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La Belle Sauvage
Cover of La Belle Sauvage
La Belle Sauvage
The Book of Dust Series, Book 1
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Philip Pullman returns to the parallel world of His Dark Materials—soon to be an HBO original series starring Dafne Keen, Ruth Wilson, James McAvoy, and Lin-Manuel...
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Philip Pullman returns to the parallel world of His Dark Materials—soon to be an HBO original series starring Dafne Keen, Ruth Wilson, James McAvoy, and Lin-Manuel...
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Description-

  • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

    Philip Pullman returns to the parallel world of His Dark Materials—soon to be an HBO original series starring Dafne Keen, Ruth Wilson, James McAvoy, and Lin-Manuel Miranda—to expand on the story of Lyra, "one of fantasy's most indelible heroines" (The New York Times Magazine).

    Don't miss Volume II of The Book of Dust: The Secret Commonwealth

    Malcolm Polstead and his daemon, Asta, are used to overhearing news and the occasional scandal at the inn run by his family. But during a winter of unceasing rain, Malcolm finds a mysterious object—and finds himself in grave danger.
    Inside the object is a cryptic message about something called Dust; and it's not long before Malcolm is approached by the spy for whom this message was actually intended. When she asks Malcolm to keep his eyes open, he begins to notice suspicious characters everywhere: the explorer Lord Asriel, clearly on the run; enforcement agents from the Magisterium; a gyptian named Coram with warnings just for Malcolm; and a beautiful woman with an evil monkey for a daemon. All are asking about the same thing: a girl—just a baby—named Lyra.

    Lyra is at the center of a storm, and Malcolm will brave any peril, and make shocking sacrifices, to bring her safely through it.

    "Too few things in our world are worth a seventeen-year wait: The Book of Dust is one of them." —The Washington Post

    "The book is full of wonder. . . . Truly thrilling." —The New York Times

    "People will love the first volume of Philip Pullman's new trilogy with the same helpless vehemence that stole over them when The Golden Compass came out." —Slate
 

Awards-

Excerpts-

  • From the book Eleven-year-old Malcolm lives with his parents at the Trout Inn near Oxford, across the river Thames from Godstow Priory, where the nuns are looking after a special guest. One night his father comes to Malcolm's bedroom.


    "Malcolm, you en't in bed yet—good. Come downstairs for a minute. There's a gentleman wants a word with you."

    "Who is it?" said Malcolm eagerly, jumping up and following his father out.

    "Keep your voice down. He'll tell you who he is if he wants to."

    "Where is he?"

    "In the Terrace Room. Take him a glass of Tokay."

    "What's that?"

    "Hungarian wine. Come on, hurry up. Mind your manners and tell the truth."

    "I always do," said Malcolm automatically.

    "News to me," said his father. But he ruffled Malcolm's hair before they entered the bar.

    The gentleman waiting gave him a start, though all he was doing was sitting still by the cold fireplace. Perhaps it was his dæmon, a beautiful silvery spotted leopard, or perhaps it was his dark, saturnine expression; in any event, Malcolm felt daunted, and very young and small. His dæmon, Asta, became a moth.

    "Good evening, sir," he said. "Your Tokay what you ordered. Would you like me to make up the fire? It's ever so cold in here."

    "Is your name Malcolm?" The man's voice was harsh and deep.

    "Yes, sir. Malcolm Polstead."

    "I'm a friend of Dr. Relf," said the man. "My name is Asriel."

    "Oh. Er—she hasn't told me about you," Malcolm said.

    "Why did you say that?"

    "Because if she had, I'd know it was true."

    Asriel gave a short laugh.

    "I understand," he said. "You want another reference? I'm the father of that baby in the priory."

    "Oh! You're Lord Asriel!"

    "That's right. But how are you going to test the truth of that claim?"

    "What's the baby's name?"

    "Lyra."

    "And what's her dæmon called?"

    "Pantalaimon."

    "All right," said Malcolm.

    "All right now? You sure?"

    "No, I en't sure. But I'm more sure than I was."

    "Good. Can you tell me what happened earlier this evening?"

    Malcolm went through it as fully as he could remember.

    "These men came from the Office of Child Protection, and they wanted to take her away. Take Lyra. But Sister Benedicta wouldn't let 'em."

    "What did they look like?"

    Malcolm described their uniforms. "The one who took his cap off, he seemed like he was in charge. He was more polite than the others, more sort of smooth and smiling. But it was a real smile, not a fake one. I think I'd even've liked him if he'd come in here as a customer—that sort of thing. The other two were just dull and threatening. Most people would've been dead scared, but Sister Benedicta wasn't. She faced 'em off all by herself."

    The man sipped his Tokay. His dæmon lay with her head up and her front paws stretched out ahead of her, like the picture of the Sphinx in Malcolm's encyclopedia. The black-and-silver patterns on her back seemed to flicker and shimmer for a moment, and then Lord Asriel spoke suddenly.

    "Do you know why I haven't been to see my daughter?"

    "I thought you were busy. You probably had important things to do."

    "I haven't been to see her because if I do, she'll be taken away from there and put in a much less congenial place. There'll be no Sister Benedicta to stand up for her there. But now they're trying to take her anyway. . . ."

