Parents' Guide to

The Book of Dust, Book 1: La Belle Sauvage

By Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Nail-biting start to trilogy in His Dark Materials world.

The Book of Dust, Book 1: La Belle Sauvage Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 13+
Our daughter read the His Dark Materials trilogy at 9 years old...and has been asking to read the other books...she is now 12 years old and the bad language is a bit of a non issue for us as parents, or her for that matter, but I know she isn't ready for the sexual content and implications contained in either La Belle Sauvage or the Secret Commonwealth so both titles will be revisited when she is 13... and possibly not till she is 14...he mother and I will see where she is at that point. They're remarkable books when the time is right.
age 13+

A great story with adult themes

Philip Pullman has drafted a spell binding wonder. The storyline is engaging, the lead characters enchanting and the pace exciting. Beware this book is far from the fluffy family friendly golden compass film release. More brothers Grimm than Disney, it is definitely suited to a more mature audience. Perfect for teenagers who love more challenging texts. A wonderful read.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2):
Kids say (8):

As with the His Dark Materials trilogy, this "equel," not prequel, fascinates with its mixture of theology, philosophy, mystical fantasy, and those cool talking spirit daemons every human possesses. If it has one fault, it's that it builds up layer upon layer of mystery and then solves very little of it beyond who killed a spy near the beginning. Readers will want to know more about Bonneville, the villain, right away. The children are constantly stalked by this nightmarish man with few answers as to why. And why is he beating his daemon? And how is he almost controlling people's thoughts and opinions of him? It's so fascinating -- you can't say the word "fascinating" enough when describing this book -- yet we get no closer to understanding Bonneville in this first installment.

When the flood hits, La Belle Sauvage takes a surprising turn into the world of faeries, river gods, and the undead. Almost everywhere the canoe stops, the journey gets stranger, the stakes get higher. And your nails will get shorter and shorter. An abrupt finish promises more nail-biting until Book 2.

Book Details

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