Browsing in the local Waterstone’s bookstore today [which I often do on Friday afternoons], I was delighted to see they are already promoting Philip Pullman’s new work, to be published on October 19th.
Pullman’s trilogy, His Dark Materials, was a sensation when it was originally published in the late nineties. Its controversial subject matter raised a few hackles in religious circles, but that did not prevent the books becoming bestsellers – among children and adults alike.
The new trilogy will be entitled The Book of Dust. The October publication will be the first volume (separate title as yet unknown) but it will not be a sequel to The Amber Spyglass, as many fans of the original must have supposed. Philip Pullman himself describes it as an “equel”. It will begin 10 years before events related in Northern Lights [American fans, please read The Golden Compass!]
According to Mr Pullman, ‘[the] first thing to say is that Lyra is at the centre of the story.’ That’s one piece of good news; who can forget the masterly way in which she deceives the usurper king of the armoured bears and paves the way for his defeat in Northern Lights? But I’m especially looking forward to meeting Marissa Coulter again, for there is surely no way of telling Lyra’s story without her.
In honour of the occasion, I will be republishing this weekend my reviews of His Dark Materials. So, if you are a fan as I am of the trilogy, watch this space!
Just as important, get along to your local bookshop and pre-order a copy of the new work.