The Golden Compass
How we cite our quotes:
It was said that the Tartars had invaded Muscovy, and were surging north to St. Petersburg, from where they would be able to dominate the Baltic Sea and eventually overcome the entire west of Europe. And Lord Asriel had been in the far North: when she'd seen him last, he was preparing an expedition to Lapland.... (1.66)
As the novel opens rumors of war are rumbling, and the Tartars are the presumed enemy.
There were several wars running at once. The children (young servants, and the children of servants, and Lyra) of one college waged war on those of another. Lyra had once been captured by the children of Gabriel College, and Roger and their friends Hugh Lovat and Simon Parslow had raided the place to rescue her, creeping through the Precentor's garden and gathering armfuls of small stone-hard plums to throw at the kidnappers. (3.6)
Oxford is like a microcosm of the larger world here, with the children staging wars among themselves. How are the children and their fighting a reflection of the larger world of The Golden Compass?
She was a coarse and greedy little savage, for the most part. But she always had a dim sense that it wasn't her whole world; that part of her also belonged in the grandeur of Jordan College; and that somewhere in her life there was a connection with the high world of politics represented by Lord Asriel. All she did with that knowledge was to give herself airs and lord it over the other urchins. It had never occurred to her to find out more. (3.9)
Though she is uneducated, Lyra's noble birth ties her to Lord Asriel's world of politics.