You may have seen this week that the second instalment in Philip Pullman’s The Book of Dust series has had a cover reveal! Volume Two, named The Secret Commonwealth, takes place after the events of His Dark Materials and follows 20-year-old Lyra across the world as she hunts for a town haunted by daemons. The novel is set to be released on October 3rd, 2019, and the publishers have just revealed the stunning cover art, illustrated by Chris Wormell. I love all the colours and plume of smoke from the train, suggesting Lyra will be doing a lot of travelling in this volume.
But this isn’t the only edition of the book that has been announced! There will be three different editions of The Secret Commonwealth. The first is the hardback that was revealed last week, seen in the picture above. The second I believe is very similar, but features an illustrated frontispiece and bespoke endpapers, and is exclusive to independent booksellers. These editions will both retail for £20 in the UK, though Waterstones is offering pre-orders of the generic hardback for £15! In addition to these two versions, there will be a third edition exclusive to Waterstones, which will be signed by Pullman and housed within a slipcase embossed with a raven daemon. This is a limited edition, which sounds stunning, and will be sold for £40. I love the idea of the embossed slipcase, but I also want the book to match my copy of Volume One, so I’m very torn about which edition to purchase. I think I’ll likely try to nab a copy of the indie bookstore edition, and maybe treat myself to the slipcase edition too!
Not only are there multiple editions to choose from, but Pullman is also taking part in a couple of promotional events. The first will take place the evening before publication, October 2nd, at Alexandra Palace (London). Not much detail has been given about this event – it doesn’t look like a book signing because tickets include “pre-signed” copies of the book – but it does say that it will “take readers on a thrilling journey into Lyra’s world”… maybe it’s a reading from the book?
The second event is a few days later, on October 6th at The Sheldonian Theatre (Oxford). Again, not much info is given but as the event will be recorded for the Penguin Podcast, I imagine it will be an interview of some sort. Both of the events offer pre-signed copies of the book: the normal hardback edition is available at both, whilst the Waterstones slipcase edition is only available at the Alexandra Palace event and the indie booksellers edition is available at The Sheldonian Theatre podcast recording. Ticket prices vary from £10 to £55, depending on which edition, if any, you chose to purchase with your admission ticket. I’m very tempted to take a day trip to Oxford and grab a copy of the indie edition. I went to the Oxford book-signing event (right) for the first volume of the series and it’s such a magical place to receive such special copies of the books!
The cover reveal and the announcement of events comes as anticipation for the His Dark Materials show is hotting up. The Twitter account for the show has teased the casting for Will Parry, and as season one of the show is said to cover the first book and Will doesn’t appear until the second, it looks like season two has the green light already!
Help me choose which edition I should buy!
The standard hardback, the indie hardback, or the fancy slipcased edition?!