I was so excited when the publication of La Belle Sauvage was announced earlier this year that I did something that I hardly every do: I preordered it. I adored Pullman’s His Dark Materials series and when I found out that he was writing another series that would be a prequel to Lyra’s adventures, I was sucked right in!
This series tells us how Lyra came to live at Jordan College. La Belle Sauvage introduces Lyra as an infant living with nuns near Oxford. A young boy named Malcolm is the child of local innkeepers and is a great help to the nuns. Because of his fierce intelligence and kindness, Malcolm quickly becomes swept up in the dangers of taking care of Lyra and is introduced to a spy ring and a magical compass that can answer any question you ask it, if only you can interpret its answers.
Malcolm’s attachment to Lyra and keen observations leads him to save her from an abduction via his boat, La Belle Sauvage. But this rescue isn’t without its own dangers. Malcolm is lucky enough to have his friend Alice along the for the ride — and she is smart and feisty in her own right. The last half of the book chronicles Malcolm and Alice’s heroic struggle to get Lyra to safety. Seriously – this book is full of action and Pullman tells a story like no other. I can’t wait until the next book is published and yup – I’ll be preordering that one too!