ABOUT THE BOOK
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.
Amazon UK £12.26
foyles – with exclusive pin badge £20.00
Oh how wonderful it is to be reunited with Lyra! I really enjoyed La Belle Sauvage, but we’re now back with Lyra as an adult! She’s in her second year at Oxford and things aren’t going well, especially between her and Pan! It was often so heartbreaking to read them squabbling and doing things on their own.
And when Pan is out one night alone, he sees someone being murdered and is asked by the victims’ daemon to help and hide a wallet. The significance of what is inside this wallet leads Pan and Lyra to set off on different quests to figure out what dark forces are at work, and to work out what has happened to Lyra and Pan in their relationship.
There is tension between them from the start and it makes it difficult to understand what could have gone so wrong between them. Pan has his thoughts on the change in Lyra and won’t settle until he tracks down who he thinks is responsible for making her think differently. Lyra does feel lost without him and when he disappears she has no doubt that she needs to find him. Her life at Oxford isn’t being made to be a pleasant one either by those in charge and there is definitely a plot to uncover what she knows
Malcolm, who we were introduced to in La Belle Sauvage, also makes a welcome reappearance and I love how his role has evolved and the sense of duty he feels towards Lyra. His family are always there to help out along the way and the journey they all take was one that left me breathless! There’s always danger close by and I loved the tension and different plot lines that all seemed to link effortlessly – why are so many so interested in seeing where Lyra ends up?
She relies on the hospitality of many good people along the way, despite the efforts of those wanting to stop her. You can just feel her desperation of trying to make sense of everything that is happening around her, alongside trying to work out what has gone wrong between her and Pan. And she’s also there to help others as well. The further she travels the more troubling sights she sees.
At nearly 700 pages long, this never feels like a slog of a read. There’s always a new piece of information to be devoured, an old friend to help her out and I’m already eagerly awaiting the next installment!! Absolutely blooming brilliant!!