Set after the end Pullman's Northern Lights Trilogy, this is a story that may or may not have happened, a little gift from a possible future. Lyra is living and teaching as a postgraduate student back in Oxford. Sitting on the roof of her college she and her daemon Pantalaimon see a flock of starlings acting strangely, and realise they are attacking a bird, a witch's daemon who is in search of an alchemist living in Oxford.
The story is beautifully packaged in a little red fabric bound hardback illustrated with enchanting engravings by John Lawrence and sprinkled with intriguing ephemera: maps, postcards, letters. A delightful diminutive companion to the epic Northern Lights.