way, it’s definitely reread material, I think. Given time.
      I saw the movie before I read the book… At the time I thought it was alright, but now I think it was crap xD and nope, I haven’t read The Book of Dust. Just waiting for some magical sale 😀 😀

  5. I have not read the series in its entirety since I was about 11 and I loved so much! It’s still one of my all-time favourite fantasy series. I did re-read Northern Lights earlier on this year and I plan on re-reading the other two so I can get around to picking up The Book of Dust. I can’t wait to see what adventures and excitement that book holds!

  6. I read that series ages ago. Like, maybe high school/early college years. And, STILL, I remember Lyra and her daemon. I remember the villain, too. Because, you know, that was one impressive villain. It was an interesting take on biblical texts, I admit. What would be your daemon? Mine would probably be a hamster or a rabbit. I wish it were a cat, though.

    1. We actually had that discussion with my boyfriend, and although I might want my daemon to be a cat, my character really matches something more like a deer 🙂 that’s the conclusion we reached 😀

  7. I read this series way back when I was a teen and I borrowed them from the library. i remember being utterly gripped by them and loving the story, depsite being wary of reading about such a young protaganist. Much like Harry Potter overcame age barriers, so did this book series and with a new book out in this world I am now feeling a strong need to reread the books. I recently got them all on Kindle so I know I will be rereading but your post is helped me remember why I would be a fool not to. Much like I obsessively took Sorting Hat quizzes after Harry Potter I was always curious which animal my daemon would settle as.
    Becky @ A Fool’s Ingenuity recently posted…Eliza and Her Monsters // I Can’t Find The Words To Explain How Good This WasMy Profile

    1. Oh, which house would you get sorted into most? 🙂 (I’m Hufflepuff) yeah. I can’t wait till I get to read Book of the Dust! Maybe when a sale comes around 🙂 these books definitely deserve a reread! I feel like given time I will be reading them again too 🙂

  8. YES TO ALL THE REASONS! I love this series so much and Pullman’s new book The Book of Dust is just as magical and wonderful!

  9. I haven’t read the series, though I heard great things about it before and after your review, I really feel like I should check it out! I’m intrigued by the symbolism that you mentioned and also characters that aren’t special snowflakes – so here for this!!! ❤

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