Review Blog

Feb 14 2018

The Book of Dust: La belle sauvage by Philip Pullman

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Book of dust, vol. 1. David Fickling Books, 2017. ISBN 9780857561084
(Age: 12+) Highly recommended. Many years have passed since the completion of His dark materials and now Pullman fans have been graced by the first in a prequel series following baby Lyra and her protector, Malcom. Diving back into this world was a magical experience - for this reviewer it was like coming home. A knowledge of the world of His dark materials is unnecessary for the enjoyment of La Belle Sauvage, but like the original series the book thrusts you into a world of daemons and children thirsty for knowledge.
The novel follows the unusually bright innkeeper's son, Malcom, and his need to protect baby Lyra, who was left with the Nuns at the priory for safe keeping. Working in the pub, Malcom meets all sorts of people - even strange men with three-legged hyena daemons whose presence unnerves everyone. But this strange man isn't the only to visit the Trout since Lyra's arrival - Lord Asriel, a famous explorer calls, employing Malcom to take him to the priory to visit his daughter and swearing the boy to secrecy. Befriending a librarian and a gyptian, Malcom's days are soon filled with the need to protect little Lyra - even if that means braving the Thames in flood and outsmarting the man with the three-legged hyena.
I would highly recommend La belle sauvage for boys or girls twelve years and up who love fantasy. In particular those who have already fallen in love with Lyra in His dark materials or in the 2007 film The golden compass.
Kayla Gaskell, 22

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