Book Beginnings quote:
Pantalaimon, the daemon of Lyra Belacqua, now called Lyra Silvertongue, lay along the windowsill of Lyra's little study-bedroom in St. Sophia's College in a state as far from thought as possible.Friday56 quote:
The page ended there. As she read it, Lyra felt Pan drawing away. He laid down on the edge of the table with his back to her. Her throat tightened; she couldn't have spoken, even if she knew what to say to him.Summary and review: I am a huge fan of Pullman's His Dark Materials series. I devoured it over a decade ago and yet the story of Lyra and her daemon Pantalaimon (Pan) lingered like a wonderful perfume in my memory. When La Belle Sauvage, Book of Dust #1 was published in 2017, I couldn't have been any more delighted and devoured it like I did the previous series. In it Lyra is a baby and she is saved from a flood, a horrible man and his hyena daemon by a young boy Malcolm and his little boat named La Belle Sauvage. That book ends with Malcolm delivering the baby to her father in Oxford where an order of protection is placed on her. The Secret Commonwealth opens up 20 years later and seven years after the events that took place in the 3rd book of the previous series, The Amber Spyglass. Lyra is a student at nearby college and still lives in her little rooms at Oxford. When a series of events occur, Lyra realizes her life is in danger and she turns to Malcolm for help. Through him she hears of the Secret Commonwealth. Her search for answers finds her traipsing all over Europe and Asia, always with danger one step behind her.
I love the world that Pullman has created with Lyra, her daemon, and the cast of characters who flit in and out of scenes. This book, the middle book of the series, starts abruptly and ends the same way. Hence I am on pins and needles waiting for the third book. Few fantasy series have caught my attention so thoroughly and completely. I love Pullman's spell-binding writing. Even after a decade I can be pulled back into his world within one or two pages. If you aren't familiar with His Dark Materials, read them first! Start with The Golden Compass. (But avoid the movie with Nicole Kiddman,) Make your way through those three books and then start on the Book of Dust series. I anticipate the answer to a lot of questions in the third book, which doesn't even have a publication date yet.
Source: public library audiobook: Pullman, Philip. The Secret Commonwealth: The Book of Dust #2. Listening Library, 2019.