La Belle Sauvage is the first book in The Book of Dust series by Phillip Pullman. This series is a companion trilogy to Pullman’s His Dark Materials series and the first book is set 10 years before “The Golden Compass.”
Malcolm Polstead is a very observant boy who doesn’t bring too much attention to himself; this makes him the perfect ally for a spy. Malcom and his daemon often overhear the latest gossip and his curious nature and friendly face tend to lead Malcom to information that many would prefer to be kept secret.
It is one such secret that sets Malcolm on a course that will change him forever. Malcom must save baby Lyra from a religious order, a madman, natural elements and unnatural ones too. Along with a kitchen girl, Malcolm must embark on a dangerous quest to save this child of prophecy and return her to her father.
Can Malcolm brave the dangers and get Lyra through this storm?
Other than watching the movie version of “The Golden Compass,” I am going into this series blind. I’ve never actually gotten around to reading Pullman’s His Dark Materials, but I know a lot of fans of the series, so I figured I’d give this one a go. I also wanted to be able to tell the kids in my library what it is about and where it takes place in regards to the original series, as I see this being a question.
I actually went with the audio book for this one. I recently had a baby and I’ve been listening to a lot of audio books while taking care of her. I really enjoyed the audio but the second half of the book does get just a tad complicated/involved and I found myself a little lost on the details, since I wasn’t always giving it my whole attention. So I think I would recommend reading vs listening to this one.
For this complicated world of daemons, dust and secret societies, the story itself wasn’t overly complicated. The world building was done in such a way that the reader knows there is more to come but we are not overwhelmed with information right off the bat. And for those of you who have read Pullman’s other books, you won’t feel bogged down with information you already know.
Even though I got a little lost–my fault–this one still gets 4 stars from me. I like Pullman’s writing a lot and the story is interesting.
That’s all for now!