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The Golden Compass

Book 1, His Dark Materials

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


In a landmark epic of fantasy and storytelling, Philip Pullman invites readers into a world as convincing and thoroughly realized as Narnia, Earthsea, or Redwall. Here lives an orphaned ward named Lyra Belacqua, whose carefree life among the scholars at Oxford's Jordan College is shattered by the arrival of two powerful visitors. First, her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, appears with evidence of mystery and danger in the far North, including photographs of a mysterious celestial phenomenon called Dust and the dim outline of a city suspended in the Aurora Borealis that he suspects is part of an alternate universe. He leaves Lyra in the care of Mrs. Coulter, an enigmatic scholar and explorer who offers to give Lyra the attention her uncle has long refused her. In this multilayered narrative, however, nothing is as it seems. Lyra sets out for the top of the world in search of her kidnapped playmate, Roger, bearing a rare truth-telling instrument, the compass of the title. All around her children are disappearing—victims of so-called "Gobblers"—and being used as subjects in terrible experiments that separate humans from their daemons, creatures that reflect each person's inner being. And somehow, both Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter are involved.

From Publishers Weekly

Sep 09, 2002 – Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy now appears in sophisticated trade paperback editions, each title embossed within a runic emblem of antiqued gold. The backdrop of The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials, Book I sports a midnight blue map of the cosmos with the zodiacal ram at its center. The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass carry similarly intriguing cover art, and all three titles offer details not seen in the originals: in Compass and Knife, for example, Pullman's stamp-size b&w art introduces each chapter; Spyglass chapters open with literary quotes from Blake, the Bible, Dickinson and more.

Customer Reviews

Terrific books!

It's sad that this great country of ours is so resistant to anything that smacks of "non-believers". This book tells an incredible story, which also posits a world without religion, and offers up exciting visuals, ideas, plot, and riveting characters. These books should have been as popular as Twilight, Harry Potter, et al, book because of the foolish intolerant nutcases it's been smeared. If your looking for great young readers (adults enjoy it too) novels then pick this up.

HIs Dark Materials

This is an incredible trilogy to rival the Lord of the Rings!! An absolutely amazing ride, the first book is by far my least favorite, the other two get better and better. Excellent choice for all ages of readers from tweens to adults. Enjoy


This novel was perfect. I actually saw the movie without knowing there were books for them, and whenever that's happened to me, I have always liked the movies more just because I saw that version first. But on the other hand, this book was spectacular. The fantasy in this novel was creative, exciting, original, and in every way beautiful. Lyra, the main character, was a witty, stubborn, and passionate protagonist that everyone will fall in love with. And lastly, the themes of this novel are very relevant to things that could happen in our world today. Members of governments and the Church could one day gain the amount of power to do an immense amount of damage, which has happened before in our history, this novel, and could perhaps occur in the future. So in all terms, The Golden Compass was eye-opening and enchanting. Amazing.

Other Books in This Series

The Golden Compass
View in iTunes
  • $7.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Fantasy
  • Published: Apr 16, 1996
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 368 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Series: Book 1, His Dark Materials
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings