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1001 Stories Collection

The Book of Dust

1001 The Book Of Dust
Added on 14th August 2020

Author Philip Pullman
First published 2017, 2019
Published by David Fickling Books and Penguin Random House

The eagerly awaited return to the world of Philip Pullman's highly acclaimed His Dark Materials


Described by Philip Pullman as an ‘equel’ - rather than a prequel or sequel - to His Dark Materials, The Book of Dust is a trilogy of fantasy novels that further chronicle Lyra’s battle with the repressive Magisterium and her quest to understand the mysterious substance known as Dust.

La Belle Sauvage (2017) is set twelve years before His Dark Materials. Oxford is engulfed by a catastrophic flood and young Malcolm Polstead and his demon Asta discover they must rescue a six-month-old baby, Lyra Belacqua. Their voyage in his canoe, La Belle Sauvage, is filled with dangers and wonders.

Twenty years on, The Secret Commonwealth (2019) finds Lyra in her 2nd year at Oxford and at odds with her daemon Pantalaimon. A murder forces her to flee the city and travel, alone, through conflict and intrigue to central Asia in search of a city haunted by daemons, and the legendary rose oil that reveals Dust.

Why we chose it

The Book of Dust develops the characters and themes of the highly acclaimed His Dark Materials. Master storyteller Pullman deepens his exploration of human consciousness with further exciting adventures in Lyra’s world, where freedom and knowledge are under threat. The first two books are as richly imagined, beautifully written and thought-provoking as the original. Loyal fans await the third.

Where it came from

When Pullman conceived The Book of Dust in 2003 he knew that it would be a huge undertaking. At one point he vowed not to cut his hair until it was written, but relented once the second volume was complete. Pullman named The Secret Commonwealth after a 1691 collection of highlands folklore.

Where it went next

La Belle Sauvage has been adapted for stage by The Bridge Theatre, London and was due to be performed in summer 2020.

Associated stories

Also set in Lyra’s world are: His Dark Materials trilogy: Northern Lights (also known as The Golden Compass), The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass; two short stories: Lyra’s Oxford, Once Upon a Time in the North; and an audio story, The Collectors.

Find The Subtle Knife room in our Enchanted Library and a portrait of Philip Pullman dressed as Long John Silver, his favourite childhood story character, in our 26 Characters display.

Added on 14th August 2020

Author Philip Pullman
First published 2017, 2019
Published by David Fickling Books and Penguin Random House