Philip Pullman announces His Dark Materials follow-up The Book of Dust

Northern Lights author Philip Pullman will be releasing a follow-up to his best-selling His Dark Materials trilogy, titled The Book of Dust. Today (via The Guardian), Pullman shared that the first book in his long-awaited companion series to His Dark Materials-The Book of Dust-will hit bookstores in the United Kingdom on October 19, 2017. Is it a sequel?

Pullman has said that The Book of Dust will work as a stand-alone story. "It's a different story, but there are settings that readers of His Dark Materials will recognize and characters they've met before".

Pullman added: "With Lyra, he is caught up in a terrifying adventure that takes him into a new world".

"The first thing to say is that Lyra is at the centre of the story", he said in a statement. The latest example is the introduction of dramatist Jack Thorne, who (with Rowling and John Tiffany) wrote Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and is now adapting His Dark Materials for a BBC television version. The books have sold more than 17.5 million copies in over 40 languages. Events involving her open the first chapter, and will close the last. After Lyra's friends are kidnapped, she sets off to the arctic to rescue them, and discovers a sinister plot by the Magisterium that is linked to a mysterious particle known as Dust, which her uncle has been studying in secret.

The original trilogy is now being adapted for BBC1, following a 2004 National Theatre adaptation and the 2007 film The Golden Compass, which was adapted from first book Northern Lights and starred Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig.

The new series will once again be about the story of Lyra Belacqua and will begin when she is a baby and move on to when she is 20 years old later in the series.

It's 22 years since Pullman published Northern Lights, the first in his trilogy that is widely read by both children and adults.

"The story I'm telling in this book is more about in terms of William Blake's vision, his idea of a fiercely reductive way of seeing things: it's right or wrong, it's black or white".

Meanwhile, readers have three new books to savour the prospect of, and plenty of time between now and October to guess what the title of the first one will be.

  • Salvatore Jensen