"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Review and quotes: THE SECRET COMMONWEALTH

Title: The Secret Commonwealth, Book of Dust #2 by Philip Pullman

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.

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-Anne

21 comments:

  1. I loved His Dark Materials. I liked "La Belle Sauvage" but was absolutely captivated by "The Secret Commonwealth." I can't wait until Book 3!

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    1. I know. All I wanted to do was live in that world the whole week I was listening.

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  2. I haven't read any of the books from the His Dark Materials series. I've heard an endless amount of praise for it. I need to give this series a try.

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    1. This is a good time to read them. I understand there is/was a HBO series about the books.

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  3. Now I am intrigued! Thanks for sharing, and enjoy.

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  4. I have never read Pullman's books, but you make them sound really good.

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    1. Really? I think you and I entered our library years a few years too late for the Golden Compass to be a book many were talking about because Harry Potter had pushed everything else to the side. Go back and read the series. I know you will love it.

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  5. I know for sure that I've read The Golden Compass, but weirdly I don't remember it at all. That's what blogs and reviews are supposed to help with, right?

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    1. I want to reread the series because many of the details have faded for me, too.

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  6. Sounds dark and intriguing!! Happy weekend, stay safe!

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  7. I've never read His Dark Materials, I've been meaning to just haven't gotten around to it yet.
    Things have been hectic in my neck of the woods for a while, even before this whole quarantine thing started. Hope you're staying safe!
    Marie @ Pages to Explore

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  8. I love his books, and still have this one to read! I'd (almost) forgotten about it! Great choice.
    Here is my Friday post. Stay safe x

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  9. I never read this author. The book sounds like a really good one.

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  10. Glad you are enjoying the new spin-off series.

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  11. Somehow I've never read anything from Pullman, but I'll have to soon. :)

    Lauren @ Always Me

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    1. Since you like fantasy I am fairly sure you'd like this one.

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  12. Sounds intriguing! I will definitely check this book out!

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  13. I haven't read the Dark Materials series but I've heard great things about it. And your high praise has me even more interested in it. Hope you have a great weekend! :)

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  14. Oh wow, I didn't even realize there was another series after His Dark Materials! I actually never finished that series, and I'm not quite sure why. I need to go back and try it again, since I enjoyed it. I just set it down and forgot about it, though. Definitely going to have to look into this series, too. I love the sound of it! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. That has happened to me many times...just setting a book down and forgetting to pick it back up. Others crowd their way in somehow.

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