#Friday56 & #BookBeginnings: Once Upon a Time in the North

The battered cargo balloon came in out of a rainstorm over the White Sea, losing height rapidly and swaying in the strong northwest wind as the pilot trimmed the vanes and tried to adjust the gas-valves.
- p. 1

For Friday 56:
"Nice piece of oratorical flamboyancy, Lee," said Hester.
- p. 56

Back blurb of Once Upon a Time in the North by Philip Pullman:
In this prequel episode from Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials universe, Lee Scoresby -- Texan aeronaut and future friend to Lyra Belacqua -- is 24 years old. The story reveals the origins of Scoresby's friendship with Iorek Byrnison as well as Scoresby's aeronautical career.

After winning his hot-air balloon in a poker game, Scoresby finds himself floating north. On the Arctic island of Novy Odense, Scoresby and his dæmon Hester become involved in a deadly plot involving an oil magnate, a corrupt mayoral candidate, and a hired killer who is Lee's longtime nemesis from the Dakota Country. Forming an alliance with one of the island's reviled armored bears, Scoresby fights to break up the conspiracy.

This clothbound volume features the illustrations of John Lawrence, a removable board game on the inside back cover, and the story that offers a glimpse into the origins of the friendship of two beloved characters in the His Dark Materials trilogy.


Been a busy week for me and I'm only just going to be able to get to my Bloggiesta list this weekend. Are you Bloggiesta-ing? If you are, a heads up that I have a mini challenge and giveaway ... :)

The other week I featured Lyra's Oxford which is a companion book for the His Dark Materials trilogy. Today, I have another but earlier companion book which I absolutely loved! It is much longer than Lyra's Oxford and has a much more complex storyline.

Have I convinced you to look up this series? I hope I have! 


  1. I really, really need to try Phillip Pullman! :)

    Check out my Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings).

  2. I haven't read any of Philip Pullman's novels, but this one sounds really interesting.

  3. Aw, another book that has been sitting on my bookshelf that I need to try! I haven't been disappointed by anything of Phillip Pullman's yet (certainly nothing from the His Dark Materials set)

  4. The 56 made me laugh! I can just imagine what's happening in that scene. I've never read anything by this author but this one is going on my TBR.

  5. Pullman is on my list of must-read authors. I love this one's cover.

  6. LOL. Fun sarcasm. I wonder what he said!

    My Friday 56

  7. I should look for this one. I enjoyed the series when I read it years ago. I'm spotlighting Stone Field by Christy Lenzi on my YA blog this week. Happy reading!

  8. I read the dark materials series years ago. I remember loving the first book and not liking the rest of the series. I hope you are enjoying it. Happy Friday!

  9. A very exciting beginning. And this is the second book today where I thought the cover would look great framed! Please check out mine ... http://tinyurl.com/LisaKsBookReviewsTATK

  10. It sounds like a story I should get my hands on!
    Happy Easter weekend!

  11. I think this book is no longer available so I will have to look for it at a library or buy a used copy. Sigh. How did I miss this?


© guiltless readingMaira Gall