Check out my His Dark Materials book summary and review  that I created to help you understand the basics of this great book.At the crossroads of the worlds (His Dark Materials) is a trilogy of the fantastic genre written by the British novelist Philip Pullman from 1995 to 2000. It has been translated into French by Jean Esch.

His Dark Materials book

 

The original trilogy, consisting of the books The Northern Kingdoms (1995), The Tower of Angels (1997) and The Mirror of Amber (2000), follows the rite of passage of two teenagers, Lyra Belacqua and Will Parry, who go through parallel universes through a series of epic adventures. The author then wrote other novels set in the same universe.

Pullman drew heavily on a 17th century English poem, John Milton's Paradise Lost, and addresses themes such as coming of age, death and religion. The story takes the form of an allegorical adventure novel where Pullman offers his own interpretation of the origin of Man and his reason for being on Earth through metaphysical and philosophical questions.

Although originally published for teenagers, the book offers several levels of reading, which is also aimed at adults. The original books won several awards and became literary successes. They are now considered "classics" of English literature. They were also adapted for radio in 2003, for theater between 2003 and 2004, for cinema in 2007 and for television, as a series, from 2019.

The book has also been the subject of numerous criticisms, in particular from Christian organizations which criticized it for its anti-religious content.

 His Dark Materials book summary

 In a world like ours, Lyra Belacqua is an eleven-year-old girl who grew up in the closed circle of Jordan College in Oxford. Surrounded by scholars, mostly men, she learns by chance of the existence of Dust, a strange elementary particle that seems to have a consciousness, rediscovered by her uncle Lord Asriel in the North.

 The Magisterium, powerful organ of repression of the Church N 5, establishes that the Dust is linked to the Original Sin. Its own properties are the subject of experiments aimed at determining why it seems less attracted to children than to adults. This work, led by Mrs. Coulter and research theologians, scientists commissioned by the Magisterium,

led to the decision to kidnap children and take them secretly to the North where, through a painful process called intercision, the resection of their dæmons (a part of themselves embodied in the form of an animal). Lyra's best friend is Roger Parslow N 6, also kidnapped, and she vows to find him.

The master of Jordan College, a sort of university dean by virtue of his functions, was entrusted with his education by Lyra's parents; under pressure from the Magisterium,

he accepts that Mrs. Coulter make Lyra his assistant, but before she leaves, he warns her and offers her an alethiometer (alethiometer or "truth reader"), an instrument allowing, once its functioning understood, to answer questions.

 Initially enthusiastic about leaving Jordan College and following Mrs. Coulter on her search, Lyra eventually discovers that this hypnotic and elegant lady chairs the Oblation Board, an organization commissioned by the Abduction Magisterium and better known as " Gobblers" (GobblersN 7).

Lyra then flees and is picked up by Gypsies #8, who tells her that in reality Mrs. Coulter is her mother and that Lord Asriel is not her uncle, but her father. The Gypsies decide to organize an expedition, which Lyra manages to join, to save the children, mostly belonging to their community,

 who have been abducted and detained in the North. Aided by an armored bear (panserbjørne) named Iorek Byrnison and witches, the Gypsies rescue the children after discovering the object of the experiments being carried out at Bolvangar. Lyra, Roger and Iorek fly to Svalbard, the kingdom of the armored bears, aboard the balloon of balloonist Lee Scoresby.

 Lyra helps Iorek, an exiled prince, regain his throne, then continues her journey in search of her father, also exiled to Svalbard by order of Mrs. Coulter. Wrongly, Lyra is convinced that Asriel wants to seize his alethiometer to carry out his project of building a "bridge" connecting the sky to another world. In fact, it's a huge amount of energy that his business requires,

energy that the separation of Roger and his dæmon (intercision), a process also used by the Gobblers for their experiments, ends up releasing. Lyra arrives too late to save Roger but, seeing her father crossing the bridge, she decides to follow him to the new world.
The Tower of Angels
Main article: The Tower of Angels.

After crossing the sky by Lord Asriel's bridge, Lyra lands in Cittàgazze, a coastal town whose inhabitants discovered a painless way to cross the worlds long before Lord Asriel and his bridge: a dagger to cut their "envelope" and open a window". However, careless use of this technology has released soul-eating specters, to which children are immune,

 but which terrorize adults. There, Lyra meets Will Parry, a twelve-year-old boy from our world , wanted by the police for the murder of a man who threatened his sick mother, he accidentally discovers a window overlooking Cittàgazze and takes refuge there.

Will becomes the wielder of the subtle knife, a tool forged three hundred years ago. One of its faces makes it possible to split the tiniest subatomic particles, which generates in space subtle spiritual divisions opening windows between the worlds; the other has the power to cut any material.

 After meeting the witches, the two teenagers go in search of Will's father, who has taken refuge against his will in the world of Lyra under another name. Indeed, having discovered a window, he entered it but never found his way. Unfortunately, John Parry is almost immediately murdered by a witch once in love with him and whom he had rejected.

Shortly after, Lyra is abducted.

 Lord Asriel tries to build the Republic of Heaven to fight against the Kingdom of Heaven, where the Authority sits. Two rebel angels, Balthamos and Baruch, approach Will and inform him that he must travel with them to offer the power of the Subtle Dagger to Lord Asriel so he can slay the Authority. Will, determined to save Lyra first, is aided by a young girl named Ama,

 Bear King Iorek Byrnison, and Asriel Knight's Gallivespian spies Tialys and Lady Salmakia. He rescues Lyra from the cave where her mother, Mrs. Coulter, is holding her captive to protect her from the Magister, who has discovered in a prophecy from the witches that Lyra is "New Eve Nine" and is determined to kill her before her. . . . . . . no longer give in to temptation. After their escape, Lyra, Will, Tialys and Salmakia cross the world of the Dead.

Meanwhile, Mary Malone, a scientist from Will's world with an interest in Dust (or "Shadows"), discovers a passage leading to a world where creatures called Mulefas live. There she discovers the true nature of the Shadows, particles of consciousness, both created and nourished by conscious life,

 whose flight into nothingness will lead to the destruction of free will and pleasure. Mrs. Coulter, now excommunicated, joins forces with Lord Asriel to destroy the Regent of Authority, Metatron, but they are both shattered by the abyss into which they pushed Metatron. The Authority itself disappears when Will and Lyra free it from the crystal prison in which its regent had locked it.

Will and Lyra, for their part, free the ghosts of the Underworld, find their dæmons, from whom they had to separate at the entrance, and, discovering their mutual love, succumb to the Temptation evoked by the prophecy, which has the effect of stop the dust. leak. However, they soon realize that they are not meant to live together in the same world, with every window having to be closed and the dæmons not being able to live a lifetime outside of their home world.

 

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