Lyra Silvertongue is all grown up and facing grown-up problems as she travels across Europe and into Asia, in Sir Philip Pullman's second volume in his The Book of Dust trilogy, which is set to be released on October 3, 2019.
The first book in the series, La Belle Sauvage, was published in October 2017, and was set about 12 years prior to Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, which sold more than 17.5 million copies and been translated into 40 languages. Lyra, with her daemon Pantalaimon, is but a baby in the first book and, as Oxford floods, 11-year-old Malcolm Polstead, with his daemon Asta, becomes her protector.
Now, in this new book, The Secret Commonwealth, Lyra is 20 years old, and the story follows her as she travels across Europe and to a "mysterious desert" in central Asia, in search of a town said to be haunted by daemons. It all takes place seven years after the end of The Amber Spyglass, the final book in His Dark Materials.
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In a statement, the novelist said: "The Secret Commonwealth tells the continuing story of the impact on Lyra's life of the search for, and the fear of, Dust. I found it intriguing and deeply exciting to discover how great events can turn on a little moment, and how revenge can be nurtured and fed and watered till it grows beyond control."
Lyra, as a student, is also discovering new aspects in her relationship with Pantalaimon, as well as other things about daemons she hadn't suspected, adds Pullman.
Malcolm also features, as his and Lyra's life have become "helplessly entangled" again. "It's the story of some people we know, and others we'll meet for the first time."
David Fickling, Pullman's publisher and editor, said the story is "quite astonishing". He also described the character of Lyra as a "one-off original". She's already been portrayed by several actresses on stage and screen. Dafne Keen (The Refugees) is set to play her in the forthcoming HBO-BBC One adaptation of Pullman's His Dark Materials books, with director Tom Hooper (The King's Speech) at the helm.
The series will also star James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Its release will come straight after the new book's.