A Fantastic Journey and A Character to Love // ARC Review: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman

Title: La Belle Sauvage (The Book Of Dust #1)
Author: Philip Pullman
Publication Date: October 19th 2017
Publisher: David Fickling Books (Penguin)
Part of a Series?: Yes, Book 1 of the Book of Dust Duology
I Got A Copy Through: Penguin India (THANK YOU!)
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Blurb Description: Eleven-year-old Malcolm Polstead and his dæmon, Asta, live with his parents at the Trout Inn near Oxford. Across the River Thames (which Malcolm navigates often using his beloved canoe, a boat by the name of La Belle Sauvage) is the Godstow Priory where the nuns live. Malcolm learns they have a guest with them; a baby by the name of Lyra Belacqua . . .
I remember the first time I picked up Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass. I was nine and staring at the shelves in my school library trying to figure out which ONE book I wanted to check out (it was a rule – only one book) when I stumbled upon the His Dark Materials trilogy.

I don’t remember much else but I DO remember rushing back to the library the very next day for the second book in the trilogy because I had fallen in love.

So, when I got an email from one of my FAVOURITE humans in the publishing industry, asking me to sign an NDA to get a coveted ARC of one of my most anticipated reads of the year, I jumped around with joy.

Image result for la belle sauvage
I’ve taken almost a week to finish to finish La Belle Sauvage and I loved every second of reading it. Let me give you my thoughts:

MY THOUGHTS:

1.      I fell in love with Malcom, the main character in this book, by the time I had finished the second chapter. He was this PURE SOUL with an INQUISITIVE MIND and a HEART OF GOLD and I loved his story SO MUCH.

2.      I also LOVED Malcom with Lyra. In La Belle Sauvage, Lyra is a mere infant, only a few months old and it shows you the story of Malcom’s connection with her and all about how Lyra ended up at Jordan College, which is where The Golden Compass opens ten years later.

3.      I should warn you that the pace of this book is slow. If you’ve read Philip Pullman’s previous works, you already know what I’m talking about, but just in case you haven’t, it’s always better to be prepared.

Image result for la belle sauvage quotes   4.      I loved how this book contained SO MANY CHARACTERS we’d seen in the His Dark Materials trilogy. I probably didn’t remember some of them (blame the memory of nine year old me) but the ones I did, I had FANGIRL moments over. It was AMAZING to see everyone before Lyra’s story and see the pieces of Lyra’s circumstances come to be.

   5.      I didn’t remember much about the workings of the Althieometer from when I read The Golden Compass, but the way it was explained in La Belle Sauvage was stunning. I felt like I was there, in the midst of the scholars that were talking about it and absorbed everything as best as I could.

La Belle Sauvage brought back memories from ten years ago in a way that almost no book can. Reading it was a JOURNEY that I wouldn’t trade for anything.


A beautiful new installment into Philip Pullman’s breath-taking world that I HIGHLY recommend diving into.
Philip PullmanIn 1946, acclaimed author Philip Pullman was born in Norwich, England, into a Protestant family. Although his beloved grandfather was an Anglican priest, Pullman became an atheist in his teenage years. He graduated from Exeter College in Oxford with a degree in English, and spent 23 years as a teacher while working on publishing 13 books and numerous short stories. Pullman has received many awards for his literature, including the prestigious Carnegie Medal for exceptional children’s literature in 1996, and the Carnegie of Carnegies in 2006. He is most famous for his “His Dark Materials” trilogy, a series of young adult fantasy novels which feature freethought themes. The novels cast organized religion as the series’ villain. Pullman told The New York Times in 2000: “When you look at what C.S. Lewis is saying, his message is so anti-life, so cruel, so unjust. The view that the Narnia books have for the material world is one of almost undisguised contempt. At one point, the old professor says, ‘It’s all in Plato’ — meaning that the physical world we see around us is the crude, shabby, imperfect, second-rate copy of something much better. I want to emphasize the simple physical truth of things, the absolute primacy of the material life, rather than the spiritual or the afterlife.” He argues for a “republic of heaven” here on Earth.

In 2007, the first novel of the "His Dark Materials" trilogy was adopted into the motion picture "The Golden Compass" by New Line Cinema.
Have you read the His Dark Materials Trilogy or watched The Golden Compass?
What did you think of it?
If you had a daemon, and if you had the choice, which animal would you pick for it to be/
Have you read La Belle Sauvage? What did you think of it?