Summary and book reviews of The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman

The Amber Spyglass

His Dark Materials - Book III

By Philip Pullman

The Amber Spyglass
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Oct 2000,
    400 pages.
    Paperback: Oct 2001,
    480 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

The Amber Spyglass brings the intrigue of The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife to a heart-stopping end, marking the final volume of His Dark Materials as the most powerful of the trilogy.

Along with the return of Lyra, Will, Mrs. Coulter, Lord Asriel, Dr. Mary Malone, and Iorek Byrnison the armored bear, come a host of new characters: the Mulefa, mysterious wheeled creatures with the power to see Dust; Gallivespian Lord Roke, a hand-high spymaster to Lord Asriel; and Metatron, a fierce and mighty angel. So, too, come startling revelations: the painful price Lyra must pay to walk through the land of the dead, the haunting power of Dr. Malone's amber spyglass, and the names of who will live--and who will die--for love. And all the while, war rages with the Kingdom of Heaven, a brutal battle that--in its shocking outcome--will uncover the secret of Dust. Philip Pullman deftly brings the cliff-hangers and mysteries of His Dark Materials to an earthshattering conclusion--and confirms his fantasy trilogy as an undoubted and enduring classic.

The Break

Ama climbed the path to the cave, as she'd done for many days now, bread and milk in the bag on her back, a heavy puzzlement in her heart. How in the world could she ever manage to reach the sleeping girl? Would the woman never leave the cave for more than a few minutes?

Ama came to the rock where the woman had told her to leave the food since she wasn't allowed in the cave anymore. She put down the bag, but she didn't go straight home; she climbed a little farther, up past the cave and through the thick rhododendrons, and farther up still to where the trees thinned out and the rainbows began.

This part of the valley was where the streams and cascades ran most confusingly: shafts of green-white water would sink into potholes and emerge a little lower down, or gush upward in splintered fountains, or divide into myriad streamlets, or swirl round and round trapped in a whirlpool. When the world was frozen, spears and shelves and columns of glassy ice grew ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
About This Book

The Amber Spyglass brings the intrigue of The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife to a heart-stopping conclusion, marking the final volume as the most powerful of the trilogy.

Along with the return of Lyra, Will, Mrs. Coulter, Lord Asriel, Dr. Mary Malone, and the armored bear Iorek Byrnison, The Amber Spyglass introduces a host of new characters: the Mulefa, mysterious wheeled creatures with the power to see Dust; Gallivespian Lord Roke, a hand-high spymaster to Lord Asriel; and Metatron, a fierce and mighty angel.

And with rich characters and mounting suspense come startling revelations, too: the painful price Lyra must pay to walk through the land of the dead, the haunting power of Dr. Malone's amber ...
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews
Newsweek

Pullman [is] a big deal, and so is this final volume of the 'His Dark Materials' trilogy.

USA Today

One of the most anticipated books [this fall].

Salon.com - Polly Shulman

.... while Pullman may have become caught up in adult theology -- and while he has won more grown-up readers with each Dark Materials book -- he keeps the swooping plots and passionate characters that make his earlier books so appealing to young readers. With fantasies, as with mysteries, the hardest part to get right is the end, where everything is revealed. The magical objects and unexplained forces that flourish in the genre easily lend themselves to anticlimax, disintegrating into mere mechanics or bluster once the author attempts to explain them or tie them together in the traditional apocalyptic battle at the end. Given the delicious promise of the first two Dark Materials books, some disappointment was almost inevitable. But The Amber Spyglass delivers surprisingly little of it; the latest novel is nearly as satisfying as the first two.

Reader Reviews
Book Freak

Life and Love goes on
I absolutely adore this book. In fact, I own it! I love this book for its emotional trauma of how life and love move on even after the most terrible blows. I recommend this book to anyone who has a giving heart and is awed by the possibility ...   Read More

Lindsey

Great Book!
This book was very very good I have read the whole Harry Potter Books and many other fantasy book, he did a great job,my mom read it too .She cried at the end and I almost did, I couldn't put it down! Thumbs up!:-)If you haven't read the book,YOU ...   Read More

Starry
Magic
Pullman's magical text, accompanied by a thrilling story, is one of the best (and saddest) books I have ever read. I was heartbroken and confused when I first finished the book, but now I recognize it as a spectacular novel. Watching Lyra's ...   Read More

Big Girl0013

The Amber Spyglass
I think that the book "The Amber Spyglass" s a great book because Lyra and Will was at war rages and Dust drains from the sky, the fate of the living and the dead finally comes to depend on two children and the simple truth of one simple story. When ...   Read More

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked The Amber Spyglass, try these:

  • Eagle Strike jacket

    Eagle Strike

    by Anthony Horowitz

    Published Feb 2013

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Teen spy Alex Rider survives a bullfight, a high-speed bicycle chase through Amsterdam, and even being the target in a human video-game, in order to save the world - again.

  • Fly Trap jacket

    Fly Trap

    by Frances Hardinge

    Published Feb 2013

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    In the eagerly awaited sequel to Fly by Night, acclaimed storyteller Frances Hardinge returns to a vivid world rich with humor, danger, and discovery.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member


Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    The Stranger on the Train
    by Abbie Taylor
    The opening chapter of Abbie Taylor's debut novel, The Stranger on the Train, took me right back to ...
  • Book Jacket
    Night Film
    by Marisha Pessl
    One of the central tenets of Hinduism states that the world as we know it is just an illusion –...
  • Book Jacket: Complicit
    Complicit
    by Stephanie Kuehn
    When seventeen year-old Jamie Henry receives word that his older sister Cate, is being released from...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

Tomlinson Hill
by Chris Tomlinson

Published Jul. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  153The City:
    Dean Koontz

All Discussions

Who Said...

We should have a great fewer disputes in the world if words were taken for what they are, the signs of our ideas ...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

O O T F P, Into T F

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.