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 Materialssequence.
Now, in The Secret Commonwealth, we meet Lyra Silvertongue. And she is no longer a child . . .
The second volume of Sir 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.
'Sheen conjures a multitude of accents and delivers rapid-fire conversations between them. He's in step with the text at every turn; when situations become fraught or dangerous, Sheen ramps up the tension exquisitely. Thanks to Pullman's intricate storytelling and Sheen's propulsive narration, listeners will be on the edge of their seats' - AudioFile
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.
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Weight: 387 g
Dimensions: 142 x 140 x 35 mm
Edition: Unabridged edition
The Secret Commonwealth is ablaze with light and life. The writing is exquisite; every sentence sings ... To read Pullman is to experience the world refreshed, aglow, in Technicolour * Independent *
Lyra is all grown up in a rich, vivid sequel * Telegraph *
Engrossing * Financial Times *
Pullman's story is still thought-provoking ... This book elegantly weaves in live issues, from Europe's refugee crisis to facts in the post-truth era. And Pullman's prose is rewarding as ever * The Times *
The novel gallops forward, full of danger, delight and surprise. Nearly miraculous, it seems, is Pullman's ability to sketch character, place and motive in just a few lines * New Statesman *
A long, taxing, complex journey, laced with beauty, terror and philosophy * Metro *
As ever, Pullman's story is complex and vast but home to some of the finest storytelling in the 21st century. Revel in whole new worlds and enjoy one of literature's most wonderful heroines before she comes to HBO and the BBC * Stylist.co.uk *
Pullman is confronting readers with the horrors of our own world reflected back at us. In The Secret Commonwealth he creates a fearful symmetry * The Herald *
Pullman has created a fantasy world, made yet more satisfying in this new volume. This is a book for getting older with * Guardian *
REVIEWS FOR LA BELLE SAUVAGE: THE BOOK OF DUST VOLUME ONE:
Fans of His Dark Materials will find themselves joyfully immersed in a familiar world . . . meanwhile, awaiting first-time readers is all the pleasure of commencing their own journey into this most captivating of universes at the very beginning of Lyra's story* Independent *
No one else writes like Pullman . . . entirely worth the 17-year wait * Imogen Russell Williams, Metro *
A rich, imaginative, vividly characterised rite-of-passage tale * Nicolette Jones, The Sunday Times *
High-octane adventure accompanies ingenious plotting * The Times *