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Welcome, friends old and new, to my blog. This is the place where I can share my scribblings and thoughts on loving life. I hope you enjoy them, make suggestions and come back to read more.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Great Fictional Characters: Lyra Belacqua

Continuing with the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge 2015

L is for Lyra Belacqua or, as she comes to be known, Lyra Silvertongue.

Lyra is headstrong, brash, rebellious and brilliant. Raised as an orphan in an alternative-reality Oxford, she drives Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy with her extraordinarily engaging and energetic manner. Deliciously feral, she resists every effort of her guardians to tame, tidy or educate her, and uses her quick wits and silver tongue to cheat and charm her way in and out of trouble.
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I loved Lyra from the start, when she crept into the Retiring Room to spy on the Masters- just for something to do. She has a cheerful disregard for authority and obeys no one unless she thinks they are worth listening to or- in this case- eavesdropping on. What she overhears from the cupboard starts the adventure she's been yearning for, although she has to deal with a great deal of heartbreak along the way.

"“I wish...” she said, and stopped. There was nothing that could be gained by wishing for it. A final deep shaky breath, and she was ready to go on."

I also loved the idea of daemons, a visible manifestation of soul. Lyra's daemon, Pan, changes form to match Lyra's moods. Wouldn't life be so much simpler if everyone's true self was clear to the eye? Or maybe not...

Lyra has little trouble concealing her true self when necessary, and her ease when lying proves a useful skill during her adventures.

"It was difficult to tell them the truth when a lie would have been so much easier for them to understand."

Despite being dishonest when it suits her, Lyra is still a likeable character because of her innocence and lack of malice. Even her anger is honest: her strong loyalty to her friend sends her on a quest, first to rescue, then avenge him; her disgust at the lies and hypocrisy of the Church drives her to search for truth; her fierce love for Will forces her to do what is right, even though it almost breaks her. She is always true to herself and her beliefs, and is tenacious in fighting for what is right.

And I fought with her. Few books make me cry. These did. Twice. (For those in the know, I cried at the lake and I cried at the bench. You'll understand the reasons why.)

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