April Book Photo Challenge: Day 6 - Book & Animals

Northern Lights by Philip Pullman

This novel’s world-building and magical aspect is so beautiful. In this world, everyone has an animal companion - a ’Dæmon’ - which portrays the person’s character (and can talk!). There is a special bond between the animal and its owner and being separated is immensely distressful to both. 

"You cannot change what you are, only what you do."—The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
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So now I’ve started rereading His Dark Materials.
Reading he same book again after about 10 years is a really interesting experience.
I loved the books as a kid, but I remember not fully understanding them (especially all the church/politics/war stuff in the third book) and being bored by the bits in the beginning that didn’t have Lyra or other children in them, of just the adults talking to each other, because I absolutely couldn’t identify with that. Now these are almost the most interesting parts.
My perspective on the book has (predictably) completely changed and it’s so cool.
Everything is just as good as the first time I read it, only even better, because now I understand even more of the science and the structure of Lyra’s world. I remember that when I first started reading the books I was super confused in the beginning about the world and the colleges and everything, because I didn’t quite realise that Lyra’s world wasn’t ours.
I’m now gonna go back to reading. Just thought I’d write these thoughts down.

This is exactly what I experienced when I reread the book. The first time I was only just a kid, the second time I was somewhere in between and third time I was a teenager and suddenly the whole story changed and I understood what the series was really about, and I could relate to Lyra because while there’s lots of politics and religion it’s also the story of a girl growing up and finding herself somehow. I love how Philip Pullman hides so much in child’s literature, they’re more questioning than most adult/teen books I’ve read.


“When you stopped believing in God,” he went on, “did you stop believing in good and evil?”

“No. But I stopped believing there was a power of good and a power of evil that were outside us. And I came to believe that good and evil are names for what people do, not for what they are. All we can say is that this is a good deed, because it helps someone, or that’s an evil one, because it hurts them. People are too complicated to have simple labels.”

“Yes,” said Lyra firmly.

“Did you miss God?” asked Will.

“Yes,” Mary said, “terribly. And I still do. And what I miss most is the sense of being connected to the whole of the universe. I used to feel I was connected to God like that, and because he was there, I was connected to the whole of his creation. But if he’s not there, then . . .”

Pullman, Philip. “The Amber Spyglass.”


Girl with Dæmon

The piece is for Gallery1988’s 10 year anniversary show which opens this friday!

Inspired by “His Dark Materials” (The Golden Compass) and the painting “Lady with an Ermine” by Leonardo da Vinci which was actually what inspired Phillip Pullman to create the Dæmon beings in the “His Dark Materials” book series. 

It is a limited edition of 30 signed and numbered prints.

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I told him I was going to betray you, and betray Lyra, and he believed me because I was corrupt and full of wickedness; he looked so deep I felt sure he’d see the truth. But I lied too well. I was lying with every nerve and fiber and everything I’d ever done … I wanted him to find no good in me, and he didn’t. There is none. 

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His Dark Materials art by Zuzanna Celej.

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Who needs true love, as long as you'll love me truly?


Okay no but never forget that in The Subtle Knife, Serafina Pekkala gives Lee Scoresby a little scarlet flower to call for her if he ever needs help.

Serafina Pekkala, terrifying, mysterious, hundreds of years old Witch-Queen Serafina Pekkala with her deadly sharpshooting skills and powerful dæmon and magic humans can only dream of, wears a flower crown

that is so cute