“It’s a stunning achievement, this universe Pullman has created and continues to build on.” — The New York Times
Return to the parallel world of His Dark Materials in the second volume of Philip Pullman’s new bestselling masterwork The Book of Dust, and discover what comes next for Lyra, “one of fantasy’s most indelible characters.” (The New York Times Magazine)
Lyra Silvertongue’s adventures in the North are long over — the windows between the many worlds have been sealed, and her beloved Will is lost to her. She does still have the alethiometer: the truth-telling device given to her by the master of Jordan College, which guided her journey.
Lyra doesn’t know the full story of the alethiometer, though. Or the role that young Malcolm Polstead played in bringing both the instrument and baby Lyra to Jordan. She’s now a twenty-year-old undergraduate at St. Sophia’s College. To her, Malcolm is Dr. Polstead, an overly solicitous professor she would prefer to avoid.
But intrigue is swirling around Lyra once more. Her daemon Pantalaimon is witness to a brutal murder, and the dying man entrusts them with secrets that carry echoes from their past. They learn of a city haunted by daemons, of a desert said to hold the secret of Dust.
Powerful forces are about to throw Lyra and Malcolm together once again. And the dangers they face will challenge everything they thought they knew about the world, and about themselves.
Philip Pullman (born 1946) is an English writer. He is the best-selling author of His Dark Materials, a trilogy of fantasy novels, and a number of other books.
Pullman was born in Norwich. The family travelled with his RAF pilot father's job, including to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), where he spent time at school. His father was killed in a plane crash in 1953 when Pullman was seven. His mother remarried and with a move to Australia came Pullman's discovery of comic books including Superman and Batman. From 1957 he was educated at Ysgol Ardudwy school in Wales and spent time in Norfolk with his grandfather, a clergyman. Around this time Pullman discovered John Milton's Paradise Lost, which would ... (more)
The first volume of His Dark Materials trilogy, Northern Lights, won the Carnegie Medal for children's fiction in the UK in 1995. The Amber Spyglass, the trilogy's last volume, was awarded both 2001 Whitbread Prize for best children's book and the Whitbread Book of the Year prize in January 2002. The trilogy won popular acclaim in late 2003, taking third place in the BBC's Big Read poll.
In 2005 Pullman was announced as joint winner of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for children's literature.
Pullman is a supporter of the British Humanist Association and an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society.
Although Pullman has criticized C. S. Lewis' series The Chronicles of Narnia as religious propaganda, the two series have several things in common. Both feature children facing adult moral choices, talking animals, religious allegories, parallel worlds, and concern the ultimate fate of those worlds.
A film adaptation, titled His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass, is to be released in December 2007 by New Line Cinema, starring Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig and Dakota Blue Richards.
Photo: Wikipedia, Adrian Hon