After seventeen years of waiting, fans of Philip Pullman‘s epic fantasy series His Dark Materials will finally have a new trilogy to devour. Today (via The Guardian), Pullman shared that the first book in his long-awaited companion series to His Dark Materials—The Book of Dust—will hit bookstores in the United Kingdom on October 19, 2017.
For those unfamiliar with His Dark Materials, the seminal series began in 1995 with Northern Lights (dubbed The Golden Compass in America, with a terrible film adaptation that should never be spoken of again) and told the story of Lyra Belacqua, a young girl in Oxford who discovers other universes and worlds beyond her own. The trilogy expanded its story beyond Lyra with The Subtle Knife, and concluded with The Amber Spyglass. The trilogy is both beloved and revered by readers and scholars alike, and deals with themes and theories dealing with existence, religion, freedom, and everything in between.
And lest you think this is set in a whole new world with unfamiliar characters, The Book of Dust will return to Lyra’s world and be a true companion to His Dark Materials. Not only will Pullman explore story points parallel to the story of the first trilogy, he will focus on two new periods in Lyra’s life: when she was a baby, before she found her way to Oxford, and twenty years after the events of The Amber Spyglass. The report in The Guardian states that the series will include “characters familiar to existing readers, as well as other Pullman creations, including alethiometers (a clock-like truth-telling device), daemons (animals that are physical manifestations of the human spirit) and the Magisterium, the Church-like totalitarian authority that rules Lyra’s world.”
Lastly, The Book of Dust will attempt to unearth more about (duh) Dust, the mysterious substance that floats throughout Lyra’s tale and the fabric of the universe. Consider it an understatement when we say we are counting down the days until October 19 so we can find out if Lyra and Will ever found each other again.
Are you a fan of His Dark Materials? What would you like to see from this new companion series? Let us know in the comments below, and if you’re a bookworm, make sure you watch along with our new series, Alpha Book Club!