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Saturday 28 January 2023 Dublin: 6°C
# the book of dust
Big news for His Dark Materials fans, Philip Pullman is releasing a new trilogy
The original novels have gone on to sell 17.5 million copies around the world.

IN NEWS THAT to transport a lot of people right back to their childhood, Philip Pullman has announced he is releasing a brand new trilogy later this year.

Pullman is the author of the hugely popular His Dark Materials trilogy, a set of fantasy children’s novels that were a fixture in many classrooms and bookshelves for people growing up.

Published between 1995 and 2000, the books – The Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass – have gone on to sell 17.5 million copies around the world.

The first book also got the Hollywood treatment in 2007 with the film The Golden Compass (the name of the first book in the United States).

Now Pullman has announced that the first book of a brand new trilogy set in the same world and focusing on the same main characters will be released this year.

In a post on his website, Pullman – now 70 – announced that The Book of Dust will be released on 19 October of this year.

“I know from their letters and tweets that my readers have been waiting patiently (mostly) for The Book of Dust for a long time,” Pullman said.

“I’ve been writing it for several years, and I’ve been very parsimonious with information about it.

It gives me great pleasure and some excitement at last to satisfy their curiosity (and mine) about this book.

The original stories detail the adventures of 12-year-old Lyra Belacqua, who travels from her quiet life in the Oxford of an alternative dimension to get involved in a cosmic war between angels and humans that has the entire fate of the universe hanging in the balance.

Along the way she meets noble talking bears and witches and many others as she travels through different dimensions.

While being aimed at young adults, the novels deal with dark and adult themes around religion and oppression, free will and thought, the soul and the difficulties of maturing out of childhood.

In Lyra’s world people’s souls are manifest as Dæmons, a sort of animal that is bound to them for life.

Pullman said that Lyra would again be at the centre of the new trilogy. He said it would be neither a prequel nor a sequel to the original but an “equel”, running alongside the story of the older novels.

He said he returned to the originals as he felt there was still a lot more to be discovered there.

“Questions about our existence are infinitely interesting to me,” Pullman said.

There’s always more to explore.

Read: Irish author Sebastian Barry scoops major Book of the Year prize

Read: 9 things you probably did if you grew up reading A Series of Unfortunate Events