25114590The Collectors by Philip Pullman

When the existence of this new short story set in the His Dark Materials universe popped up on my social media feed, I bought it straight away! It’s the most gorgeously perfect little spin off short story that lets you relish in the best bits of Lyra’s world.

I say Lyra’s world but we don’t actually know which world we are in – I suspect an altogether new one as there are no daemon’s. It’s a story about a painting and a sculpture and is a must read for anyone who wondered what really did happen to Mrs Coulter.

Published now to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the publication of Northern Lights I am reminded of exactly where I was when I discovered these books, right back there at the beginning. It was by chance, in the Winchester branch of Waterstone’s. I knew nothing of this book except for the Carnegie medal on the cover and the front cover printed free of both title and author (these reserved for the back) to let the illustration of the Alethiometer to tempt you in. I would refer to this front illustration often as I devoured this book, and tried to read it as Lyra might have.

The Collectors is a fitting celebration of Lyra’s Oxford, and the twenty year’s of joy and inspiration that those books have brought me. My only criticism is that there does not seem to be a print copy to buy.