His Dark Materials are among the most original and beloved fantasy series. While Philip Pullman's trilogy has been controversial, particularly among those who found the books' attitude towards organized religion offensive, many fans were enchanted by Lyra's journey across worlds, the talking bears, the witches, and the genius invention of the Daemons. So, can we expect another His Dark Materials book, and when?
The first book in the series, The Northern Lights (or, The Golden Compass in some US editions) came out in 1995, opening a magical journey in a manner similar to many children's books: Lyra, a spirited, gifted pre-teen is forced by circumstances and personal choices to leave her familiar surroundings – a college in an alternative Oxford – and travel far North in search of her missing friend, Roger.
Lyra is accompanied by her daemon, Pantalaimon. In her world, every person is followed by a visible aspect of themselves, which manifests in the form of an animal. Children's daemons change shapes, while those of adults remain the same revealing a dominant aspect of their personality.
In many ways, Lyra's story is a coming-of-age tale. In many ways, it is much more than that. In the trilogy, which also includes The Subtle Knife (1997) and The Amber Spyglass (2000) we encounter well-rounded characters, violent plot twists, religious allegories, and several intertextual references.
The first book of the trilogy received a film adaptation in 2007. To say it was unsuccessful would probably be an understatement. However, the interest in the series was reignited when a BBC tv series based on the trilogy started airing in 2019.
Over the years, Pullman published a few more stories taking place in Lyra's world, including the short story Lyra's Oxford (2003) and the prequel novella Once Upon a Time in North (2008). However, many years passed without a new book that would truly move the story forward, so most fans didn't have expectations for more.
This changed in 2017, The Book of Dust trilogy was announced. This rather unorthodox trilogy begins with La Belle Sauvage (2017) which focuses on a new character, Malcolm, whose fate became entangled with Lyra's when he was 11 years old and she was a baby.
The next book, The Secret Commonwealth (2019) serves as a sequel to the original trilogy. It follows a 20-year-old Lyra who is still trying to figure out herself and her beliefs. Her unresolved trauma from the events of His Dark Materials strains her relationship with Pantalaimon, forcing her into yet another unexpected journey.
In 2020, a short story, Serpentine was released, featuring a teenage Lyra, and more or less initiating the themes books 2 and 3 of The Book of Dust trilogy are concerned with. However, book 3 of The Book of Dust has yet to be published, so we do have one more His Dark Materials installment to expect.
Related:His Dark Materials Season 3 Has Started Production
At the time of writing, book 3 of The Book of Dust trilogy does not have a release date. It's already been more than 2 years since The Secret Commonwealth was released so we hope it's happening soon, but, if The Amber Spyglass is any indication, Pullman tends to take a couple of years longer for final installments.
It's still quite early to worry that this is turning into Winds of Winter or The Doors of Stone, especially since The Secret Commonwealth was huge and book 3 would have a lot of issues to resolve, many of them controversial and dividing for the fandom.
Right now, the book has no confirmed title, though Pullman has suggested Rose from the South or The Garden of Roses as potential titles. These sound both catchy and intriguing, as roses posed an important mystery in book 2. We'll update this space with more details once an official announcement is made.