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 seven 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 Secret Commonwealth is the second novel in The Book of Dust trilogy. It will be set twenty years after the events of La Belle Sauvage, and roughly ten years after the events of the His Dark Materials trilogy. It will feature Lyra Silvertongue as a twenty-year-old undergraduate, travelling to Central Asia via the Levant. Lyra will be investigating a murder case with Malcolm Polstead. In search of a town haunted by dæmons and the mystery behind Dust, Lyra will face adult concerns and new complexities in her relationship with Pantalaimon. Following an auction to raise money for the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire, Pullman confirmed that he would name a character in The Secret Commonwealth after Nur Huda El-Wahab, a victim of the fire. The book will be released on 3 October, 2019.
"It used to be you who was impulsive," said Pan, "and me who kept holding you back. We’re different now."
She nodded. "Well, you know, things change… This isn't just shoplifting. This is murder."
"I know. I saw it."
"And maybe by doing this we'd be helping the murderer get away with it. By interfering with the investigation. That can't be right."
"That's another thing," he said.
"You used to be optimistic. You used to think that whatever we did would turn out well. Even after we came back from the north, you used to think that. Now you're cautious, you're anxious… You're pessimistic."
She knew he was right, but it wasn't right that he should speak to her accusingly, as if it was something to blame her for.
"I used to be young," was all she could find to say.
He made no response.
They didn't speak again till they reached the station. Then she said: "Pan, come here," and he leapt up at once into her hands. She put him on her shoulder and said quietly, "You're going to have to look out behind. Someone might be watching."
- The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns & Fairies: A Study in Folk-lore, by Robert Kirk, from which the book's title is taken
- ↑ The Observer, Philip Pullman: 'My dæmon is a raven, a bird that steals things'
- ↑ The Guardian, Philip Pullman launches La Belle Sauvage and says sequel is finished
- ↑ The New York Times, Philip Pullman Returns to His Fantasy World
- ↑ Inews
- ↑ The Guardian, New Philip Pullman novel The Secret Commonwealth due in October
- ↑ BBC News, Grenfell Tower victim's name wins Philip Pullman auction
- ↑ Waterstones, The Secret Commonwealth: The Book of Dust Volume Two
- ↑ iNews, Philip Pullman New Book of Dust The Secret Commonwealth
- ↑ "Philip Pullman Returns to his Fantasy World," by Sophie Elmhirst
|Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials|
|Main Trilogy||Northern Lights • The Subtle Knife • The Amber Spyglass|
|Book of Dust||La Belle Sauvage • The Secret Commonwealth|
|Companion Books||Lyra's Oxford • Once Upon a Time in the North • The Collectors • Green Book|