Overall Review of His Dark Materials

Yes, I loved this series, but I don’t like the title of the series. As noticed below, the books in this trilogy are The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass. What got me interested in reading this series is the character of Lyra herself. When reading the first summary of the first book, I was able to notice that in some ways, Lyra reminds me of Lila.

Does the Anti-Religious Elements bug me?

Well, one of the biggest criticisms about this series is the fact that it, in some ways, is actually anti-religious. That does not bug me at all- it is the world and the characters that make me love it. Yes, I see elements that I don’t believe in, but it still is an interesting read. In a way, the God they are talking about belongs to Old Testament God- don’t forget in The Old Testament, God was more angry at the time. It does connect a lot to how Creation and Original Sin was built. In some ways, I do see some Christian-related elements at times.

The World

A key to any amazing series belongs to the world. There is something incredible about this world- it is really confusing. Like Shades of Magic, the world is hard to describe. It consists of multiple worlds, most of which are fiction. From witches to talking animals (ex: Polar Bears and fictional ones). I really don’t know what drives me to this particular world.

Daemons

I actually loved these characters. I can’t exactly describe what they are. They are literally, in some ways, your soul. They are a huge piece of you and are in shape of animals. I was most fascinated by Lyra’s daemon. It is crazy how in some worlds, you can’t exactly see them- in Will’s world for instance.

Characters- Possible Spoilers

Lyra- she is our main character in a parallel England. Yes, she is liar and savage, but there is a lot more to her- this reminds me of Lila (she is a thief in Shades of Magic after all). I love her Daemon. She can be quite fearful of a lot of things, but still shows courage despite that. Her relationship to some of these characters are incredible- like Will and Iorek Byrinson. She is the one who can read the altheiometer,

Will- I didn’t come across him until the 2nd book. I love Lyra’s and Will’s relationship- I wasn’t expecting them to fall in love, but they do. Well, their relationship truly grows throughout their journeys. He eventually becomes the bearer of The Subtle Knife- which is actually a dangerous thing to have.

What is crazy about some of the characters is that sometimes it is hard to know who to trust and who to not trust- some of the characters seem that way.

15 thoughts on “Overall Review of His Dark Materials

  1. I really should reread this series. I read it nearly a decade ago, and my memory is really foggy about it. But it’s interesting that you brought up the anti-religious issues. I’m Catholic, and I definitely see anti-Catholic sentiment in the book, but it’s fiction and I wasn’t bothered at all. I think you can see bias in a book and still adore the plot, world, and characters, because every author has some sort of bias.

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    • I’m Episcopalian- didn’t really notice the anti-religious nature really until the 2nd book. Despite being a Christian, that doesn’t stop me from loving this series

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  2. I remember these books being really popular years ago but I just never really wound up picking them up. Maybe I’ll read these at some point!

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    • This series has one of my least favorite titles-
      “His Dark Materials” just isn’t a good name for a series. This series was originally banned- the anti-religious elements didn’t bug me. I was into it due to my love for Lyra and the world

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      • Ah, that’s interesting! I didn’t know it was banned at one point. Banned books are kind of something I’m passionate about so maybe I’ll have to check this series out for Banned Books Week at some point!

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      • Oh, for sure! There are some that I’m still shocked at! As I recall, books like The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and even children’s books like Where the Wild Things Are were banned at some point.

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      • You got to be kidding me- seems like I love more banned books than I thought. I love Lord of the Rings, and HP.

        HP’ reason for being banned is absurd- people thought that readers would try to get into witchcraft and performing magic= seriously isn’t that the point of fantasy- magic and made-up worlds?

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      • Haha, yeah. Ah, well! To me, fantasy and fiction, just in general, is fun because it’s made up, and not real. Plus, you can just have fun with it!

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      • Fantasy, especially, due to its different kinds of magic and creatures such as elves, dwarves, hippogriff, phoenix, hobbits, etc….. and the expansive worlds.

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      • Yeah, for sure! Fantasy is just very transportive. It’s a completely different world–even if, sometimes, it’s meant to somewhat be in the same world like Harry Potter is.

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      • Harry Potter is set in the UK, Shades of Magic is set in London, Dark Materials does that too (just can’t exactly explain).

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  3. Pingback: October 2020 in Review | Meg's Magical Musings

  4. His Dark Materials has long been a favorite. As with every fiction novel I read, there are some elements I dislike but will overlook. For me, it was the implied caste system and subtle misogyny. Great article. Thank you.

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