Mini Review: Lyra’s Oxford by Philip Pullman

Lyra's OxfordPublisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publishing Date: October 28th 2003
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Steampunk
Format: Hardcover
Page count: 64

My rating:

4 of 5 hearts

Lyra’s Oxford is the pocket-sized book containing the short story Lyra and the Birds, and it a sequel to His Dark Materials, taking place roughly two years after the events in The Amber Spyglass. The book also contains other material that is somewhat relevant – a postcard from Mary Malone, advertisements and pages from a glossary among others . In the short story, Lyra now splits her time between her school St Sophia’s, where she is learning to read the alethiometer through experience and wisdom, not grace, and Jordan college, her home. When a witch’s demon comes begging for Lyra’s help, how can she resist?

I really liked this short story. When I read it years ago I don’t think I really understood it, and it seemed almost pointless. Now that I’m older I see the point: Lyra is learning to read everything, the world around her, and people, not just the alethiometer. The story smacks of Lyra’s ‘special snowflake’ status as wild birds react in very un-wild ways around her, but it adds to the point that Lyra’s growing up and her wisdom is growing as well. She’s not just the street smart barbarian anymore, but growing into a competent young woman. Pullman spends a lot of time describing Lyra’s Oxford, which i really like as well.

Also, Pantalaimon is totally awesome.


About Nemo

A lover of kittens and all things sparkly, Nemo has a degree in English Literature and specialises in reviewing contemporary, paranormal, mystery/thriller, historical, sci-fi and fantasy Young Adult fiction. She is especially drawn to novels about princesses, strong female friendships, magical powers, and assassins.

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