I loved Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series but I have not read any of the connected short stories. Serpentine comes after Lyra's Oxford but before the new Book of Dust series. Philip explains in his notes at the back of Serpentine that the story was intended as a one-off - he handwrote the original version several years ago to be auctioned for charity. It does, therefore, read like a deleted scene or an epilogue, rather than a short story.
A few years after the events of The Amber Spyglass, Lyra and her daemon Pantalaimon return to a town they first visited in Northern Lights and meet up with an old friend. As this is a short story, to tell you any more would involve spoilers!
Fans of His Dark Materials will love the book. It's a snapshot into an older Lyra's life where she learns something about herself and her relationship with Pantalaimon. The book is beautiful to look at and the illustrations are gorgeous. It would make a perfect stocking filler. However, it is very short (80 pages, including the illustrations and a note from the author) and takes less than 20 minutes to read.
Best suited for the fan who wants to read everything about Lyra and her world.
Thank you to Philip Pullman and Penguin for my copy of this book, which I requested from NetGalley and reviewed voluntarily.