Lyra, Pan and Malcolm each pursue their own perilous journey into investigating the mystery surrounding rose oil and its connection with Dust.
Lyra Silvertongue is now a young woman in her second year as an Oxford student. When her daemon, Pantalaimon, witnesses a murder, they are forced to navigate their relationship in a way they could never have imagined, drawn into the complex and dangerous factions of a world that they had no idea existed.
Pulled along on his own journey is Malcolm Polstead; once a boy with a boat and a mission to save a baby from the flood, now a man with a strong sense of duty and a desire to do what is right.
Both Lyra and Malcolm must travel far beyond the edges of Oxford, across Europe and into Asia, in search of what is lost - a city haunted by daemons, a secret at the heart of a desert, and the mystery of the elusive Dust.
NOTE : Lyra suffers an attempted rape at the hands of a group of soldiers she is travelling with on a train.