Thursday, October 02, 2008


Rating : 4.0/5
Number of Pages : 112
Series : His Dark Materials
Reason for Reading : Series II Challenge, A~Z Challenge

Another short novella set in the world of His Dark Materials. The story tells of how aeronaut Lee Scorsby meets armoured bear Iorek Byrnison. Lee is a young man of 24 when he lands his balloon at Novy Odense with no money and no job. He tries to find work and refils his stocks, but the locals are in the middle of an election campaign and are more interested in getting on the side of the favourite to win, Poliakov. He is working closely with an oil company and their main policy to win the vote is to rid the land of the armoured bears.

The bears are seen as a nusience. They spend all their time drinking and are no longer the majestic beasts they once were. They are not even allowed to wear their armour in the town. Lee takes an immediate dislike to Poliakov when he is introduced to an associate of his, a man Lee knows by a different name from a different town. He manages to get himself in all kinds of scrapes and trouble with the folk of the town that aren't really his business.

A short and fun edition to the series. I love Hester (Lee's rabbit daemon who turns out to be an Arctic hare) and Lee and it was an interesting introduction to Iorek. There are a couple of letters from Lyra at the end to a tutor making out the novella is part of her dissertation which was a nice touch. There is also a game caleld Peril at the Pole where the object is to keep your balloon in the air longer than the other players.

6 comments:

Alice Teh said...

Hi Rhinoa, I saw this at the bookstore but didn't pick it up. It has an interesting story though. Thanks for the review.

Andi said...

I've been wondering about this one! Thanks for the insight.

mariel said...

Yeah still haven't gotten round to this yet either!

tanabata said...

I love Hester too! And I really want to play Peril at the Pole! :P

Nymeth said...

I also love Hester :) It was so nice to return to this world. I want The Book of Dust!

Ladytink_534 said...

I haven't read any of his books yet (nor have I seen the movie) but I really want to!