Last night I finished the first book in Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. It captivated me in a way I did not expect.
Fantasy is not my go-to genre, in fact, I've barely read it all. I've never had a Tolkien bone in my body. Star wars, eh. Harry Potter, never touched the stuff (and I feel no void in my soul). I was in a theatrical production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in junior high and went to see the recent movie version purely inspired by nostalgia (it was boring and, although I understand C.S Lewis filled the book full of Christian symbolism, I was APALLED by the Aslan-walking-alone -on-the-beach-leaving-only-one-set-of-footprints imagery that evoked the Christian guidance counselor poster or SPAM email story about Jesus carrying you when you thought he'd abandoned you).
I was most intrigued by the notion of the daemon, the ever present source of comfort and strength: a conscience manifest. It was one part id, one part ego, one part super ego, one part pet, one part body language reader, one part reputation, one part friend, one part parent. I want one!