La Belle Sauvage

Philip Pullman. Penguin. (592p) ISBN 9780241365854
La Belle Sauvage
La Belle Sauvage

I’ve had the special edition of La Belle Sauvage with the Lynx daemon sat on my shelves since it was released but never got around to reading it.

I found this on the RBDigital service whilst looking through for a fantasy or sci-fi book to listen to and thought walking was a great opportunity to listen to this.

Really pleased to report that Michael Sheen is a wonderful narrator and that the audiobook was wonderfully paced and was a complete pleasure to listen to.

Set twelve years before Lyra’s adventures in the ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy, this helps explain some of the beginnings of that trilogy and how Lyra got to the college in Oxford, also the background to some of the main characters to come.

Malcolm Polstead, Alice, and La Belle Sauvage are the main characters in this adventure, building Malcolm’s strong moral character in the first part of the book and then their flight from danger in the second half of the book.

Well fleshed out characters and world help propel the story along at the speed of the flood that they are caught up in. Some really hard scenes, especially the ones with the hyena in it, sorrow and disgust mingle with a feeling of strangeness when compared to other daemons in Pullman’s world.

A world of strange and totalitarian religious groups which seek to control all, but also a world of magics and old gods, living cheek by jowl with a world of science and engineering.

A wonderful setup for ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy and then onto The Secret Commonwealth which I’ll have to listen to as soon as possible, and any book that mentions Danish oil is all right by me, that and spontaneous combustion always make for a good combination.

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