The Secret Commonwealth, Book of Dust #2

The Secret Commonwealth - Philip Pullman

Once again, amazing. Lyra Silvertongue is 20 years old and attending St. Sophia's college in Oxford. All is not well. She and Pantalaimon are fighting and can barely speak to each other. Lyra has become enamored with a popular novel and a book of philosophy that disdain the mystic, the mythic and even daemons. As if their personal discord isn't enough, it seems that there are powers in their world that are not finished with them and Lyra and Pantalaimon are about to be severely tested.


'La Belle Sauvage' began the work of expanding the world of 'His Dark Materials', following Malcolm and Asta and Alice and Ben's rescue of an infant Lyra, but 'The Secret Commonwealth' makes it clear we're reading an adult novel. The marketing may still point it towards the 'ya' section, but this book may attract new readers to Pullman, but this book is for those of us who waited, almost 20 years ago, for the last installments of the series.


Lyra is an adult here, and so are Malcolm and Alice, and their world is necessarily better defined and provides sharper parallels and differences for the reader. The Magisterium is a realistic entity, and the more fantastic elements of the story may seem jarring in the face of that reality, remember the talking armored bears and everything else follows.


Pullman has outdone himself. A sequel to 'His Dark Materials' did not seem necessary four years ago, but now it is inconceivable that the story doesn't continue. I can't, well, I won't, go into further details. Once my personal life allowed it, the 600 pages flew by.


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