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Read an Excerpt from Philip Pullman’s HIS DARK MATERIALS Follow-Up

Read an Excerpt from Philip Pullman’s HIS DARK MATERIALS Follow-Up

When Philip Pullman announced he would be returning to the world (or worlds, rather) of His Dark Materials series with a trilogy of new books, we were consumed with joy. The epic adventure of Lyra Belacqua, a.k.a. Lyra Silvertongue is one of our all-time favorites. It has everything you could want in a book series: action, adventure, talking spirit animals, magic weapons, witches, alternate dimensions, and so much more. There is really nothing else like the world depicted in the trilogy’s pages; its uniqueness makes it hard to describe and impossible to put down. This is why we’re so eagerly looking forward to the first volume of The Book of Dust, La Belle Sauvage, and why we can’t wait to jump head first back into these worlds.

The UK cover for The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman

We’ve been eagerly awaiting every little tidbit of information about the new books, from title reveals, to excerpts, to cover art, we’re knee deep in all of it. If you, like us, can’t wait the agonizing few days that still separate us from the release date, NPR has you covered. They’ve just released a new excerpt from The Book of Dust and while it’s not terribly long, it does give us some time with the series new lead, 11 year old Malcolm Polstead, and a glimpse into the familiar setting of the new books.

Right away, you can’t help but notice how similar in tone The Book of Dust is to The Golden Compass. We’re back in the alternate world inhabited by Lyra in that first book. The scale in this excerpt also feels similar. Malcolm and his dæmon are similar to Lyra and Pantalaimon in The Golden Compass, naive and adventurousWe’re getting a view of the world from a child and it’s clear from this excerpt that adults can’t be trusted. Malcolm knows this and, despite his independence–he has his own boat, after all–he’s cautious and subtle.

Based on the title, and a clue discovered by Malcolm, we going to be learning more about the history of dust and the cosmic battle that wages throughout the His Dark Materials trilogy. Pullman has said that the first volume, La Belle Sauvage, is set 10 years before the events of The Golden Compass, so the mysteries surrounding dust and its role in the universe are just starting to be revealed. It’s interesting to note that Pullman has also stated that Lyra will be in The Book of Dust trilogy but given the timeframe, she will likely be a toddler or younger. Of course, given the way these books operate, anything is possible. Either way, we’re excited to spend time with these characters again.

The Book of Dust hits shelves on October 19. Go read the excerpt and let us know what you think in the comments below. Also, let us know what animal your dæmon would be. We’re guessing a monkey, but maybe you see yourself as more of an eagle or an otter.

Images: Knopf Books

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