    "Excuse me, sir, but I told Dr. Relf about all this. Didn't she tell you?"

    "Still not quite sure about me?"

    "Well . . . no,"...

About the Author-

  • PHILIP PULLMAN is one of the most acclaimed writers working today. He is best known for the His Dark Materials trilogy, which has been named one of the top 100 books of all time by Newsweek and one of the all-time greatest novels by Entertainment Weekly. Pullman was knighted for his services to literature in the 2019 New Years Honours.
    The Book of Dust, Pullman's eagerly anticipated return to the world of His Dark Materials, will also be a book in three parts. It began with La Belle Sauvage and continues with The Secret Commonwealth.

    Philip Pullman is the author of many other beloved novels. For younger readers: I Was a Rat!, Count Karlstein, Two Crafty Criminals!, Spring-Heeled Jack, and The Scarecrow and His Servant. For older readers: the Sally Lockhart quartet (The Ruby in the Smoke, The Shadow in the North, The Tiger in the Well, and The Tin Princess), The White Mercedes, and The Broken Bridge. He has written a magnificent collection, Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm, and his essays and lectures on writing and storytelling have been gathered in a volume called Dæmon Voices: On Stories and Storytelling.

    Philip Pullman lives in Oxford, England.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from October 23, 2017
    For more than 15 years, fans of the His Dark Materials trilogy have longed to return to the world Pullman created. Now, finally, begins a new trilogy, the Book of Dust, that again immerses readers in a thrilling alternate landscape of animal daemons, truth-revealing alethiometers, and the mysterious particle known as Dust. Lyra, the beloved heroine of the original books, is just a baby; 11-year-old Malcolm Polstead is the hero this time, and a worthy one. Malcolm helps out at his family's inn in Oxford and at the priory where Lyra—sought by her mother, Mrs. Coulter (younger but no less chilling than in the His Dark Materials books), and her father, Lord Asriel—is being cared for by nuns. Inquisitive and observant, Malcolm gets involved with scholar-spy Dr. Hannah Relf and meets (and adores) baby Lyra. But free thinkers are at war with the oppressive religious regime, and everyone wants control of Lyra, who is "destined to put an end to destiny." Amid the roaring waters of a historic flood, Malcolm and his daemon, Asta, attempt to keep Lyra safe, braving kidnappers, government enforcers, murderers, and classmates who, chillingly, are being trained to turn in those perceived to be disloyal to the regime. Fortunately, he has a fleet canoe, the Belle Sauvage of the title, and help from Alice, a cranky and courageous 16-year-old. The new characters are as lively and memorable as their predecessors; despite a few heavy-handed moments regarding the oppressiveness of religion, this tense, adventure-packed book will satisfy and delight Pullman's fans and leave them eager to see what's yet to come. Ages 14–up.

  • Kirkus

    November 15, 2017
    Pullman's return to the realms of His Dark Materials moves the timeline back to Lyra's infancy with a tale of young people struggling against outsized forces of both nature and evil.It's a story in two parts, as the author devotes nearly the entire first half to a slow buildup of tension around a certain baby recently consigned to the indulgent sisters of a nearby priory, to setting the cast in place, and to the founding of a network of student informants dubbed the "League of St. Alexander" (after an early convert who consigned his pagan parents to the flames--it's clear the author continues to wield his anything-but-subtle knife on organized Christianity). Then, impelled by a devastating flood and the attentions of a sinister stranger with a horribly wounded, abused hyena for a daemon, 11-year-old Malcolm Pollstead undertakes a desperate rescue. He bundles the laughing infant into his canoe (named La Belle Sauvage) along with teenage acquaintance Alice Parslow. The terrifying hazards they encounter are natural, unnatural, and even supernatural. The rescue becomes a long flight--part idyll, part nightmare--that ultimately leaves the burbling babe and her daemon, Pantalaimon, ensconced in Jordan College. First, though, come encounters with Lyra's larger-than-life parents and numerous other characters met in other books in the series, no fewer than three of the world's six alethiometers, the odd fairy or river god, and a sick, twisted villain whose relentless pursuit leads to a rape in the tale's most hideously violent episode. Save for a few "gyptians," the human cast is white. Illustrations not seen.Magisterial storytelling will sweep readers along; the cast is as vividly drawn as ever; and big themes running beneath the surface invite profound responses and reflection. (Fantasy. 13-adult)

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • The Washington Post "Enthralling, enchanting. The first half reads like a thriller. The story becomes darker, deeper and even more engrossing when a cataclysmic flood overtakes Southern England. Too few things in our world are worth a seventeen year wait: The Book of Dust is one of them."
  • Bustle "Pullman's writing is as deftly brilliant as ever. A triumphant return to the alternate Oxford we love."
  • Entertainment Weekly "Once again, Pullman's fantasy arrives precisely when it can teach us the most about ourselves, as if it were guided by Dust itself."
  • The Times (London) "High-octane adventure accompanies ingenious plotting."
  • The Telegraph "Pullman is an easeful storyteller and an intricate and inventive world-builder, and everything he has to write is worth reading."
  • Booklist, starred review "Pullman demonstrates that his talent for world building hasn't diminished, nor has his ability to draw young characters--here, Malcolm, who is layered enough to carry an adventure through multiple dimensions."

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    Random House Children's Books
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