Released: April 8th 2008
Once Upon a Time in the North is a short story prequel for His Dark Materials (AKA the Golden Compass series) that tells us of how Lee Scoresby comes to be friends with Iorek Byrnison (love him). For those that haven’t read His Dark Materials in ages (like me), Lee Scoresby becomes friends with Lyra during their time together. Seeing his origin story was actually pretty interesting, though I’ll admit to having forgotten what his daemon’s form was, or her name for that matter. Having it all refreshed was ideal – with the Book of Dust due to release shortly.
This short story has a bit of a slow start, but once it gets going it’s really quite hard to put down. Even knowing that Lee is safe in the end (logically he must be, in order to show up in later novels) I still felt myself afraid for his safety at times. Seeing Hester (Lee’s daemon) again reminded me of just how cute she is.
I absolutely loved seeing Iorek again, even better was seeing how he became a part of the series. I’ve always loved his character, so noble and stoic. So I’ll take any excuse to get a bit more information about it.
If you’re looking for a few extra details about the series, or just a refresher before the new book drops, this short story is perfect for you.