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Alethiometers and daemons {La Belle Sauvage}

Alethiometers and daemons

The Book of Dust is a story in three parts. The first part, La Belle Sauvage, is set 10 years before the events of His Dark Materials, and the rest of the story takes place 20 years after that. Did you know that the Book of Dust was published 22 years after Northern Lights was published in 1995? I’m not sure where the years have gone but I loved His Dark Materials, so I was excited when Penguin Random House sent me a copy of  La Belle Sauvage to read. I received it over Christmas but it was such a hectic time I didn’t really get into it. Fast forward a few weeks and I devoured it in a week!

La Belle Sauvage is the first book in The Book of Dust trilogy. The story focuses on some new characters, including Malcolm, an ordinary boy who we met briefly in His Dark Materials. With Lyra, he is caught up in a terrifying adventure that takes him into a new world.

La Belle Sauvage

Eleven-year-old Malcolm Polstead and his dæmon, Asta, live with his parents at the Trout Inn near Oxford, on the banks of the River Thames, which Malcolm navigates using his beloved canoe, a boat by the name of La Belle Sauvage.

Across the River is the Godstow Priory where the nuns live in quiet seclusion. But Oxford’s peace is about to be shattered.

When Malcolm learns the nuns have an unusual guest with them, a baby by the name of Lyra Belacqua, he finds himself drawn into a dangerous world of secrets, intrigue and vengeance. A world where powerful agents compete for mastery of the elements that shape Malcolm’s world; above all, Dust – salvation to some, the source of infinite evil to others.

And all the while an ancient, slumbering world is awakening. Slowly but surely, the waters are rising…

It had been a while since I read His Dark Materials but I slipped back into the world of Philip Pullman really easily. I loved Malcolm and his safe little world which gradually falls apart. His journey is amazing and terrifying and the book is a brilliant read. I can’t wait to read Part 2 and 3. Part 2 is called The Secret Commonwealth and is due to by published at the end of this year.

Have you read anything by Philip Pullman? If so I would love to hear what you recommend.

Disclosure – I was sent a copy of The Book of Dust Part 1: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman from Penguin Random House.


  • Reply
    February 26, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    The original His Dark Materials books are my all time favourites, so I was so excited for this one to be released! I love brave, good Malcolm and I thought the villain of this particular tale was genuinely skin-crawlingly twisted! Can’t wait to see where it goes next! x

    • Reply
      February 27, 2018 at 10:58 am

      I cringed everytime the villain appeared! I’m also desperate for the next instalment 🙂

  • Reply
    February 27, 2018 at 11:01 am

    I love Philip Pullman, can’t wait to get my hands on this.

    • Reply
      February 27, 2018 at 11:06 am

      It’s weighty but soooo good!

  • Reply
    The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay -
    March 3, 2018 at 11:23 am

    […] week I told you about the Book of Dust Volume 1: La Belle Sauvage. Today I’m telling you about another book I would recommend The Austen Escape by Katherine […]

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