We all know that The Golden Compass is coming out on a cinema screen near you on 5th December. But did you know that there was a book? Or that you can now purchase the entire trilogy (oh, yes, there is more to come...).
I first read this book under its previous name, Northern Lights. I was impressed back then, impressed enough to part with more money in order to obtain the two sequels that make up this voyeuristic journey into secrets and battles of wills.
Lyra is a completely believable heroine simply because she is a-typical. She’s far too young, impetuous and constantly getting herself into trouble. My preference in terms of character though, is her ever-faithful, long-suffering daemon (demon) – Pantalaimon. The sheer brilliance of this characterisation should not be underestimated. In Pantalaimon, Pullman creates a positive force in Lyra’s life; not only that, but also a source of friendship and wisdom. All this being the polar opposite of what we have come to expect from a demon. In this way, Pantalaimon is utterly refreshing – and I love that he can shape-shift.
With the serious thirst for fantasy consuming the globe, it was perhaps inevitable that this series would find its way onto the big screen. I have no issue with it being renamed The Golden Compass, just as long as the filmmakers don’t change any of the other titles.
Truly a coming of age epic that will stir the hearts of both girl and boy (which is of itself unusual) – this series has the softness lacking in Eragon, benefits from some moderate darkness akin to The Name of the Wind and certainly the capacity for the majestic of The Return of the King. I only hope that the film does the book justice...we can only wait and see...
We interview C J Daugherty about Night School
- 10 January 2012