I remember feeling annoyed at the end of The Subtle Knife, Book Two in the multi-award winning His Dark Materials trilogy, that it would probably be several years before the concluding volume was published and I'd find out how Lyra Belacqua—a.k.a. Lyra Silvertongue—fared as the second Eve. Three years later, Book Three, The Amber Spyglass, is finally here and will pull its readers back into Lyra and Will's worlds of daemons, Dust, and deception just as if they stumbled through one of those magic windows cut by the subtle knife.

Book Three begins with the beautiful, but deceiving Mrs. Coulter hiding her daughter Lyra in a cave in the Himalayas. The Holy Church is looking for them. Also on their trail are Lyra's father, Lord Asriel, and his army which is preparing to wage war on the Holy Church and the established order. Determined to find her first, however, is Lyra's dear friend Will with whom she journeyed in The Subtle Knife. Lyra has been prophesied to be the next Eve, and her choices will determine if man returns to the Garden of Eden or stays in the world of free will. Although she has overheard talk of the peculiar role she has been destined to play, Lyra is more interested in seeking forgiveness from her friend Roger than in the larger, adult conflicts. As the search for Lyra intensifies, each side is aided by a multitude of angels, witches, and other characters from the previous two novels, including Iorek Brynison, the King of the Armored Bears.

Easily the best and most exciting book in the trilogy, The Amber Spyglass will keep its readers enthralled until the last page and should bring many more awards to its author Philip Pullman. 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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