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La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman

La Belle Sauvage (2017)

by Philip Pullman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: His Dark Materials (prequel), The Book of Dust (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,425824,232 (4.1)125
When Malcolm finds a secret message inquiring about a dangerous substance called Dust, he finds himself embroiled in a tale of intrigue featuring enforcement agents from the Magisterium, a woman with an evil monkey daemon, and a baby named Lyra.



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» See also 125 mentions

English (81)  Dutch (1)  All languages (82)
Showing 1-5 of 81 (next | show all)
The last time I "devoured" a book this fast (one day) it was Pullman's The Golden Compass. This first installment of the The Book of Dust trilogy is a remarkable prequel! It digs into Lyra's world anew, through the eyes of Malcolm, a stunningly well-written character. Pullman has such a gift for writing characters who are children, and this book is no exception. If I have to be critical, I'd say there are a few twists and turns that seemed a bit superfluous (and that is an intended pun given the major event that runs through the book), although they will resonate more for those who have read the His Dark Materials trilogy. There are a few characters of whom we only get a glimpse that I hope return in The Secret Commonwealth, which was just published last October.

There are some very intense and violent scenes, so while some would classify this as YA, I think it would need some debriefing with younger teens. Aside from that, however, I could not be happier to once again venture into this world of daemons, choices, and parallelisms. Truly a stunning book. ( )
  rebcamuse | May 20, 2020 |
A bit disappointing. A fun and easy read marred by a repetitive plot, an implausible villain, and a boring ending. I might just be too old for this type of book. ( )
1 vote troelsk | May 8, 2020 |
Michael Sheen, the actor, narrated this beautifully done novel. He was magnificent! Phillip Pullman is a genius. Read or listen to this novel, NOW.
Here is a sample (sorry about the article attached) at Slate:


5 stars, and highly recommended to everyone and their dog. ( )
  stephanie_M | Apr 30, 2020 |
A prequel series to Pullman's most famous series, His Dark Materials. Malcolm is a boy who works at his family pub near the nunnery where our hero Lyra is dropped off as a baby, only a few months into her life. The world gradually becomes fascist, he is at the center of a number of important people, and in the midst of a massive flood, he and a scullery maid save their own and Lyra's life.

This book is quite an engaging YA adventure. It lacks thematic depth but it stands well as a heart-racing adventure. At one point I nearly covered my eyes to peek through to see what would happen next, which I don't know if any book has ever driven me to. It's not chewy, but it is delicious. I would recommend it in a heartbeat to anyone who reads YA fantasy adventure, and I'm waiting for the next installment. ( )
  pammab | Apr 25, 2020 |
*3.5 ( )
  Fortunesdearest | Apr 10, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 81 (next | show all)
I recognize that my expectations are impossibly high and that, in literature as well as in romance, you cannot return to the exact feeling you had before. I’d like to think that Pullman is biding his time, laying down the groundwork for what is yet to come.

And even with its longueurs, the book is full of wonder. [...] It’s a stunning achievement, the universe Pullman has created and continues to build on. All that remains is to sit tight and wait for the next installment.
added by melmore | editNew York Times, Sarah Lyall (Oct 18, 2017)
The Greeks permeate his writing. Like Odysseus, his new hero, Malcolm, is on a self-appointed quest, fighting off enemies from his boat. (He’s also very unlike Odysseus, being 11 years old, ginger-haired and partial, like Pullman, to woodworking and meat pies.) “The Book of Dust” has other touchstones too: William Blake, the occult, ancient civilizations, East Asia and a eight-minute piece by Borodin called “In the Steppes of Central Asia.” Most of all, Edmund Spenser’s epic, 16th-century allegory, “The Faerie Queene.” Pullman copies the structure of “The Faerie Queene” — strange encounter after strange encounter — but thankfully not its style. When I admitted how I had struggled with the countless pages of archaic verse, Pullman shouted, gleeful, from his seat: “So did I! Couldn’t read it. Couldn’t read it at all until I was doing this.” His own novel is more readable, and earthier, locked into reality by character and geography, Malcolm and Oxford.

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pullman, Philipprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sheen, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wormell, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Average: (4.1)
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