The cover of Philip Pullman’s latest novel The Secret Commonwealth has been revealed as Penguin Random House (PRH) and David Fickling Books (DFB) release more details about the highly-anticipated sequel to La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One.
Illustrated by Chris Wormell, the cover of the second volume of The Book of Dust series depicts a train travelling at speed, reflecting the journey Lyra Silvertongue, now a 20-year-old Oxford student, takes across Europe and Asia.
An extract from the new book, published tomorrow in the Guardian Review, reveals how Lyra flees Oxford by boat for the third time in her life, this time in the company of the gyptian Giorgio Brabandt, and seeks out an elusive town, said to be haunted by daemons.
PRH and DFB are releasing three editions of The Secret Commonwealth, which will be published on 3rd October. The £20 standard hardback edition, will feature a foiled cover and spine, a map of Lyra’s journey and illustrated chapter heads. A £20 special edition for independent bookshops featuring a frontispiece illustration by Chris Wormell and bespoke endpapers is also planned as well as a £40 signed slipcase hardback edition for Waterstones featuring an embossed raven dæmon (Pullman’s dæmon of choice). The publishers will also create point-of-sale materials for retailers, including exclusive items for independents such as tote bags and Wormell-designed enamel pins. Signed stock of the independent edition will also be available.
Pullman will take part in two events to promote the book, one at Alexandra Palace in London "will take readers on a thrilling journey into Lyra’s alternate world" on 2nd October and the other at The Sheldonian Theatre in Pullman's hometown of Oxford on 6th October, which will be recorded live for the Penguin Podcast. Tickets go on sale today. Blackwell’s and Waterstones will support the two events at publication, in Oxford and London respectively.
The second title in the Book of Dust series is set 20 years after the events of La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One and seven years after readers left Lyra and Will Parry on a park bench in The Amber Spyglass, the final book in the His Dark Materials trilogy.
In February 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. I found it intriguing and deeply exciting to discover how great events can turn on a little moment, and how revenge can be nurtured and fed and watered till it grows beyond control.”