I don’t know how to adequately describe my love for this book, and for Philip Pullman’s writing.
The first time I read this, I was 13 years old. It was a formative year for me. I found Paganism, decided I was a writer…and read His Dark Materials. Pullman created a world that was familiar and yet different enough from our own. I wanted a daemon, I wanted to go adventuring like Lyra, I wanted to work hard to be good and right like Will.
I’ve probably read this book at least ten times in the ensuing 15 years since that fateful first time. I’ll continue to read it, and listen to the audiobook version (with full voice cast, narrated by Pullman himself—and excellent production quality to boot). I really do not have the words to describe how much this book has influenced everything that I’ve made of myself, everything I aspire to be, every ounce of effort I spend on self-growth. Humanism, and compassion, and the power of stories—these are all things that shape every part of me. This story taught me how to be human. This story taught me how to push myself beyond the boundaries of what I believe I’m capable of.
If you haven’t read this book, this trilogy, you should. I laugh, I cry, and I keep coming back for more.