The Subtle Knife: His Dark Materials

by Philip Pullman

Paperback, 2001



Call number

PB Pul

Call number

PB Pul

Local notes

PB Pul




Yearling (2001), 384 pages


As the boundaries between worlds begin to dissolve, Lyra and her daemon help Will Parry in his search for his father and for a powerful, magical knife.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

384 p.; 5.2 inches

Media reviews

J. R. R. Tolkien, the granddaddy of modern high fantasy, asserted that the best fantasy writing is marked by ''arresting strangeness.'' Philip Pullman measures up; his work is devilishly inventive. His worlds teem with angels, witches, humans, animal familiars, talking bears and Specters, creatures
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resembling deadly airborne jellyfish... Put Philip Pullman on the shelf with Ursula K. Le Guin, Susan Cooper, Lloyd Alexander, at least until we get to see Volume 3.
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User reviews

LibraryThing member LisaMaria_C
I loved the first book in the His Dark Materials trilogy, which began with The Golden Compass. A note on the front tells us "that first book was set in a world like ours, but different. This book begins in our own world." That first book is centered on Lyra, an eleven-year-old girl and the title
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refers to the instrument she wields, an "alethiometer" from which she can divine the answers to questions. Lyra's world is one where there was no Reformation, and a powerful church, the "Magisterium" is performing terrible experiments upon children. It's a post-industrial world with armored polar bear warriors, dirigibles, witches who fly on broomsticks and every person has a "daemon"--a visible lifelong companion in animal shape connected to one's soul. At the end of the first book, Lyra stumbles unto an unknown parallel world neither hers nor our own.

This second book is set in our own, contemporary world, and introduces us to Will Parry. Only twelve-years-old, he's long taken on adult responsibilities both for himself and his mentally fragile mother. On the run and searching for his missing father, he stumbles into the parallel world where Lyra has taken refuge.

I like Will. Quite a bit more than Lyra actually. I may be unfair to her--I suppose in a lot of ways Lyra is just a typical spoiled, I mean child. She sees herself as an "aristocrat" beyond doing the mundane jobs of a "servant" like washing dishes--or her own hair. She's also, as she boasts, the "best liar there ever was." Will is much more responsible and ethical and easier to relate to. Just as this novel is centered on Will, the title refers to the weapon he'll come to be the "bearer" of--the "subtle knife."

What really impressed with this novel though, was how it fused elements of fantasy, science fiction and theology. His Dark Materials is atheistic in its thrust and so pointed at times in its digs at organized religion I can find it a bit irksome in parts--and I'm an atheist. I didn't feel that at all with the first book, which was very action-filled and so fantastical that aspect pretty much went over my head. I didn't care too much in this volume because I found brilliant the way it played with ideas about the interrelation between theology and physics, blending fantasy and science fiction, once Lyra finds the scientist Mary Malone, a former nun turned physicist studying dark matter that is the same thing as the "dust" of Lyra's world. Pullman is playing with very sophisticated ideas and in strong flowing prose, accessible to children and up to this point not unduly didactic. (I feel that changes in the last volume, but that's another review.)

The ending is very abrupt, this is no standalone that only shares a common world with the other two books. You'll want The Amber Spyglass by your side as soon as you finish The Subtle Knife because it'll leave you eager to find out what happens next.
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LibraryThing member Smiler69
Weaving in and out of two universes, book 2 of the trilogy introduces a new protagonist who comes from "our" world of "today" as we know it. Will finds himself in a terrible bind when we meet him at the beginning of the book: he must make sure to find someone to take care of his mentally unstable
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mother before he embarks on a dangerous journey. He's been looking after her by himself until then, and he's not sure how long he'll be gone for—or where his journey will take him—but he does know that he must take the letters from his father with him, the very same ones his mother has kept hidden away and which strange men have been breaking into their house to get to. All Will knows about his dad is that he was an explorer and that he disappeared somewhere in the North Pole when Will was just a baby. He's got some vague idea that he must now find him, though he has no idea how he'll go about it. When Lyra and Will meet in Cittàgazze, a beautiful, though strangely abandoned city by the sea, Lyra consults the alethiometer about the boy and interprets the answer she gets—that he's a murdered—as a sign that she can trust him. Furthermore, she is instructed that her new mission is to help Will find his father, and the two embark on a fascinating journey during which they'll have to once again evade the cruel Mrs Coulter and a host of other enemies who are determined to keep the world in the dark about the question of Dust.

