Philip Pullman releases second Book of Dust title and teaser extract

The second instalment of the Book of Dust series will be published in October

philip pullman getty

As if we weren’t already excited enough after our first glimpse of Lyra Silvertongue in a teaser trailer for BBC1’s His Dark Materials adaptation, Philip Pullman has released details of his second Book of Dust novel — and it’s all about Lyra too…

Advertisement

The second instalment in the Book of Dust trilogy is titled The Secret Commonwealth, and will be released on 3rd October 2019.

The first Book of Dust, La Belle Sauvage (released 2017), is a prequel to the original His Dark Materials trilogy, but the second instalment takes place 20 years later, and seven years after the end of His Dark Materials.

Pullman’s publishers, Penguin, have released a teaser video featuring dialogue between Lyra and her daemon Pantalaimon (her soul in physical, animal form) having an argument.

The full extract from the beginning of the novel sees the pair dispute their course of action after witnessing a murder.

“You used to be optimistic. You used to think that whatever we did would turn out well,” Pantalaimon says. “Even after we came back from the north, you used to think that. Now you’re cautious, you’re anxious … You’re pessimistic.”

“I used to be young,” Lyra replies. Read the full extract below.

In a statement, Pullman said that, “at the heart of the book are Lyra, the young woman we saw first as a girl of 12 and then as a baby, and Malcolm, whose life as a boy became involved with hers and who now finds their lives helplessly entangled again; and how some emotions can last a lifetime, and others change beyond recognition.

“It’s the story of some people we know, and others we’ll meet for the first time. Their journey is going to take them far from their homeland towards a mysterious desert in Central Asia, where they hope to find, at last, the secret of Dust”.


Extract from The Secret Commonwealth

‘It used to be you who was impulsive,’ said Pan, ‘and me who kept holding you back. We’re different now.’

She nodded. ‘Well, you know, things change … This isn’t just shoplifting. This is murder.’

‘I know. I saw it.’

‘And maybe by doing this we’d be helping the murderer get away with it. By interfering with the investigation. That can’t be right.’

‘That’s another thing,’ he said.

‘What?’

‘You used to be optimistic. You used to think that whatever we did would turn out well. Even after we came back from the north, you used to think that. Now you’re cautious, you’re anxious … You’re pessimistic.’

She knew he was right, but it wasn’t right that he should speak to her accusingly, as if it was something to blame her for.

‘I used to be young,’ was all she could find to say.

He made no response.

Advertisement

They didn’t speak again till they reached the station. Then she said ‘Pan, come here,’ and he leapt up at once into her hands. She put him on her shoulder and said quietly, ‘You’re going to have to look out behind. Someone might be watching.’