The Secret Commonwealth is the second book in The Book of Dust trilogy and is set after the His Dark Materials series.
“Everything possible to be believ’d is an image of truth.” – William Blake
It’s 20 years since La Belle Sauvage, 7 years since we left Lyra in His Dark Materials and so here we are.
“Young people don’t believe in the Secret Commonwealth…it’s all chemistry and measuring things as far as they’re concerned. They got an explanation for everything, and they’re all wrong.”
Meet Lyra Silvertongue – 20 years old and no longer a child. She and her daemon Pantalaimon now have another hurdle to overcome in their relationship and must navigate its rocky course in a way that they could have never imagined. For Lyra isn’t the girl we once knew, she’s lost her spark, her imagination. Lost in a sea of texts and knowledge that have set her adrift from everything she once knew.
“It’s not just what you did then. It’s what you’re doing now…you’re killing yourself, and me, with the way you’re thinking. You’re in a world full of colour and you want to see it in black and white.”
They must journey to places of the world they didn’t even know existed and meet people who may bear a huge significance in their lives. We also reunite with Malcom Polstead (previously in La Belle Sauvage) and see how his life impacts on Lyra’s. Once a boy then a spy in a flood, needing to keep baby Lyra safe, Malcom now has a desire to do what’s right and won’t let anything get in his way.
“It was nothing more than what it was.”
This book takes us on a journey from Jordan College in Oxford, across Europe and into Asia.
But to where you may ask? For there is rumoured to be a city, a haunted city. Not haunted by ghosts but by Dæmon’s and holds the secret of Dust. But is this city even real? How are they going to get there? And what will be uncovered when they do?
“And a person apart from their Dæmon, or a Dæmon alone with their person nowhere in sight, was something uncanny…impossible. No ordinary human beings could separate in that way, though reputedly witches could.”
Out of all of the previous books, this by far is the darkest but most intellectual, dealing with aspects of religion, self discovery and acceptance of yourself and others. It’s definitely different to the others so please please go into this novel with an open mind and an open heart.
“Witches are poor, but they bear themselves like queens and great ladies.”
In places it’s a bit slow but bear with it, for there’s an ending that’s super explosive and leaves you on a massive cliffhanger! I still absolutely love Philip Pullman’s writing and Lyra’s journey! We haven’t seen the last of her yet…
“But we shouldn’t believe things because it makes us happy to…we should believe things because they’re true, and if that makes us unhappy that’s very unfortunate, but it’s not the fault of reason. How do we see that things are true?”
Stay tuned for the third book in the trilogy! I personally can’t wait!
You can find this one on Amazon!
Until next time,