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)

[ Add To Goodreads | Buy at Book Depository ]

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?

17 Comment threads
24 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
16 Comment authors
Evelina AvalinahsBooksTop Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I Really Liked But Can’t Remember Anything About – Death by TsundokuBecky @ A Fool's IngenuityCassie WintersBethan Hindmarch Recent comment authors

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Cassie Winters
Cassie Winters

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.

Lara @ Words With Lara

I love this series! And I would love it so much if my cat was my daemon… Except I wouldn’t want it to stop changing lol I’d want to be a child forever so that my daemon could always change!

Laura Thomas

I’ve not heard of this series. Looks like I’m missing out on something awesome. That cat cracked me up. And the snake. Eew! You got me all creeped out. LOL

Lashaan Balasingam

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. 🙂

Chauncey Rogers

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. 😛


I’ve heard so many praises about the series that I bought the box set immediately. Unfortunately, the books are now on my desk along with gazillion books that keep piling up LOL.

Elizabeth Hunter

I’ve never heard of this series But I’ll definitely need to check it out!

Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books

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? 😀

Emma's Library
Emma's Library

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!


[…] up on its own and proudly take the place of the only mind-blowingly awesome book I read this month. I have reviewed the entire series here if you’d like to read it. It was awesome and I recommend it for […]


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.

Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

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.… Read more »


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!

Dragonfly @ Our Familiarium
Dragonfly @ Our Familiarium

yup thi sis one that keeps getting in and ou t of my TBR! It just too complex for me allergies right now BUT I WILL read it [damn it! I will!] 🙂


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!!! ❤

Bethan Hindmarch

Reason 6 – there’s a new one out

Reason 7 – because I bloody say so ok?!


[…] the 90’s. All I recall is Pantalaimon. I know I’d still love it to this day; besides, Evelina read it recently and her gushing reminded me how much I enjoyed my […]