Parents' Guide to

The Amber Spyglass: His Dark Materials, Book 3

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Intense fantasy series finale with controversial theme.

The Amber Spyglass: His Dark Materials, Book 3 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 7 parent reviews

age 16+

The first two books are ok for younger readers but the 3rd gets too violent and some of the interactions between the main characters is way too adult for their actual ages.
age 10+

Great book sad ending

I think it was a great book it has so many twist but I think it had a super sad ending I dont thing Willand Lyra should have been separated in the end that part made me cry. I hope he makes another book where they see each other again

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (7 ):
Kids say (16 ):

If you haven't read the first two books, don't even think of trying to read this one first -- Pullman, praise be, wastes no time bringing readers up to speed. In fact, even if you have read the previous books, you may want to reread them before tackling this -- there's a lot to keep track of.

Readers who were expecting the conclusion of the trilogy to make all things clear may be disappointed; Pullman has a lot to say, but he also leaves a lot for readers to figure out themselves. Still, the author hasn't lost his touch -- it's as riveting and fast-paced as ever. His characterizations are even stronger, although his plotting is weaker here than in the first two books; there's a lot of meandering about, setups that promise more than they deliver, and plot lines that just peter out. But Pullman's point seems clear enough to perceptive and more mature readers: The only heaven is in our own world, and the best we can hope for after life is oblivion. If this idea is offensive to you, then this book will be also. Those able to support -- or at least tolerate his perspective -- will find a feverishly exciting adventure.

Book Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate