His Dark Materials 1 takes us on a thrilling journey through worlds familiar and unknown. For Lyra and Will, its two central characters, it's a coming of age and a transforming spiritual experience. Their great quest demands a savage struggle against the most dangerous of enemies. They encounter fantastical creatures in parallel worlds -- rebellious angels, soul-eating spectres, child-catching Gobblers and the armoured bears and witch-clans of the Arctic. Finally, before reaching, perhaps, the republic of heaven, they must visit the land of the dead.