La Belle Sauvage – book review

La Belle Sauvage
Book of Dust #1
by Philip Pullman

* * * * Stars (Great!)
In this first book of a series that takes place prior The Golden Compass, Malcolm (12 years old) learns of the existence of baby Lyra (said to be the child of Lord Asrael and Mrs. Coulter) who comes to be looked after by the nuns at a nearby convent where Malcolm helps out.  He becomes fond of the baby, and when her safety is endangered, he is determined to do everything in his power to help her, even if that means putting his own life at risk.  He and the kitchen maid, Alice, who works for his parents (and the nuns), rescue the baby during a terrible flood that leaves the countryside devastated for miles around.  They escape from pursuers in Malcolm’s trusty canoe – La Belle Sauvage – and attempt to make their way downriver to find Lyra’s father.  A strong and exciting beginning to Pullman’s new series that will delight fans of His Dark Materials.  Dark, terrifying, and entirely its own thing.  The audio edition is excellent.

Reviewed by YA Librarian

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