Normally part three of a trilogy is where the author ramps up the tension and suspense, and also answers all the unanswered questions. In the Amber Spyglass, the questions are answered but the tension and suspense leave a lot to be desired.
Lyra has been kidnapped in the last book and at the beginning of this book is taken to the Himalayan mountains to be hidden from the long arm of the Church. However, Lord Asriel, Will, and the Church all eventually find out Lyra’s place of captivity and they all launch separate missions to get her. Asriel and Will want her alive while the Church only wants her dead. Will and Iorek Byrnison get there first and they use the subtle knife to escape to safety. Well, not quite to safety as they discover that two spies have come along for the ride, officially to guide them to Asriel but they soon discover that they have no control, not as long as Will has the knife.
Meanwhile, Asriel’s plans go full steam ahead against the Church and Mrs Coulter finds out what Asriel intends. Mary Malone (from the last book) ends up in another world where she meets a strange species and she lives with them. She discovers Dust is slowly destroying this community and she builds an amber spyglass to be able to see the damage going on all around her. But little does she know that danger is coming, in the form of the Church who considers Malone a deadly threat.
The book is good and the writing is excellent. However, this story doesn’t really go as smoothly as the others. Perhaps conscious of the fact that this is the last book in the trilogy, Pullman stuffs in as much information as possible and this leads to a very heavy, very difficult story to get through. The story really drags in places and it took forever for me to get this finished. You will also be VERY confused as to the nature of Dust. I still don’t understand it