I waited too long. Faaaar tooo long. On top of the incredible length of time since the original trilogy carried me away when I was kid, this is a magnificent return to the world of 'The Golden Compass'. I wasn't sure how a prequel so many years later would even work, but there was so much going on in 'La Belle Sauvage' and none of it felt like a retread. It was so much fun to read about daemons again.
Malcolm Polstead and his daemon Asta live with their parents in a small enclave north of Oxford. He helps his parents in their tavern and does odd jobs for the nuns across the river. He spends as much time as he can piloting his boat up and down the river. It is ten years before Lyra Belacqua overhears her father talking about Dust. Times are changing, however, the Church is growing in power, entering into private lives and the schools, and even Malcolm can see something is wrong.
'La Belle Sauvage' goes into darker territory than 'The Golden Compass', and that's saying something. Malcolm and his friends must risk their lives to protect an innocent with a great destiny. It was wonderful and I can't wait to read what happens in the next book which takes place ten years after 'The Amber Spyglass'.
Book of Dust
Next: 'The Secret Commonwealth'