I have read The Ruby in the Smoke, the first book of Pullman's Sally Lockhart Mysteries. Today I found The Tiger in the Well, the third book, in a bargain bin full of fantasy books. I haven't read the second book yet, The Shadow in the North.

Should I read The Shadow in the North first, or can I read The Tiger in the Well without spoiling anything for myself?

I'm aware this series is bordering on fantasy at the most, but I was pretty sure I'd get an answer here. I think most bookstores classify Pullman as a fantasy author on account of His Dark Materials and hate to break up an author's work across sections.


Yes, you most certainly do have to read them in order. Each story builds on the events and actions of the prior with years separating the novels.

If you read The Tiger in the Well [Book 3] before The Shadow in the North [Book 2], you would not only ruin elements of the second book for yourself, but you might not understand why certain things are happening the way they are.

With a series as rich and intense as this each book is a gift, so don't shortchange yourself... in other words: If you are patient young padawan all will be revealed.

  • 1
    Having read The Shadow in the North just now, I am most grateful for your answer. Also, Mr. Pullman is a most cruel writer to his characters. – SQB Aug 12 '14 at 20:23
  • You're very welcome and you're very right. The next two books will drive you mad at times, but in a good way! – 22nd Century Fza Sep 3 '14 at 2:47

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