Lyra’s Oxford by Philip Pullman


Lyra’s Oxford by Philip Pullman

Lyra’s Oxford opens two years after the conclusion of Philip Pullman’s The Amber Spyglass in the comfort and familiarity of Jordan College, where Lyra and her daemon, Pantalaimon, sit on the sun-drenched roof looking out over all of Oxford.

But their peace is shattered when a strange bird – a witch’s daemon, on it’s own – tumbles out of the sky, in search of a healing elixer to cure his witch of a strange new disease. Lyra and Pan decided to help – witches are friends, of course – but the closer their winding walk leads them towards the infamous Oxford alchemist, the stronger Lyra’s sense that something is amiss.


It has been quite some time since I read the His Dark Materials series.  I recall really enjoying the Golden Compass,  but as the story neared it’s end I believe it became a bit too much for my liking and ultimately lost my interest.  Lyra’s Oxford had shown up on one of my lists awhile back and has been sitting on my to be read list.  One of my issues is reading series or books from series to complete it, when I have no interest.  Lyra’s Oxford happened to pop up as an available audiobook through the library and the convenience of it drew me in easily.  As with most to be reads I have, I rarely pick them up again to find out what the story is about, I just jump in.  There was an initial red flag when I saw the timer on the audiobook but I assumed it was referring to one part and once completed would skip over to the next.  In reality the audiobook is less than one hour long consisting of one very short story.  As noted in the above description there is a foldout map and other materials that have never been seen!  Very enticing but this point should be your first clue that this book was not made for an audiobook.  The most important bits of the book must be this map and the extra material included in the book.  They do try to make the story as appealing as possible in the audiobook by including multiple people to voice the characters.  This was extra pleasing to me as the original voice was so hoarse it was actually difficult to hear, despite turning the speakers up in the vehicle to an uncomfortable volume.

In the end if you are fans of the His Dark Materials series, or more specifically the Golden Compass, then this is an extremely simple addition to your reading, and I mean extremely simple.  The story is over before you know anything has really happened.  I would be curious to see the extra material, but do not let the story be your main reason for reading this book or you will be greatly disappointed.

In honour of the story I actually re-watched The Golden Compass and was so pleased with so many different things about the movie and the visuals that I was disappointed that it didn’t live out it’s full potential.


  1. Book summary courtesy of Philip Pullman’s webpage.



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