B O O K R E V I E W
La Belle Sauvage by Phillip Pullman
4 out of 5 Stars
Philip Pullman is a celebrated author whose work I’ve yet to experience. Therefore, I was not ready for the wildly imaginative world he created here. However, and based on some reviews I read on Goodreads, this does not quite compare to his previous work. But if you’re like me who bore no certain familiarity to his older novels, I think you’ll be just fine – awed, even.
The first book to this series introduces as to an alternate universe. This is a prequel to His Dark Materials series – which, I’ve not read. So you might get lost with some of the aspects of the book. For example, I have no idea what alethiometers are, their functions and why they are held with great importance. In this world, everyone carries their daemons on their person. And the daemons are characterized by animals. They’re not inherently evil, in fact, they’re more like your guardian angels.
Malcolm, our boy of the hour is one of those very astute, loyal and brave characters. From the first moment he laid eyes on baby Lyra, he knew he would do anything to protect her. Soon, the identity and protection of this baby becomes his primary goal in life. Even putting his own life in danger. There are a lot of mysteries yet to be uncovered about Lyra’s identity. I don’t know why everyone is clamoring to find her and possess her. But my guess is she’s important in His Dark Materials series? *shrugs*
As if things can’t be more perilous for our Malcolm and his quest to protect baby Lyra, a flood pretty much washed away everything and everyone that he could rely on. So for the entirety of the novel, he was afloat on a boat with Lyra and Alice, with whom he’s had a contemptuous relationship to begin with. Things were terse, dangerous what with a lunatic on their tail determined to take Lyra away.
One thing’s for sure, I’m excited that I’ve finally get to have the Phillip Pullman experience. If only for the introduction to his work. And who knows? Maybe I’ll decide to read his other books as well down the road. This was dark for a novel geared towards younger audience but over all, I’m sold.