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Dust off your daemon: Golden Compass author announces new trilogy

Twenty-two years after The Golden Compass was first published, author Phillip Pullman has announced the long-awaited followup to the beloved fantasy series.

Philip Pullman has announced he will be publishing a new trilogy to follow-up his massively popular Golden Compass series.

SHAUN CURRY/AFP/Getty Images

Philip Pullman has announced he will be publishing a new trilogy to follow-up his massively popular Golden Compass series.

Decades after exploding onto the literary scene on the back of an armoured bear, Lyra Belacqua is ready to save the world once more.

Philip Pullman is publishing a new trilogy in the His Dark Materials series, with the first book rolling out on October 19. Collectively called The Book of Dust, the three novels will take place 10 years after the conclusion of the Amber Spyglass.

Not much is known about the plot. Pullman says Lyra, her best friend and ‘daemon’ Pantalaimon, and the Magisterium— a shadowy religious organization with terrible secrets— will all be back.

Instead of a sequel, prequel, or the dreaded "soft reboot," readers will be glad to hear that The Book of Dust will stand as "equels" to the original series.

“It doesn’t stand before or after His Dark Materials, but beside it,” Pullman says on his website. “It’s a different story, but there are settings that readers of His Dark Materials will recognize, and characters they’ve met before.”

Similar to recent YA bestsellers like The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Maze Runner, The Book of Dust pits our heroes against an oppressive totalitarian regime.

Pullman, however, isn’t likely to pull any punches when it comes to the real-world antagonists he drew inspiration from.

“I might not be writing about Donald Trump or Brexit or Nigel Farage directly in 'The Book of Dust,”' he said in an interview with the Associated Press, but the “questions they pose and the situations they set up are very much part of the world that I'm writing about.”

Pullman has never been afraid of provoking a backlash with his work. Over the years, Catholic schools in Canada and the U.S. have pulled His Dark Materials from classrooms over its adult themes and criticisms of religion.

Despite (or perhaps because of) the challenging nature of the original trilogy, the books have sold more than 17.5 million copies around the world.

The first novel, known as Northern Lights in the U.K., earned the Carnegie Medal in 1995 for children's fiction. Twelve years later, readers selected it as the best-ever winner in the history of the prestigious award.

While it’s hard to match the excitement of millions of delighted fans, Pullman himself is looking forward to the new adventure.

“Ive loved watching the story expand across the years, and take me to places I’d never dreamed of,” he writes.

“As for future volumes, my lips are sealed.”

-With files from the Associated Press