Once Upon a Time in the North

Once Upon a Time in the North

Hardback His Dark Materials

By (author) Philip Pullman

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  • Publisher: DAVID FICKLING BOOKS
  • Format: Hardback | 112 pages
  • Dimensions: 118mm x 176mm x 18mm | 140g
  • Publication date: 3 April 2008
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0385614322
  • ISBN 13: 9780385614320
  • Illustrations note: Black and White
  • Sales rank: 16,634

Product description

When Lyra is studying at Oxford University, she comes across the story of Lee Scoresby and Iorek Byrnisson's first meeting, many years ago, along with much evidence of the adventure that brought them together. When a young Texan balloonist, Lee Scoresby, comes down to earth in the harbour of an Arctic town in the North, little does he realise that he is about to be embroiled in an out-and-out political brawl. Lee and his daemon, Hester, find themselves the target of political factions trying to take over the running (and oil) of the town. And also resident in the town are huge arctic bears, ignored and patronised by the people and treated like second-class citizens. When Lee and Iorek first meet, they cement a friendship that will continue throughout their lives, as the tensions and pressure in town lead to a deadly conclusion...Another wonderful tale from a master story-teller, giving us more extraordinary insight into the world of His Dark Materials. Includes a thrilling board game!

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Author information

Philip Pullman is one of the most highly acclaimed children's authors of the decade. He has been on the shortlist of just about every major children's book award in the last few years, and has won the Smarties Prize (Gold Award, 9-11 age category) for THE FIREWORK-MAKER'S DAUGHTER and the prestigious Carnegie Medal for NORTHERN LIGHTS. He was the first children's author ever to win the overall Whitbread Prize for THE AMBER SPYGLASS. He lives in Oxford.

Review quote

"Exuberant, intelligent fun ... Once again Pullman has created a work of art that is enchanting for a child but equally appealing to an adult" -- Amanda Craig The Times "Tantalisingly short, irresistibly snappy and full of dangerous derring-do" Independent "This is a real treat, and easily one of the publishing hightlights of the year that will be devoured by fans old and new" The Bookseller "Small and elegant, the book is exquisitely illustrated with woodcuts by John Lawrence and rounded off with bits of memorabilia including a newspaper clipping giving a different spin on events plus a board game. Fast and powerful, this is an exciting read" -- Anne Faundez Carousel "A short, simple, elegant story ... cloth-bound, with enhancing woodcuts by master-engraver John Lawrence" -- Claudia Fitzherbert Spectator

Editorial reviews

In his characteristic compactly rewarding prose, Pullman offers another glimpse into the world of His Dark Materials, less heady than Lyra's Oxford (2003) but somberly satisfying. It's 35 years before the trilogy, and young aeronaut Lee Scoresby has put down on Novy Odense in the North, looking for work and adventure. He finds the latter in spades. A corrupt corporation and a sleazy politician are obstructing a schooner's Captain from claiming his own cargo. Lee throws himself recklessly onto the side of good, operating on instinct and fearlessness. A bear - whom Lee thinks is named York Burningson - joins the deadly skirmish, shoving an enemy tanker-gun into the harbor while Lee engages in a gunfight in a warehouse. Scrawny, sardonic Hester - Lee's d mon - plays a key role in defeating a vicious hired gun. This small, neat volume won't hook newcomers, but its delving into beloved characters' backstories will please trilogy fans of all ages. Elegantly decorated with Lawrence's engravings and faux-realia, it is both understated and lovely. (foldout game) (Fantasy. 12+) (Kirkus Reviews)