Pullman’s New Trilogy Revisits His Dark Materials

Pullman’s New Trilogy Revisits His Dark MaterialsThe Book of Dust by Philip Pullman
Published by Knopf for Young Readers on October 19, 2017
Genres: Young Adult



Philip Pullman just announced a new trilogy that revisits the characters and  worlds first introduced in The Golden Compass in 1995. According to the New York Times, the first book in the new trilogy, tentatively named  The Book of Dust, will be released October 19, 2017.

“In an interview with BBC Radio 4 that aired on Wednesday, Mr. Pullman referred to the new books as an ‘equel’ to the first trilogy, distinguishing it from a prequel or a sequel, and noting that the book “doesn’t stand before or after ‘His Dark Materials,’ but beside it.” He also said that the new books would take place 10 years before the start of ‘His Dark Materials,’ and end roughly 10 years after the end of it.”

Pullman is keeping the story line fairly close to his chest. While the New York Times reported that the new series would be a trilogy, the Guardian reported only two books are scheduled for release, stating:

“Pullman’s brave and outspoken heroine, Lyra Belacqua, will return in the first two volumes. Featuring two periods of her life – as a baby and 10 years after His Dark Materials ended – the series will include other characters familiar to existing readers, as well as creations such as alethiometers (a clock-like truth-telling device), daemons (animals that are physical manifestations of the human spirit) and the Magisterium, the church-like totalitarian authority that rules Lyra’s world.”

I’m guessing the publisher wants a trilogy but so far Pullman only has two books figured out. Either way, I know a lot of people are excited for this new set of stories (me included).  Since not a whole lot has been revealed about the new storylines, I thought we could take a look back at the His Dark Materials trilogy.


The Golden Compass (Knopf,  April 16, 1996) / The Northern Lights (Scholastic Press, 1995)

Hardcover: 416 pages

ISBN-10: 0679879242

ISBN-13: 978-0679879244

Original cover price: $20 USD

Value for 1st / 1st (unsigned): Fine to Near Fine / VG  up to $495 USD; Good up to $95 USD; Acceptable up to $20 USD.

Value for 1st/1st (signed): up to $825 USD (dependent on condition)

Released as The Northern Lights in the U.K. by Scholastic Press in 1995. The UK edition is the true first, as such will have a (much) higher value in both signed and unsigned editions. (Signed, I’ve seen it listed in the $4,000+ range. Unsigned, I’ve seen it listed up to $2,200). As with anything, the better the condition, the higher the value (and vice versa).

(For each of the books in the series the UK editions are considered the true firsts by collectors.)


Lyra is rushing to the cold, far North, where witch clans and armored bears rule. North, where the Gobblers take the children they steal–including her friend Roger. North, where her fearsome uncle Asriel is trying to build a bridge to a parallel world.

Can one small girl make a difference in such great and terrible endeavors? This is Lyra: a savage, a schemer, a liar, and as fierce and true a champion as Roger or Asriel could want.

But what Lyra doesn’t know is that to help on of them will be to betray the other…



The Subtle Knife (US: Knopf, July 22, 1997 / UK: Scholastic, 1997)

Hardcover: 352 pages

ISBN-10: 0679879250

ISBN-13: 978-0679879251

Original cover price: $20 USD

Value for 1st/1st (unsigned): US edition—up to $275 USD; UK edition—up to $275 USD

Value for 1st/1st (signed): US edition— up to $400 USD; UK edition—up to $1,000 USD (dependent upon condition).


Lost in a new world, Lyra finds Will—a boy on the run, a murderer—a worthy and welcome ally. For this is a world where soul-eating Specters stalk the streets and witches share the skies with troops of angels.

Each is searching—Lyra for the meaning of Dark Matter, Will for his missing father—but what they find instead is a deadly secret, a knife of untold power. And neither Lyra nor Will suspects how tightly their lives, their loves, their destinies are bound together…until they are split apart.



The Amber Spyglass (Knopf, October 10, 2000 / Scholastic, 2000)

Hardcover: 544 pages

ISBN-10: 0679879269

ISBN-13: 978-0679879268

Original cover price: $19.95 USD

Value for 1st/1st (unsigned): US edition—up to $275 USD; UK edition—up to $275 USD

Value for 1st/1st (signed): US edition— up to $600 USD; UK edition—up to $1,000 USD (dependent upon condition).


Throughout the worlds, the forces of both heaven and hell are mustering to take part in Lord Asriel’s audacious rebellion. Each player in this epic drama has a role to play—and a sacrifice to make. Witches, angels, spies, assassins, tempters, and pretenders, no one will remain unscathed.

Lyra and Will have the most dangerous task of all. They must journey to a gray-lit world where no living soul has ever gone and from which there is no escape.

As war rages and Dust drains from the sky, the fate of the living—and the dead—comes to depend on Lyra and Will. On the choices they make in love, and for love, forevermore.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *