The first book in the His Dark Materials trilogy, The Golden Compass is set in a parallel universe that is ruled by a religious order called The Church. The Church attempts to squash the freewill of people and to keep people from learning the truth or from gaining wisdom. Lyra, a preteen girl, is given a truth teller by her uncle. It must answer any question asked it honestly, once Lyra learns how to use it. She uses the truth teller to uncover many evil plots.