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La Belle Sauvage


The Book of Dust trilogy

Book 1 : La Belle Sauvage

by Philip Pullman


For all of those who enjoyed Pullman’s trilogy, His Dark Materials, you are in for a treat.  Lyra is back, but this time she is only six months old and already in grave danger. 


Pullman sets his tale of adventure in a fictional England, which in some ways resembles our world and in some ways is quite different.  The most astounding feature is that a person’s soul, called a “daemon”, takes on an animal form and lives outside of the body. It has a name and communicates freely with its physical counterparts. In Pullman’s England, a repressive religious organisation called the Magisterium rules and no one is safe from persecution, torture or even death. 


Multiple evildoers are hunting Lyra because she is the subject of a prophecy. Two young heroes, Malcolm and Alice, defend her, even at their own peril, and develop a close friendship along the way.


In this tale, Pullman introduces fairly advanced vocabulary and some mature concepts.  He touches upon religious and political persecution, betrayal, honour and self-sacrifice. Although this is considered a teen read, many adults will enjoy it.  I certainly did! I can’t wait for the sequel. 


Note on the audiobook:  The narrator, Michael Sheen, is fabulous.  He successfully embodies all of the parts and has a wonderful way of adding tension through his expert interpretation of the text. 

La Belle Sauvage by sonja_library