Philip Pullman said: “At the heart of the book are Lyra, the young woman we saw first as a girl of twelve and then as a baby, and Malcolm, whose life as a boy became involved with hers and who now finds their lives helplessly entangled again; and how some emotions can last a lifetime, and others change beyond recognition.”
Further announcements will follow throughout the year, stay tuned to our social channels for more details and find out more in the video filmed in Oxford’s Botanic Gardens, now iconic to His Dark Materials fans.
Read an extract from The Secret Commonwealth: The Book of Dust Volume Two
‘It used to be you who was impulsive,’ said Pan, ‘and me who kept holding you back. We’re different now.’
She nodded. ‘Well, you know, things change … This isn’t just shoplifting. This is murder.’
‘I know. I saw it.’
‘And maybe by doing this we’d be helping the murderer get away with it. By interfering with the investigation. That can’t be right.’
‘That’s another thing,’ he said.
‘You used to be optimistic. You used to think that whatever we did would turn out well. Even after we came back from the north, you used to think that. Now you’re cautious, you’re anxious … You’re pessimistic.’
She knew he was right, but it wasn’t right that he should speak to her accusingly, as if it was something to blame her for.
‘I used to be young,’ was all she could find to say.
He made no response.
They didn’t speak again till they reached the station. Then she said ‘Pan, come here,’ and he leapt up at once into her hands. She put him on her shoulder and said quietly, ‘You’re going to have to look out behind. Someone might be watching.’
The Secret Commonwealth: The Book of Dust Volume Two publishes 3rd October 2019.
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.
*The first book in The Book of Dust trilogy, La Belle Sauvage, is coming to the stage in the summer of this year. Performed at The Bridge Theatre from July 2020, it will be a theatrical spectacle not to be missed*
Reviews for The Secret Commonwealth: The Book of Dust Volume Two:
"[Pullman] has created a fantasy world, made yet more satisfying in rigour and stylistic elegance. This is a book for getting older with" Guardian, Book of the Week
"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" i
"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
"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
"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