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The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage
Contributor(s): Pullman, Philip
ISBN: 0375815309     ISBN-13: 9780375815300
Publisher: Alfred a Knopf Inc
    OUR PRICE: $20.69  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: October 2017
Qty:
Annotation: Shares the story of how Lyra Belacqua and her daemon Pantalaimon came to be living at Jordan College.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Fantasy.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: bl2017035094
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 10-12, Age 15-18
Series: The Book of Dust
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 10.25" H x 7.00" W x 1.75" (1.55 lbs) 449 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 191925
Reading Level: 5.4   Interest Level: Upper Grades   Point Value: 20.0
 
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2018 #1)
Baby daemons are just as adorable as you'd think, and when it's baby Lyra's baby daemon we're talking about--well, you could write a book. Set a few months after Lyra's birth, this first volume of a planned prequel (Pullman calls it an "equel") trilogy to His Dark Materials finds the kidnapped baby first dubiously protected in a convent and then in the care of a new protagonist, eleven-year-old Malcolm. Malcolm is an appealingly sturdy hero, not drawn with much nuance but a good boy who accepts the charge of protecting an infant whose importance is clear, although the to whoms and for whats provide a level of thematic suspense to match the considerable physical action of (the second half of) the book. Pursued by the chilling and mysterious Gerard Bonneville, Malcolm, his accomplice Alice, and the swaddled Lyra make their way via canoe (the "Belle Sauvage" of the title) to hoped-for safety, through an immense flood that has transformed the landscape of Oxford and its surroundings. Their journey contains both dangers and wonders as well as the more prosaic details of, say, finding more disposable diapers for the ever-pooping baby. Although the events of this book are set a decade before The Golden Compass (rev. 7/96), readers should start with that book first, as a good deal of the pleasure of this first Book of Dust entry comes from our familiarity with both the world's conventions (daemons, alethiometers) and characters (Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter, along with a host of new nasties). Identifying the age of this book's intended audience is complicated: on the one hand the book is a thrilling middle-grade adventure; on the other, Pullman's railings against the Church (here explicitly named as Christian as well as personified in variously deluded, corrupt, or debauched nuns) ask for a sophisticated reader--another reason to keep this for after The Amber Spyglass (rev. 11/00). roger Sutton Copyright 2017 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Reviewed by PW Annex Reviews (Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews)

For more than 15 years, fans of the His Dark Materials trilogy have longed to return to the world Pullman created. Now, finally, begins a new trilogy, the Book of Dust, that again immerses readers in a thrilling alternate landscape of animal daemons, truth-revealing alethiometers, and the mysterious particle known as Dust. Lyra, the beloved heroine of the original books, is just a baby; 11-year-old Malcolm Polstead is the hero this time, and a worthy one. Malcolm helps out at his family's inn in Oxford and at the priory where Lyra—sought by her mother, Mrs. Coulter (younger but no less chilling than in the His Dark Materials books), and her father, Lord Asriel—is being cared for by nuns. Inquisitive and observant, Malcolm gets involved with scholar-spy Dr. Hannah Relf and meets (and adores) baby Lyra. But free thinkers are at war with the oppressive religious regime, and everyone wants control of Lyra, who is "destined to put an end to destiny." Amid the roaring waters of a historic flood, Malcolm and his daemon, Asta, attempt to keep Lyra safe, braving kidnappers, government enforcers, murderers, and classmates who, chillingly, are being trained to turn in those perceived to be disloyal to the regime. Fortunately, he has a fleet canoe, the Belle Sauvage of the title, and help from Alice, a cranky and courageous 16-year-old. The new characters are as lively and memorable as their predecessors; despite a few heavy-handed moments regarding the oppressiveness of religion, this tense, adventure-packed book will satisfy and delight Pullman's fans and leave them eager to see what's yet to come. Ages 14–up. (Oct.)

Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly Annex.