I must say I was at first underwhelmed with this book. To be fair, The Golden Compass is one tough act to follow, filled as it is with one fascinating discovery and adventure after another, and also having ended up as a five-star all-time favourite of mine. After having been wrapped up in Lyra's world for the whole of the first book, it felt strange somehow to be back to our own world with it's modern amenities and to be distanced from Lyra, whom I'd grown very attached to. At first, I saw The Subtle Knife as nothing more than a placeholder between the first and last instalment. But about halfway through I was just as wrapped up with the intrigue and adventure, and was lapping it all up with great pleasure. I must say that in retrospect it was just as filled with mystery and thrills as the first book and is most definitely rewarding experience, as long as you are willing to let go and follow the story along in whatever worlds it happens to take you. I can hardly wait to finish the trilogy now, but I'll let the anticipation build up for as long as I can stand it!
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LibraryThing member RobertDay
I came to this not long after seeing the BBC (HBO) television adaptation, and so my own visualisation of the action of the novel was rather influenced by that; not that it spoilt the experience for me. Indeed, there are sufficient differences between the book and series to hold my interest, in
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terms of seeing what the tv show missed out and how various plot points were advanced for reasons of dramatic timing.

Of the novel itself, I was interested to see that it avoids a lot of "middle book syndrome" through throwing a few upsets into the plot. I continue to feel Lyra to be far more feral in the book than she is depicted in the series; and there's a verbal tic that Pullman keeps on using - characters say "en't" for "isn't" - that seems to be usage from Lyra's world rather than just an affectation of hers, as we hear it from Asriel's servant as well. It still brings to mind Richmal Compton and "Just William" for me, though.

The relationship between Will and Lyra deepens quite quickly over the course of the book. Given that Pullman writes these as pre-adolescents, and pitches them into quite life-threatening situations, this shouldn't really be a surprise, and the subject of relationships is handled quite sensitively. Nonetheless, there is an undercurrent of sexuality implicit in the relationship, given that in these novels, characters' daemons fix their form at puberty, and it is understood that Lyra's daemon, Pantalaimon, is quite aware that this time is approaching. In my case, though, this theme was influenced by my visualisation based on the television series, where the actors depicting Will and Lyra are older than their description in the novel. Young actors usually act down in age anyway, but still, that visualisation may have affected my reading.

The world-building isn't so intricate, as much of the action takes place in our world or the world of Cittagazze. However, the edition I have includes some additional material that Pullman prepared in around 2005 regarding John Parry's expedition. This I found interesting, though it raised something of a question. We now find that the 'Tartar' troops that the Magisterium has access to are from the Imperial Russian Guard (in their universe). This to me implies that in that world, there was no split in the early church that led to the founding of the Orthodox churches, otherwise why would the Imperial Russian Crown be lending out its forces to Rome? Still, given Pullman's anti-clericalism, which becomes more pronounced in this volume, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised by this. I was also pleased to see that there is a good reason why the witches mostly appear to have Finnish names.

With Lyra's search for more knowledge of Dust bringing her into our world, she comes into contact with scientists, and more particularly with a physicist at "our" Oxford University who is looking into the properties of dark matter. Pullman draws a connection between dark matter and Dust, though quite quickly he introduces more of the properties of Dust from the first novel, which cause the physicist some considerable intellectual distress, as Pullman's Dust possesses some degree of sentience. It was roughly at this point that I began to question whether this novel was science fiction or fantasy; certainly, attributing sentience to dark matter places the book firmly in the fantasy category (let alone the presence of daemons, witches and angels), but the reaction of the human characters to the physical manifestations of the effects of the magical apparatus - Dust, the aleithiometer, the Subtle Knife and the windows between the worlds - seems far more grounded in rationality. I suspect that the author himself would reject such labels anyway.

