When I bought these books at the bookstore I bought the entire trilogy because I knew they would be that good, and I was right! Book three has everything you could ask for as a fantasy reader-a war upon which the outcome will determine the fate of the world and the key to winning it might just depend upon two children! Great!
Overall, I'm ambivalent about Philip Pullman's books. I read them on the recommendation of a couple of friends who absolutely loved them. They're well written and I did fall in love with the characters (even the bad ones), but I found the books tedious.
I really enjoyed this series. It took me a week to read all 3 books, and then I was sad it was over.
A must read for those who read the first 2 books in the series "the Golden Compass" and "The Subtle Knife"
The conclusion of His Dark Materials. I found these books to be uneven in various ways, with characters doing whatever they wanted rather than consistent and clear motivations. Still, for kids they may be OK.