Philip Pullman Announces “The Book of Dust”
Fans of the His Dark Materials trilogy (The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass) can rejoice. The long awaited companion trilogy to the His Dark Materials novels has been announced.
Slated to release on October 19, 2017, the book and its plot are still being kept under lock and key. The first book of The Book of Dust trilogy has yet to feature a title or cover. And very little of the plot was revealed with the book announcement. However, some interested details were included with the announcement.
“I know from their letters and tweets that my readers have been patiently waiting for The Book of Dust for a long time. It gives me great pleasure and some excitement at last to satisfy their curiosity about the book. So, is it a prequel? Is it a sequel? It’s neither. In fact, The Book of Dust is an ‘equel’,” said Philip Pullman, the series author. “It doesn’t stand before or after His Dark Materials, but beside it. It’s a different story, but there are settings that readers of His Dark Materials will recognize, and characters they’ve met before.”
It was revealed that the book is set ten years before the beginning of The Golden Compass. And, as many fans will again rejoice, the much-beloved Lyra Belacqua, Alethiometers, daemons, and the Magisterium will all return to play a role alongside a host of new characters.
“What can I tell you about it? The first thing to say is that Lyra is at the center of the story. Events involving her open the first chapter, and will close the last. I’ve always wanted to tell the story of how Lyra came to be living at Jordan College, and in thinking about it I discovered a long story that began when she was a baby and will end when she’s grown up. This volume and the next will cover two parts of Lyra’s life: starting at the beginning of her story and returning to her twenty years later. As for the third and final part, my lips are sealed.”
Pullman published the His Dark Materials trilogy between 1996 and 2000, but hasn’t released a major addition to the series in the intervening years. Pullman has hinted at The Book of Dust series since 2005. But due to the increasing complexities of the trilogy and unseen complications, the book was pushed back for 12 years.