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Dive Into the Backstory of an Iconic 'His Dark Materials' Character in Philip Pullman’s Companion Story

Elaine Selna
Edinburgh International Book Festival
Edinburgh International Book Festival / Roberto Ricciuti/GettyImages
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Fans of young adult fantasy novels will be familiar with Philip Pullman’s work. As the author of the His Dark Materials trilogy, which includes Northern Lights (also known as The Golden Compass to readers in the U.S.), his books have been adapted into theatrical productions, movies, and TV shows. Now the prolific writer is bringing a new companion story from the His Dark Materials universe to your bookshelves.

Pullman’s Gothic novella The Collectors starts with a conversation between two art collectors, Horley and Grinstead, during a cold winter’s night in 1970 as they huddle by a fire in an Oxford College senior common room. Horley has recently added two pieces to his collection, a portrait of a beautiful young woman and a bronze sculpture of a terrifying monkey. Little do the two men realize the works have an interconnected and mysterious past that they, too, are now involved in.

One of the most interesting characters from the His Dark Materials trilogy is the manipulative and misunderstood Mrs. Coulter, whose dæmon (someone’s inner-self manifested as an animal) is a golden monkey. The Collectors dives deeper into Mrs. Coulter’s past and explores how she came to be who she is.

This short story was previously only available as an audiobook narrated by British actor Bill Nighy or on Kindle. However, on September 20, you’ll be able to get a gift edition hardback, though the cover art won't be revealed until summer.

Head over to Amazon, where you can pre-order your copy of The Collectors for $13.

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