This is not a drill, people. Golden Compass author Philip Pullman is writing a whole new spin-off series. That means three new books about Lyra’s world(s), starting with the first one this fall. That means a whole new generation of online “What’s Your Daemon?” quizzes. The new trilogy will be called The Book of Dust, and I’m extremely ready. So if you, like me, cannot possibly wait two whole seasons for the first Book of Dust installment, here are a few books to tide you over while you wait.
His Dark Materials is one of those book series that grows up along with you. When I first read The Golden Compass in fourth grade, I remember liking it… but I’m pretty sure all the critiques of government and organized religion flew right over my head. As far as I was concerned, it was just a terrific adventure about a little girl with a cool pet and a friend who was a bear.
When I reread the books as a teenager, though, it was a completely different series, with a complex exploration of morality and some weird quantum physics nonsense going on. You’re never too old to dive back into a nuanced fantasy series. So here are a few fascinating, well-written, and fantastical books to read while you wait for more from Philip Pullman:
1‘His Dark Materials’ by Philip Pullman
Let’s get the obvious out of the way first. Before The Book of Dust comes out, you’re going to want to reread the original trilogy. And then Lyra’s Oxford, and all the other spin-off stories that Pullman has penned over the years. And then probably the original trilogy again. There’s always something new to glean from Lyra, Pan, and their many universes.
2‘East’ by Edith Pattou
If your favorite part of The Golden Compass was Lyra’s friendship with a giant armored polar bear, then East will be right up your alley. It’s a retelling of the classic Norwegian fairy tale, “East of the Sun and West of the Moon,” featuring a tough female protagonist, strange magic, romance, betrayal, and one very enigmatic…