The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
(His Dark Materials, Book 3)

80%

15 Critic Reviews

The longed-for third volume in this trilogy (The Golden Compass, 1996; The Subtle Knife, 1997) satisfies deeply: full of grand set pieces, resplendent language, and glorious storytelling...What matters at the last are the stories, and the truth of their telling. Readers will be chastened—and warmed—and sorry to see the last page.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

The unforgettable His Dark Materials trilogy that began with The Golden Compass—the modern fantasy classic that Entertainment Weekly named an "All-Time Greatest Novel" and Newsweek hailed as a "Top 100 Book of All Time"—and continued with The Subtle Knife, reaches its astonishing conclusion.

Throughout the worlds, the forces of both heaven and hell are mustering to take part in Lord Asriel's audacious rebellion. Each player in this epic drama has a role to play—and a sacrifice to make. Witches, angels, spies, assassins, tempters, and pretenders, no one will remain unscathed.

Lyra and Will have the most dangerous task of all. They must journey to a gray-lit world where no living soul has ever gone and from which there is no escape.

As war rages and Dust drains from the sky, the fate of the living—and the dead—comes to depend on Lyra and Will. On the choices they make in love, and for love, forevermore.

A #1 New York Times Bestseller
Winner of the Whitbread Award
Winner of the British Book Award (Children's)
Published in 40 Countries
 
"Masterful.... This title confirms Pullman's inclusion in the company of C.S. Lewis and Tolkien." —Smithsonian Magazine

"Pullman has created the last great fantasy masterpiece of the twentieth century. An astounding achievement." —The Cincinnati Enquirer

"War, politics, magic, science, individual lives and cosmic destinies are all here . . . shaped and assembled into a narrative of tremendous pace by a man with a generous, precise intelligence. I am completely enchanted." —The New York Times Book Review

"Breathtaking adventure . . . a terrific story, eloquently told." The Boston Globe
 

About Philip Pullman

See more books from this Author
PHILIP PULLMAN won the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in honor of the body of his work. His books include the internationally renowned His Dark Materials trilogy. Mr. Pullman lives with his wife in Oxford, England.
 
Published November 13, 2001 by Knopf Books for Young Readers. 480 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Amber Spyglass
All: 15 | Positive: 15 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
on May 20 2010

The longed-for third volume in this trilogy (The Golden Compass, 1996; The Subtle Knife, 1997) satisfies deeply: full of grand set pieces, resplendent language, and glorious storytelling...What matters at the last are the stories, and the truth of their telling. Readers will be chastened—and warmed—and sorry to see the last page.

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Publishers Weekly

Above average
on Jul 02 2015

While some sections seem rushed and the prose is not always as brightly polished as fans might expect, Pullman's exuberant work stays rigorously true to its own internal structure. Stirring and highly provocative.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Julia Eccleshare on Oct 28 2000

If anything, The Amber Spyglass is more intense than its predecessors. The climaxes are bigger; there is a fresh fire in the writing; and there is a wonderful new cast of characters - notably, a pair of gay angels. Above all, Pullman pursues his central philosophical theme with even greater passion.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Bookworm 11 on Aug 08 2012

I enjoyed this book as this was such complex plot with so many different stories going on; it took me some time to grasp the plot which made me like it even more as I had to work at it which made it interesting.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Julia Eccleshare on Oct 28 2000

Through his portrayal of real people dealing with weighty moral issues within a mythic story and in a fantasy setting, Pullman has rearranged the landscape of writing for children.

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BookPage

Good
Reviewed by Sharon Kozy on Oct 23 2000

Easily the best and most exciting book in the trilogy, The Amber Spyglass will keep its readers enthralled until the last page...As any good conclusion should, it ties up all the loose ends and leaves its readers satisfied from having embarked on Lyra's coming-of-age journey in the first place.

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Common Sense Media

Good
Reviewed by Matt Berman on Oct 10 2000

Readers who were expecting the conclusion of the trilogy to make all things clear may be disappointed...Still, the author hasn't lost his touch -- it's as riveting and fast-paced as ever. His characterizations are even stronger, although his plotting is weaker here than in the first two books;

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Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by Bapalapa2 on Jul 03 2015

Onceagain, Philip Pullman delivers a spectacular book to an unsuspectingworld. The Amber Spyglass brings Pullman's trilogy (His Dark Materials)to an exhilarating end...The book has some difficult parts...But in its entirety, it is a memorable book and enjoyable to read.

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Fantasy Book Review

Good
Reviewed by Amanda White on Jul 04 2012

A brilliant conclusion to the 'His Dark Materials' trilogy that kept me entertained throughout, except possibly I read it so greedily I missed the answer to some questions I felt certain would be given in this final book...Wonderfully engrossing and so packed full of of explosive plot lines that you'll find it difficult to put down.

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Fyrefly's Book Blog

Good
Reviewed by fyrefly on Feb 17 2009

I’m also really, really still impressed with the texture and complexity of the worldbuilding. Pullman puts together history, physics, religious theory, evolution, anthropology, and probably several other fields of study into a single cohesive unit that’s so well built that it actually seems not only plausible, but likely.

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Fantasy Faction

Good
Reviewed by KJ Braxton on May 08 2014

Within all of this the underlying thread which runs through this book is love. Not just romantic love but the love of friendship, the complex love between a parent and child, the love found in the family you make for yourself...This is an adventure worth taking, tears worth shedding and characters worthy of breaking your heart.

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SF Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Thomas M. Wagner on May 03 2007

The Amber Spyglass concludes Philip Pullman's challenging and polarizing His Dark Materials by delivering just such showmanship for most of its length, before finally dailing down the spectacle at the very end and becoming an intensely personal story of love and loss and sacrifice for the greater good on the part of its adolescent heroes,

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Eagle

Above average
on Nov 03 2005

...this is not a bad book, just a good book that could have been better. I was hoping that Pullman would pull everything together into a killer conclusion that would live up to the promise of the first book, and unfortunately that didn't happen. He did, however, write a decent conclusion...

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Good
Reviewed by Jill Marshall on May 03 2000

For the one thing that has become clear during the telling of this tale is that life is here and now, on earth, while we have strong bodies and clear senses...This is an exhilarating trilogy full of challenging ideas and almost overwhelming imagination. Read it. I'm sure you'll love it.

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http://www.complete-review.com

Good
on Jul 01 2015

The Amber Spyglass is a decent adventure fantasy. Will and Lyra are engaging enough as central characters...Pullman tells the story fairly well (though a few overcrowded muddles and ignored characters detract somewhat), and it is, for the most part, a good and fairly exciting read.

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Anthony Allsopp 14 Nov 2013

Rated the book as 5 out of 5

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