It is twenty years since the events of La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One unfolded and saw the baby Lyra Belacqua begin her life-changing journey.
It is almost ten years since readers left Lyra and the love of her young life, Will Parry, on a park bench in Oxford's Botanic Gardens at the end of the ground-breaking, bestselling His Dark Materials sequence.
Now, in The Secret Commonwealth, we meet Lyra Silvertongue. And she is no longer a child . . .
The second volume of Philip Pullman's The Book of Dust sees Lyra, now twenty years old, and her daemon Pantalaimon, forced to navigate their relationship in a way they could never have imagined, and drawn into the complex and dangerous factions of a world that they had no idea existed.
Pulled along on his own journey too is Malcolm; 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.
Theirs is a world at once familiar and extraordinary, and they must travel far beyond the edges of Oxford, across Europe and into Asia, in search for what is lost - a city haunted by daemons, a secret at the heart of a desert, and the mystery of the elusive Dust.
The Secret Commonwealth is truly a book for our times; a powerful adventure and a thought-provoking look at what it is to understand yourself, to grow up and make sense of the world around you. This is storytelling at its very best from one of our greatest writers.
*The first book in The Book of Dust trilogy, La Belle Sauvage, is coming to the stage in the summer of this year. Performed at The Bridge Theatre from July 2020, it will be a theatrical spectacle not to be missed*
Reviews for The Secret Commonwealth: The Book of Dust Volume Two:
"[Pullman] has created a fantasy world, made yet more satisfying in rigour and stylistic elegance. This is a book for getting older with" Guardian, Book of the Week
"The Secret Commonwealth is ablaze with light and life. The writing is exquisite; every sentence sings ... To read Pullman is to experience the world refreshed, aglow, in Technicolour" i
"Pullman's story is still thought-provoking ... This book elegantly weaves in live issues, from Europe's refugee crisis to facts in the post-truth era. And Pullman's prose is rewarding as ever" The Times
"A long, taxing, complex journey, laced with beauty, terror and philosophy" Metro
"As ever, Pullman's story is complex and vast but home to some of the finest storytelling in the 21st century. Revel in whole new worlds and enjoy one of literature's most wonderful heroines before she comes to HBO and the BBC" Stylist
"Pullman is confronting readers with the horrors of our own world reflected back at us. In The Secret Commonwealth he creates a fearful symmetry" The Herald
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
We first met Lyra Belacqua as an infant in the seismic La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One. Even then it appeared clear that we were being introduced to an important literary character. This book proves that suspicion correct. Philip Pullman’s second Book of Dust book rejoins Lyra aged 20. She’s studying in Oxford, experiencing difficulties with her deamon, Pan, and very keen to unearth the truth around her past. Predictably for a girl as trouble-fond as Lyra, it’s not long before she and Pan are forced to work together to battle evil after she witnesses a murder. It’s a true delight being plunged back into Pullman’s exquisite imagination and The Secret Commonwealth is a complex, dark and utterly gripping delight.