Two years after the conclusion of The Amber Spyglass, Lyra and her daemon Pantalaimon sit high on the roof of Jordan College, gazing down on the streets of Oxford. But their peace is shattered by a flock of enraged starlings, who seem intent on knocking another bird out of the sky – a bird that Lyra and Pan quickly realise is a witch’s daemon. The daemon carries worrying tidings of a terrible sickness spreading in the north, and claims that only Lyra can help him – but is he really friend, or foe?
Illustrated throughout with exquisite wood-cut engravings by John Lawrence, this beautifully packaged story also contains an extract of Pullman’s second short story set in the His Dark Materials world, Once Upon a Time in the North, a map and other missives that seem to have slipped from Lyra’s world into our own.
This short story reminded me why I miss Lyra and her world so much. Set after the events in The Amber Spyglass we follow Lyra as she is visited by a witch’s Daemon, seeking Lyra’s aid on her behalf. Lyra must help Ragi find Sebastian Makepeace who has a cure the Witch, Yelena Pazhets needs.
I adored Lyra’s Oxford. I loved catching up with Lyra and Pan, finding out what the were upto. I read it in one sitting as the story itself is only 49 pages. It really felt like I was returning home, the His Dark Materials trilogy was a huge part of my childhood. This is a great companion story to His Dark Materials, I can’t wait to start The Book of Dust now. This short story is a must read for Pullman fans.
After the short story there are Smith and Strange maps, catalogue extracts, that may or may not be relevant to this story. And a sample of Once Upon A Time in The North.