Secret Commonwealth: The Book of Dust Volume Two
Philip Pullman, illustrated by Chris Wormell

Book cover image

Narrated By: Michael Sheen

Duration: 19 hours and 44 minutes

What to expect

Brought to you by Penguin.

Shortlisted for Audiobook of the Year at the British Book Awards 2020.

Winner of Best Solo Narration at the New York Festival Radio Awards 2020

It is twenty years since the events of La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One unfolded and saw the baby Lyra Belacqua begin her life-changing journey.


It is almost ten years since readers left Lyra and the love of her young life, Will Parry, on a park bench in Oxford's Botanic Gardens at the end of the ground-breaking, bestselling His Dark Materials sequence.

Now, in The Secret Commonwealth, we meet Lyra Silvertongue. And she is no longer a child . . .


The second volume of Philip Pullman's The Book of Dust sees Lyra, now twenty years old, and her daemon Pantalaimon, forced to navigate their relationship in a way they could never have imagined, and drawn into the complex and dangerous factions of a world that they had no idea existed. Pulled along on his own journey too is Malcolm; once a boy with a boat and a mission to save a baby from the flood, now a man with a strong sense of duty and a desire to do what is right.

Theirs is a world at once familiar and extraordinary, and they must travel far beyond the edges of Oxford, across Europe and into Asia, in search for what is lost - a city haunted by daemons, a secret at the heart of a desert, and the mystery of the elusive Dust.


The Secret Commonwealth is truly a book for our times; a powerful adventure and a thought-provoking look at what it is to understand yourself, to grow up and make sense of the world around you. This is storytelling at its very best from one of our greatest writers.

"Michael Sheen throws himself wholeheartedly into narrating this sequel to La Belle Sauvage and listeners will be rapt. For the ever-expanding international cast of characters, Sheen conjures a multitude of accents and delivers rapid-fire conversations between them. He's in step with the text at every turn; when situations become fraught or dangerous, Sheen ramps up the tension exquisitely. Thanks to Pullman's intricate storytelling and Sheen's propulsive narration, listeners will be on the edge of their seats right up to the cliff-hanger ending" AudioFile

Genre

Children's / Teenage fiction: Fantasy, Thriller / suspense fiction, Crime & mystery fiction, Modern & contemporary fiction, Children's / Teenage fiction: Action & adventure stories

Listen to a sample

A rich, imaginative, vividly characterised rite-of-passage tale

Nicolette Jones, The Sunday Times

The novel gallops forward, full of danger, delight and surprise. Nearly miraculous, it seems, is Pullman's ability to sketch character, place and motive in just a few lines

New Statesman

High-octane adventure accompanies ingenious plotting

The Times

The Secret Commonwealth is ablaze with light and life. The writing is exquisite; every sentence sings ... To read Pullman is to experience the world refreshed, aglow, in Technicolour

Independent

Pullman is confronting readers with the horrors of our own world reflected back at us. In The Secret Commonwealth he creates a fearful symmetry

The Herald

Pullman has created a fantasy world, made yet more satisfying in this new volume. This is a book for getting older with

Guardian

A long, taxing, complex journey, laced with beauty, terror and philosophy

Metro

No one else writes like Pullman . . . entirely worth the 17-year wait

Imogen Russell Williams, Metro

Pullman's story is still thought-provoking ... This book elegantly weaves in live issues, from Europe's refugee crisis to facts in the post-truth era. And Pullman's prose is rewarding as ever

The Times

As ever, Pullman's story is complex and vast but home to some of the finest storytelling in the 21st century. Revel in whole new worlds and enjoy one of literature's most wonderful heroines before she comes to HBO and the BBC

Stylist

REVIEWS FOR LA BELLE SAUVAGE: THE BOOK OF DUST VOLUME ONE:

Fans of His Dark Materials will find themselves joyfully immersed in a familiar world . . . meanwhile, awaiting first-time readers is all the pleasure of commencing their own journey into this most captivating of universes at the very beginning of Lyra's story

Independent

Lyra is all grown up in a rich, vivid sequel

Telegraph

[Pullman] has created a fantasy world, made yet more satisfying in rigour and stylistic elegance. This is a book for getting older with

Guardian, Book of the Week

Engrossing