Damn! I hate bittersweet endings.
That said, let me add that Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy is an accomplishment that the man deserves to be knighted for. A fantasy series that juggles multiple worlds , and hold on, none of those worlds are your stereotypical humanoid-infested cesspools. A storyline that borders on the blasphemous ( with regards to Christianity), and a gamut of interesting characters, Pullman’s major strength being ( I think I have said this before, with regards to the Sally Lockhart stories) his ability to make his characters meet a final end without prolonging the outcome or making it overly dramatic. Precisely the reason why the reader ( me, in this case) is always on his toes, not knowing what’s going to happen on the next page.
One of the blessings about the series is the lack of hype. This is “essential” fantasy, no doubt ,but hardly storypimped on newspaper articles the way Potter or the Rings trilogy are – you know, plot points and conclusions being thrown at the reader’s face in two-line blurbs. I had not known anything about His Dark Materials, other than the concept of daemons which, frankly speaking, was not too intriguing. So the storyline, as it progressed, was like being on this frying pan that gets hotter and hotter, making you jump and squeal, at different points, with rage, frustration and sheer happiness.
It took me a long time to finish the three books. A conscious attempt on my part not to hurry through. Waited a month after reading Northern Lights ( which is mostly known by the other name The Golden Compass). Took a week to read The Subtle Knife, and it was extremely difficult to postpone reading the third book for more than two weeks. (Note: while prolonging reading pleasure, indulging in other tasteful reading material, such as Feluda stories, immensely helps.) So, after my mom left, I picked up The Amber Spyglass, and last night, it got done. Damn ending. Kept me awake until three AM, staring vacantly at the ceiling.
Will, Lyra, Serrafina Pekkala, Ruta Skudi, Pantalaimon, Iorek, Lee Scoresby, Mary Malone, you too, Mrs Coulter, John Faa, madhav, I love you all.
Now let’s all wait until the sanitised version of the story comes out , courtesy Hollywood. They raped Homer, after all, so who be thee, Mr Pullman, to escape their clutches? Better grin and bear it, when the time comes.