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The Secret Commonwealth: The Book of Dust Volume Two: From the world of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials - now a major BBC series (The book of dust, 2)

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All of those themes were much more savagely represented in "The Death of Grass" for example, which was on my English syllabus in my teens at school.

He has created a fantasy world, made yet more satisfying in this new volume and pursued with his own special rigour and stylistic elegance. As one of the many advisers she meets tells her, its affairs sometimes “leak through into the visible world”. She also escapes Oxford for the third time by boat, the Maid of Portugal, accompanied by the old gyptian Giorgio Brabandt into the safety of the Fens. Lyra begins to realise that it is what she has left behind in her childhood (and in the original His Dark Materials trilogy).It felt clear to me that this was aimed at an older audience than His Dark Materials, which is not to say the older books were not an immensely rewarding read for adults. On arrival, she hires a guide, Abdel Ionides, to take her through the desert to the isolated area of ruins known as the Blue Hotel.

Her daemon goes on a long journey to Wittenberg (the city of Martin Luther, where Hamlet went to university) to accuse the stern intellectual, Gottfried Brande, of stealing Lyra’s imagination from her. Pullman took the title from a 17th-century book of the same name by the Scottish clergyman Robert Kirk, about encounters of country folk with supernatural creatures. As she travels, Lyra finds herself adopted by a scattered fellowship of sorts, comprised of other people whose dæmons have abandoned them. Bonneville, who has been tracking Lyra, is about to shoot her when he is prevented by Ionides who advises him to "leave her alive for now" as she will be the key to a great treasure to be found three thousand miles to the East.

He witnesses the hijacking of a meeting of rose farmers and helps to diffuse the situation by killing their leader. Philip Pullman is probably the world’s most acclaimed living children’s author, whose bold, brilliant books have set new parameters for what children’s writing can say and do. It is twenty years since the events of La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One unfolded and saw the baby Lyra Belacqua begin her life-changing journey. But she cannot retreat into her books, as she soon realises that she remains a person of interest to the Magisterium.

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