This is the third book in a fantastic series. Lyra and Will find each other and continue with their adventure. They journey though many different worlds and also have their own personal journeys. They have a host of creatures who help them: armored bears, little people named Gallivespians with deadly spurs, witches and angels. Although each of these creatures has a path they would like to lead these children on, Will and Lyra seem to want to do their own thing and decide to first visit The Land of the Dead.
Meanwhile, Dr. Malone goes in search of the children. On the way she visits a land where the creatures are diamond shaped and they live in tandem with big seed pods which they use as wheels. She learns to communicate with them and starts to learn how they can see Dust and see it disappearing from their lives. Dr. Malone wants to find a way to reverse the outward flow of Dust and save civilization.
There is a war between good and evil and the church is front row center.
I found this book even better than the other two. I don't think I have ever read a series where each book keeps getting better. You could see the two children growing in their personal development. A great book!!!
First Line: "In a valley shaded with rhododendrons, close to the snow line, where a stream milky with meltwater splashed and where doves and linnets flew among the immense pines, lay a cave, half-hidden by the crag above and the stiff heavy leaves that clustered below."