Two years after the events of Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass , Lyra is once more on the roof of Jordan College with her daemon, Pantalaimon. They see a large flock of starlings attacking a bird, which turns out to be a witch's daemon. They rescue him into the safety of Jordan Collge, only to discover that the daemon was coming to look for Lyra.
The daemon explains that he needs Lyra's help to find a man called Sebastian Makepeace who lives in Jericho, Oxford. Only he could make the elixir that could cure the Daemon's witch. When Lyra asks around, she discover that Makepeace is thought to be a mad alchemist. Lyra leads the daemon through Oxford to go to Makepeace but birds keep attacking the daemon. Lyra and Pantalaimon feel that something isn't quite right but they can't put their finger on it. What does it all mean?
Lyra's Oxford is Philip Pullman's fourth book about Lyra, a brief sequel to the acclaimed His Dark Materials trilogy. It is very brief - just 64 pages - but it is beautifully produced in a cloth-bound hardback, illustrated with engravings by John Lawrence. It also includes various other things: a fold-out map of Lyra's Oxford, a postcard written by Mary Malone when she first arrived in Oxford, and some publicity for cruises aboard the SS Zenobia. As Pullman says in the introduction (which is itself part of the book's fiction), these things 'might be connected with the story, or they might not.'
His Dark Materials has been a huge publishing success, being read by adults and children alike. Interest is likely to grow even further with its popularity in the BBC Big Read poll of the UK's favourite book, a stage adaptation at the National Theatre, and an upcoming film version.