I read a YA book 13-14 years ago about a fantasy world where everyone is magically connected to a small animal, like a rabbit or dog. The kids are maybe 11 or 12, and can communicate telepathically with their animals. They can never get more than a few feet from them, or they start feeling awful. Any idea what book this is? I'm pretty sure the author was British.


2 Answers 2


Perhaps Northern Lights by Philip Pullman, who is indeed British. Also known as The Golden Compass in the USA.

The novel is set in a world dominated by a theocratic international organisation, the Magisterium (also commonly called "the Church"), which actively suppresses heresy. In this world, humans' individual souls naturally exist outside of their bodies in the form of sentient "dæmons": animals that constantly accompany, aid, and comfort their humans. Children's dæmons can freely and instantaneously change their appearance into that of any creature, extant or imagined; once they reach puberty, however, all people's dæmons settle into one permanent form.

  • I think you're right! It sounds a bit darker than what I remember, and I don't recall that the daemons were once people, but the characters' names seem familiar. Thanks!
    – lkl
    Sep 1, 2015 at 12:32
  • 12
    They were not people. They are the physical manifestations of the soul the person
    – user001
    Sep 1, 2015 at 12:33

I'm pretty certain you are talking about The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman. It is part of the His Dark Materials series, which include Northern Lights (called The Golden Compass in North America), The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass. Fantastic series.

  • 6
    Not so fantastic movie.
    – Zikato
    Sep 1, 2015 at 13:27
  • 2
    I agree :) Definitely better to read the books.
    – Jbird
    Sep 1, 2015 at 13:43

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