The Secret Commonwealth cover released

News - Children Friday, 07 June 2019

Plot details revealed, along with publication events in October

Further details about Philip Pullman's new book, The Secret Commonwealth, have been revealed. Following La Belle Sauvage, the second volume of The Book of Dust follows Lyra Silvertongue through adulthood. The newly-revealed cover by Chris Wormell reflects the train journey she takes across Europe and into Asia, while an extract released in Guardian Review tomorrow features a scene in which Lyra flees Oxford by boat alongside the gyptian Giorgio Brabandt. The extract sets the scene for Lyra's journey, and hints at the meaning of the 'Secret Commonwealth' in the book's title.

Earlier this year Pullman said: "Things have been biding their time, waiting for the right moment to reveal their consequences for Lyra Silvertongue. The Secret Commonwealth tells the continuing story of the impact on Lyra's life of the search for, and the fear of, Dust."

Details of two publication events with Pullman this autumn have also been revealed. The first event takes place on the eve of publication, Wednesday 2 October, at Alexandra Palace in North London, and will 'take readers on a thrilling journey into Lyra's alternate world'. The second takes place on Sunday 6 October at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford and will be recorded for the Penguin Podcast. Blackwell's and Waterstones will support the events in Oxford and London respectively. Tickets go on sale today (Friday 7th June 2019).

The Secret Commonwealth, published on 3 October by David Fickling Books in association with Penguin Random House Children’s, will be available in three editions. There will be a standard hardback edition priced at £20 and two further special editions. An edition created especially for independent bookshops will also be priced at £20, featuring a frontispiece illustration by Chris Wormell and bespoke endpapers. There will be signed stock available. Meanwhile Waterstones will have a signed slipcase hardback edition priced at £40 and featuring an embossed raven dæmon. There will be a range of point of sale material for retailers, including exclusive items such as tote bags and enamel pin badges for independent stores.

The book is set twenty years after the events of La Belle Sauvage, and seven years after the end of The Amber Spyglass, the last book in the His Dark Materials sequence, and is described as 'a timely exploration of what it is to be human, to grow up and make sense of the world around us'.

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