Reviews elsewhere on the web:
Reading Matters
Young Minds
Daniel P. Moloney
Guardian Unlimited
the complete review
Jane Maduram

Philip Pullman

The Amber Spyglass

The Amber Spyglass is the final book in Philip Pullman's Dark Materials trilogy. I felt that it continued the trend away from the action of the first book, towards a Miltonesque saga, which leaves me even more confused as to who the readership of the books is supposed to be. Possibly Pullman expected his readers to grow up as the books were published, so the first is more (although not totally) suitable for children. That is all very well, but now that they are all available, it makes it hard to recommend the trilogy as a whole (which is how it needs to be read) to any particular readers.

The book is slower to get started than the previous two, with multiple threads to follow, but there's still plenty of Pullman's unique inventiveness, and his mixing of magic and science. Finishing off a trilogy like this is no easy task, and I thought that Pullman did pretty well, although I was a bit confused about Mary Malone and Lyra's temptation, which seemed to be what the book was leading up to. I would say that if you like a good story and don't mind Pullman's strange take on various subjects then you should give these books a try. info
Paperback 560 pages  
ISBN: 0440418569
Salesrank: 101680
Published: 2003 Yearling
Amazon price $7.19
Marketplace:New from $3.17:Used from $1.06
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Paperback 544 pages  
ISBN: 043999358X
Salesrank: 346067
Weight:0.84 lbs
Published: 2001 Scholastic Point
Marketplace:New from £3.70:Used from £0.01
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Paperback 560 pages  
ISBN: 0440418569
Salesrank: 102436
Weight:0.8 lbs
Published: 2003 Yearling
Amazon price CDN$ 8.99
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 8.60:Used from CDN$ 0.01
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Product Description
***** Includes a preview of THE BOOK OF DUST, the long-awaited new novel from Philip Pullman set in the world of His Dark Materials, and hailed by the New York Times as "a stunning achievement."*****

The unforgettable His Dark Materials trilogy that began with The Golden Compass—the modern fantasy classic that Entertainment Weekly named an "All-Time Greatest Novel" and Newsweek hailed as a "Top 100 Book of All Time"—and continued with The Subtle Knife, reaches its astonishing conclusion in The Amber Spyglass.

Throughout the worlds, the forces of both heaven and hell are mustering to take part in Lord Asriel's audacious rebellion. Each player in this epic drama has a role to play—and a sacrifice to make. Witches, angels, spies, assassins, tempters, and pretenders, no one will remain unscathed.

Lyra and Will have the most dangerous task of all. They must journey to a gray-lit world where no living soul has ever gone and from which there is no escape.

As war rages and Dust drains from the sky, the fate of the living—and the dead—comes to depend on Lyra and Will. On the choices they make in love, and for love, forevermore.

A #1 New York Times Bestseller
Winner of the Whitbread Award
Winner of the British Book Award (Children's)
Published in 40 Countries
"Masterful.... This title confirms Pullman's inclusion in the company of C.S. Lewis and Tolkien." —Smithsonian Magazine

"Pullman has created the last great fantasy masterpiece of the twentieth century. An astounding achievement." —The Cincinnati Enquirer

"War, politics, magic, science, individual lives and cosmic destinies are all here . . . shaped and assembled into a narrative of tremendous pace by a man with a generous, precise intelligence. I am completely enchanted." —The New York Times Book Review

"Breathtaking adventure . . . a terrific story, eloquently told." The Boston Globe