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Lyra's Oxford by Philip Pullman

01/05/2004. Contributed by Sue Davies

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pub: David Fickling Books. 49 page small hardback. Price: 9.99 (UK). ISBN: 0-385-60699-0).

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This short story enclosed with a map of 'Lyra's Oxford' and some apparently sundry addendums, most likely forms an introduction to another set of stories about Lyra.

For those not yet entranced by 'His Dark Materials' trilogy, this story - very short at 46 pages, offers a tantalising glimpse into that world. For 'Lyra's Oxford' is not part of our world.

She is resident in an alternative Earth where people have daemons and there is real magic and witches. Lyra's daemon is her soul visualises in animal form. The animal is really part of the human with an energy link that is only severed by death. No one other than its own human should touch the daemon. It is an ultimate taboo.

If you are privy to Lyra's adventures with Will in the previous three books you will no doubt be hungry for more. I'm hoping that this short tale is a prelude to another set of adventures.

The book is presented by the author as an artefact or perhaps evidence. Use it to build what you will and let us wait and see if dreams come true.

Sue Davies

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