For anyone who really knows me, knows my work (published and unpublished) or has read my many blog interviews, will know that Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy is my number one inspiration for writing fantasy. I mean, wow – I just loved all three books. The author’s imagination and creative storytelling brought me out of a book reading drought in my teenage years. I guess in many ways it introduced the fantasy genre to me, and I can honestly say that there isn’t much fantasy I’ve read since that has surpassed them.
Northern Lights (The Golden Compass in the US) in particular has a piece of my heart. When I am in a bad mood, need a lift or even some inspiration, I can turn to that book and fall away into the magic all over again. There’s memorable characters, political intrigue, intellectual concepts – Northern Lights is not simply a YA love story. It creates a completely new mythology and world that is three-dimensional. I do love YA, but more often than not, a lot of recently published titles are cast from the same mold – the characters are just called different names.
I recently had a talk with my OH about films we had introduced to one another. The Golden Compass got mentioned, although I wouldn’t really say that it was a fantastic film, it certainly brought to life some of my favourite literary characters. Anyway, after the conversation I sat on the settee thinking to myself. It was such a dissapointing film – I expected so much more. Northern Lights was to me what Twilight, Divergent and Mortal Instruments is to new young-adult generation.
It has been so long since I’ve really read the trilogy properly page to page. Now like most book lovers, I have a bookcase full of books that call out to me. My to-read list grows by the week! But for the love of HDM I have decided to embrace my younger self and re-live the highs, the heart break, the goosebumps of the trilogy from its very beginning.
I’m currently reading two books, but when I have finished them, I will put every other book aside and lock myself away and give Philip Pullman my undivided attention. Lyra, here I come. Will, here I come. Iorek, Mrs Coulter, Farder Coram, Lord Faa, Lee Scoresby, Serafina Pekkala; here I come!
Why don’t you join me on my experience. Get those dusty tomes out and discover a lost treasure. If you’ve never read any of the books, now is your chance to be mesmerised. There’s a reason why these are books won awards and feature often in book lists.