Philip Pullman's storytelling leaves others in the dust

18 December 2019 - 12:04
'The Secret Commonwealth' by Philip Pullman.
'The Secret Commonwealth' by Philip Pullman.
Image: Supplied

It is 20 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 10 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, best-selling 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 20 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 they had no idea existed. Pulled along on his own journey 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 of 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 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 best from one of our greatest writers.