La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman

The Book of Dust, Book 1

Synopsis: Malcolm Polstead is the kind of boy who notices everything but is not much noticed himself. And so perhaps it was inevitable that he would become a spy…
Malcolm’s father runs an inn called the Trout, on the banks of the river Thames, and all of Oxford passes through its doors. Malcolm and his dæmon, Asta, routinely overhear news and gossip, and the occasional scandal, but during a winter of unceasing rain, Malcolm catches wind of something new: intrigue.
He finds a secret message inquiring about a dangerous substance called Dust–and the spy it was intended for finds him.
When she asks Malcolm to keep his eyes open, Malcolm sees suspicious characters everywhere; Lord Asriel, clearly on the run; enforcement agents from the Magisterium; a gyptian named Coram with warnings just for Malcolm; and a beautiful woman with an evil monkey for a dæmon. All are asking about the same thing: a girl–just a baby–named Lyra.
Lyra is the kind of person who draws people in like magnets. And Malcolm will brave any danger, and make chocking sacrifices, to bring her safely through the storm.

Review: Philip Pullman’s series was one that I read and reread for years, and I think that it will be the case for a long time. The trilogy he had given us really fascinated me and I remember talking about it with my friends a lot. Subsequently, shorter novels came out, but I admit that I did not necessarily look closer. By cons, with the announcement of this new saga, I was again intrigued. How not to be? Today, he offers us a new complete novel on the Lyra’s childhood!

We mainly discover a young boy named Malcolm. His parents run a small inn and he helps them as much as he can. However, his routine world is going to be completely turned upside down when a baby named Lyra arrives in town in the priory that the sisters keep. Sisters that Malcolm often sees through his multiple visits. But now, the arrival of this child also coincides with the arrival of men who seem strangely interested in what is happening in this small town. That’s how Malcolm will end up in a story that goes beyond him, and he will attach himself on this child and he will monitor what is happening around her, to the point that he will become a spy and will realize that there are fundamentally nasty people, or secrets that must be learned to keep at risk of his life.

I really had a good time with this novel. It was a treat to be back in the world of the saga, but also to see characters like Lord Asriel or even Mrs. Coulter. Malcolm will discover the adventure that awaits him, an adventure that will not be simple, but our young boy is curious and then, he really wants to help and protect the young Lyra.

I can not wait to see what’s next!