The Secret Commonwealth / Philip Pullman

Title / The Secret Commonwealth
Author / Philip Pullman
Publication Date / 2019
Page no. / 687
Overall Rating /


This is the second book in the Book of Dust trilogy. It is set twenty years after the events of the first book, La Belle Sauvage, and seven years after the events of His Dark Materials. We meet an adult Lyra (twenty years old) and Malcolm (thirty one years old). It is one of my most anticipated book releases of this year. To avoid spoilers, I will not be going into any depth surrounding the plot.
I had high hopes for this sequel and I’m happy to say that it didn’t disappoint. I loved seeing an adult Lyra and Pantalaimon, although we learn very early on that all is not well between them. I found this to be a very interesting dynamic. Not only have they been through a lot together, but Lyra is still at a young age where she is finding herself and so it makes some sense that there would be some friction between her and Pan, since he represents her very soul. Although it hurt me a little bit to see their relationship like this, it does make an interesting read (if that makes any sense). Lyra has a lot of internal struggles in this one and I think a lot of people will relate to that. It was great to be back with Lyra and Pantalaimon. All of the characters are so well written and I loved seeing their development through the book.
While I really enjoyed the plot overall, there is a lot of set up in this middle book. It is quite a slow start and it doesn’t really start picking up until near the end of the book. There isn’t a whole lot going on plot-wise, instead the focus is on world building and character development. I will say that if you were unsure of the first book, it may be worth giving this one a go. Although a minor spoiler, there is an attempted rape towards the last third of the book that I felt I should briefly mention as I question the necessity of it being there. I would also say that this instalment is leaning more towards adult readers, since it is a little darker than the first book.
Overall I really enjoyed this book and I cannot wait for the third book. His Dark Materials is one of my all time favourite trilogies so I love being back in this world and with these characters. Have you guys read this book? What did you think? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

One thought on “The Secret Commonwealth / Philip Pullman

  1. Great review. Didn’t hear of this series yet but also enjoyed the Dark Materials and am curious how things worked out since then. So I’ll have to check it up at the library of my home town when I’ll be around there next month.


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