I think I’m going to have to read some more Philip Pullman. Some years back I got hold of the His Dark Materials trilogy, partly because I wanted to see what the fuss was about, and partly because Pullman was quoted as saying that he wanted to use the trilogy “to kill God” – spoiler alert: he doesn’t! The books were a thoughful and entertaining read with some wonderful characters – who could not fall in love with Serafina Pekkala? – but left me somewhat dissatisfied as in the end it all seemed to peter out somehow.
A year or so ago I found The Tin Princess in a secondhand book sale, thought it was a very different looking Pullman novel and therefore decided to try it. But again, it seems to not really have much of an ending and all the anticipation leads to nowhere in particular. As with the trilogy, some of the writing is superb. There’s a description of a small battle in a developing snowstorm that is wonderful and evocative to read, but overall I was left feeling “is that it?”.
This could be because the book is part of a series for young adults (something I was not aware of when starting it) and thus there is a back story of which I knew nothing. And perhaps these days modern young adult fiction is not for me. As I said at the beginning, I’ll have to try some more Pullman before definitely making up my mind.