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The Book of Dust Vol I La Belle Sauvage: A Magical Return To The World of The Golden Compass

Updated on September 14, 2018

The Book of Dust Vol I La Belle Sauvage by Phillip Pullman

The Book of Dust Vol I La Belle Sauvage

If you have read my reviews throughout the years you know I love the His Dark materials trilogy. They are my favorite books and are the high standard I compare other fantasies to on the basis of quality and imagination. And the since the last book of the series was published was in 2000, the author have spoken of the continuation of the series in a project called the Book of Dust. And since I was thirteen, when I heard about this mysterious book I was excited, and as years and years passed led up to a decade and I lost faith that this might be a real thing and believed it was a product of the hopes of the series fan base and rumor mill. Then one day it showed up on my Kindle. The Book of Dust Vol. I: La Belle Sauvage and I knew I had to read it, because it’s part of my favorite book series. So here is my review of The Book of Dust Vol. I by Phillip Pullman.

The story takes place in a parallel world Britain, where things are very similar but not quite the same. The biggest difference is part of the human soul lives on the outside of the body as a shape shifting little daemon. In a way, the daemon is the manifestation of that little angel or devil on your shoulder, or the voice of your conscience. The story focuses on a young boy named Malcolm and his daemon Astra. He works most days in his family’s tavern and hears all sorts of stories and meets all sorts of people. After seeing potential murder out in his boat one day, he runs into is associate at the pub. He arranges to give her a special coded message that was dropped by the victim, and he agrees to spy for her. At the same time strange things are happening. There is new religious group, the CCD who are recruiting children to report their parents of heresy. There’s also a vile menacing character that shows up with a three legged half crazed giggling hyena daemon that is always bleeding and / or urinating. Then at the priory that Malcolm volunteers at, the nuns are protecting baby that many of these people just mentioned are very interested in for quite a few for nefarious purposes. So when the flood of all floods comes drowning Britain entirely Malcom and his friend Alice save the baby and they try to use his canoe to get her real to her real father. All with this is happening with the CCD and the menacing man from the bar after them.

So the good? Once again, there is wonderful imagination and great characters I always loved how Pullman portrays things. The flow and detail is wonderful. The grounded fantasy is great as well. He has a way of creating a world that is fantastical, yet meshes with reality well.

The bad? The book is slow to get going. As the first third of the book went on I began to wonder if Pullman was a “one trick pony” with the original trilogy and Phillip was a burnt out author with no idea left in him. I actually grew bored, then at sudden point suddenly everything got great. But seriously I almost stopped, but I don’t know why it took so long to get going. Also the ending was a disappointment because it just cuts off. Also this book has adult themes concerning child molestation, murders, and sex where these elements were not in the original trilogy that was aimed at children and youth adults. So I would not give this to your kids.

Overall this is a good book. It was quite different than what I expect but the story is just so damn good I realized it’s a great tale no one knew they wanted. I recommend it to everyone this is a great read.

4 smoothies out of Four.

Overall Rating: A Magical Return To The World of The Golden Compass

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    • thedinasoaur profile image

      Dina AH 

      2 years ago from United States

      Hi Samie,

      I read the original trilogy way back in high school from the library. But, I did purchase the Golden Compass so I can slowly build up to the Book of Dust. Do you feel like Pullman did justice to the characters and their bonds to one another?

      By the way, I checked out your other hubs and gave you a follow. I'm slowly gearing up to post more book things on here, so it's nice to see other people writing about books I like too.

      PS: I'd love to hear more about other fantasy novels you like!

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