Yesterday (February 14), NPR announced that Philip Pullman will be writing a companion series to his wildly successful trilogy, His Dark Materials, which includes: The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass.
The first novel in the new series is slated for release on October 19, 17 years after the final installment of the His Dark Materials was published. Events in The Book of Dust will take place 10 years before the start of The Golden Compass when Lyra Belacqua is an infant. The second and third installments will pick up after the events of The Amber Spyglass, following Lyra’s adventures as a young adult.
Pullman’s books are incredibly popular, and have become standards in the canon of children’s literature. Over 17.5 million copies of the books have been sold worldwide, so it’s no surprise that fans of the series are elated to know that Lyra’s story isn’t over yet.
While discussing the new series with NPR, Pullman stated that the next three books are intended to be a companion to the original trilogy. “You don’t have to read it before you read [the original trilogy],” Pullman told NPR. “… this is another story that comes after it, so it’s not a sequel, and it’s not a prequel, it’s an equal.”
His Dark Materials—the title of which Pullman took from John Milton’s Paradise Lost—tackles religion, corrupt hierarchies, and other cultural norms imposed upon Western societies. The book will also take on some heavy scientific concepts (where are my physics buffs?) when it comes to Dust, an elementary particle that gives knowledge, consciousness, and wisdom.
Fans of the series can be certain that Pullman will continue his tradition of incorporating all of these themes in his anticipated trilogy. And, with all that’s going on in the world now, who knows, we may even find a whole new set of ideas to tackle.
I know I’m ready to delve into Lyra’s world again. Are you?
What do you think about the news of Pullman’s revisiting the series?