Philip Pullman has been talking about returning to Lyra’s world for a long time now. Instead of offering a sequel to his original His Dark Materials trilogy, Pullman is giving them The Book of Dust. A story that runs parallel and overlaps with his original trilogy.
Title: La Belle Sauvage / The Book of Dust
Series: The Book of Dust
Author: Philip Pullman
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books
Genre: Fantasy/Alternative Reality
Released: October 19th 2017
Page Count: 464
Eleven-year-old Malcolm Polstead and his dæmon, Asta, live with his parents at the Trout Inn near Oxford. Across the River Thames (which Malcolm navigates often using his beloved canoe, a boat by the name of La Belle Sauvage) is the Godstow Priory where the nuns live. Malcolm learns they have a guest with them; a baby by the name of Lyra Belacqua . . .
WHY I’M WAITING:
His Dark Materials is a trilogy that was very influential to me when I was a kid. It was the first series of books that didn’t talk down to me, they treated me as an adult and let me grapple with concepts that I was interested in but had no real access too. As I’ve grown older and have reread the books I’ve taken something different away from them every time. I manage to appreciate them more and more.
With the announcement of The Book of Dust and it’s unexpected premise; I’m looking forward to seeing how this book will flesh out the world. Last year we did a look back on The Golden Compass and I found my focus shifting away from the main story. I wanted to know more about the Magestrium and their rise to power. This was an organization that were willing to cut children’s dæmons away (basically their soul and manifestation of free will) away. I found myself thinking, if they’re willing to experiment with that… what else are they doing? What else are they working on?
I know a lot of people were hoping for a sequel to His Dark Materials following an adult Lyra. But I think I’m okay with The Book of Dust’s premise. Lyra’s story is over. Or at least the story that people currently want from her. Given the ending of His Dark Materials I don’t see a way that Pullman could return to that story without having to alter the ending. If he were to do this, to revisit and revise it; it would lose all of its weight. Sometimes the best endings aren’t the happiest. But they’re the ones that we remember.
I can’t wait till I can get my hands on this book. October cannot come fast enough. I’m hoping to do a reread of His Dark Materials to get ready for The Book of Dust. But only time will tell.
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly tag hosted by Breaking the Spine where you draw attention to upcoming releases that you’re excited for.