The Guardian newspaper has published an exclusive extract from La Belle Sauvage, which we now know is the title for the first book in the Book of Dust trilogy. If you don't want any spoilers before you read the book, then turn around and don't read on!
The book is named for the canoe which will seemingly play an important part in the story. In this extract, Lord Asriel is being pursued by enemies as he attempts to visit baby Lyra at Godstow Priory, the nunnery where Marisa Coulter left her. There is a restraining order on him, which means he can't be closer than 50 miles from his infant daughter, presumably after the murder of Edward Coulter. In order to get across the river Thames from the Trout Inn to the priory without being seen by the men on the bridge, he has the help of Malcolm Polstead.
If you think the name Polstead is familiar, you'd be right! In this article from The Bookseller, Pullman tells us that we'd notice him from a 'walk-on' part from another part of Lyra's story - in Lyra's Oxford, she writes a letter about her dissertation to one Dr. Polstead, so we know a little about how Malcolm's story continues.
I was very excited to read this extract and see a moment in the past of two favourite characters, as well as get a glimpse into who our new protagonist is!
La Belle Sauvage will be released on the 19th October 2017.