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 . . .
It features characters from the original series, as well as new ones. There is overlap with certain elements of His Dark Materials, notably dæmons, alethiometers and the Magisterium. The book reached number one in Amazon's bestseller charts very soon after it became available for pre-order.
The story also involves "an ordinary boy who eagle-eyed readers may have spotted in Lyra’s story before" - revealed to be Malcolm Polstead, who appeared in Lyra's Oxford - and its themes of "the struggle between a despotic and totalitarian organisation that wants to stifle speculation and enquiry, and those who believe that thought and speech should be free" are thought to be pertinent to the political climate of its release.
Notes and references
- ↑ David Fickling Books - Book of Dust on David Fickling Books
- ↑ The Guardian - Before His Dark Materials: Philip Pullman's new novel - exclusive extract
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Guardian - Philip Pullman unveils epic fantasy trilogy The Book of Dust
- ↑ Bookseller- Retail wars begin as The Book of Dust shoots to number one in pre-order charts