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Book of Dust La Belle Sauvage

The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage goes straight to the top

14 November 2017

 

Philip Pullman’s eagerly anticipated, and heavily promoted new book, La Belle Sauvage, has leapt into the book charts - becoming the first children’s title to go to the number one spot in the ebook rankings. Children’s print books have so far proved to be fairly resilient following the digital revolution in publishing which makes the news all the more surprising. The book has also been riding high in the UK Official Top 50 chart and has just been selected for the Waterstones Book of the Year 2017 shortlist.

La Belle Sauvage, the first instalment in Philip Pullman’s new trilogy The Book of Dust, drew crowds to midnight events around the country on its publication day in October. The book has caught the attention of critics, as well as the book reading public, receiving rave reviews in the press.

The story focuses on Lyra, heroine of His Dark Materials, and reveals how she comes to be brought up in an Oxford college. Essentially a prequel, it begins ten years before the first book Northern Lights.

The main protagonist, eleven-year-old Malcolm Polstead, and his dæmon, Asta, live with his parents at the Trout Inn near Oxford. Across the River Thames (which Malcolm navigates often using his beloved canoe, a boat by the name of La Belle Sauvage) is the Godstow Priory where the nuns live. Malcolm learns they have a guest with them: a baby by the name of Lyra Belacqua. Malcolm and Lyra are caught up in a terrifying adventure that takes them into a new world.

La Belle Sauvage will soon be available to borrow from the Calibre Library. Meanwhile, why not reacquaint yourselves with the world of His Dark Materials through Northern Lights  (615983); The Subtle Knife (616057), and The Amber Spyglass (616147)?

Denise James 

Photo credit: Random House