Philip Pullman has finally broken his silence on the long awaited follow-up to the outstanding His Dark Materials trilogy.
It’s been an astonishing 17 years since The Amber Spyglass was released in October 2000 but those of us that count ourselves fans will have vivid memories of Lyra, Iorek, Lord Azrael and their adventures.
Following this enormous wait is the announcement that we thought would never come, the follow-up to the trilogy, The Book of Dust (Volume 1) is to be released on the 19th of October this year.
Quite how this is going to fit in to the existing story is still unclear. Pullman has described the work as an “equel”, neither sequel nor prequel. Or to quote him in full:
So, second: is it a prequel? Is it a sequel? It’s neither. In fact, The Book of Dust is… an equel. It doesn’t stand before or after His Dark Materials, but beside it.
He has announced that it will begin roughly ten years before His Dark Materials and end roughly ten years after. So how will that affect the existing plot? Will it add more depth to the existing series? Or, as so many prequels (sequels, whatever) tend to do, does Pullman run the risk of lessening the impact of this most beloved of fantasy works?
Personally, I’m excited but not overly so. Pullman is a master of his craft and would not be returning to this world unless he felt that he has a worthy story to tell. However I don’t expect it to match up to the original work, these things rarely do.
At the very least, it gives me a great reason to re-read the trilogy before the October release date!
Article by Pete Richmond