So: a worthwhile extension of the story begun in 'Northern Lights' that deepens the story. We learn more about Lord Asriel's plans, though this signals a shift to a wider canvas in the final volume. But overall, the quality - though nothing so astonishing for the seasoned reader of the fantastic - is maintained.
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LibraryThing member Stevil2001
In my review of The Golden Compass, I said it was "the most well-executed YA fantasy novel I've ever read" and that the opening was "stunning"; The Subtle Knife isn't that good, but the opening is still pretty great. The Golden Compass dumps us into a foreign world with no warning, but The Subtle
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Knife dumps us into our world-- except we still have no idea what's going on! Who's Will Parry? What's wrong with his mum? Who are these men after him? It's gripping almost as much as the first book, but unfortunately it's downhill from there. Whereas The Golden Compass took in half the planet, The Subtle Knife confines our heroes to swapping between the worlds of Citagazze and Will's Oxford. Meanwhile, a bunch of other people are doing all the interesting things. The book never quite overcomes this weird split, which leaves Will and Lyra looking decidedly pointless in their own book. Of course, it's still great-- Pullman can write, Citagazze is chilling, Will is a great addition, Mary Malone is awesome, and Lyra will always be Lyra-- but it's definitely the weakest book of the trilogy.
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LibraryThing member sinshenlong
After reading this sequel to the Golden Compass (AKA Northern Lights) I can say that the His Dark Material Series has now grown immensely in scale and evolved to an adventure that puts the fate of life as a whole in the balance.

The story follows a new protagonist by the name of Will Parry, who is
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a boy around Lyra's age- albeit more mature- and his quest to find his father (John Parry) who disappeared when he was just a boy. From the very get go we are exposed the the child's maturity as he not only has the presence of mind to make sure his mentally ill mother is well taken care of. But he also does well in covering his tracks after accidentally murdering a man who was pursuing him and his family. Eventually Will meets up with the original protagonist Lyra Belaquia and the two soon realize that their fates are intertwined in a goal that maybe so important that all of mankind depends on it. Now I am deliberately being vague about the plot because one of the best things about the book is finding out just how large the conflict has become. Spanning not only Lyra's world where people walk around with daemon companions, but our own human world in the present and also the world of Citagazze where adults are plagued by the treacherous Specters of Indifference where only pre-adolescents remain safe. Furthermore as there are countless worlds throughout the universe, one can only gather that everything in existence is at stake.

Now one thing I like about this sequel is that it moves away from Lyra, at many segments of the book the narrative focuses on other characters. Besides Will Parry- Wielder of the Subtle Knife- we have an expanded perspective of some old faces- namely the century old witch Serafina Pekkala, the Texan Aeronaut Lee Scoresby, along with some new characters such as the Physicist Mary Malone and the Shaman Dr. Stannislus Gruuman- all of which have some great purpose in the overall plot. I especially love the fact that we get more incite into the characters' motives, beliefs and pasts and in some cases their relationship with their daemons- especially Lee Scoresby. I also like the way Lyra realises that she's getting older, that she can no longer take foolish risks and hope to lie her way out of them like she did in her world. This is also reinforced by the fact that her daemon is becoming more stable and pretty soon she'd be an adult. Whether Will's presence sparked this change or not remains to be seen but it is a great transition from her careless ways of the past.

And the ideas in this book are thrice as impressive as the first.Aside from daemons we are introduced to the existence of many different worlds including our very own, and how they are all similar in some way. And also the item known as the Subtle Knife which can cut through any substance even the fabric of space itself. Along with the Specters of Indifference, the true nature of Dust and the nefarious goal of the ambitious Lord Asriel who dares to do what mere humans would've never done before.

I can go on and on about this novel but I probably would end up making one myself. The writing is top notch as always, with the style changing according to the situation. With a darker mood surrounding the plot, where death is rampant and children are exposed to horrors, violence and real danger. And the themes are so wide now that it changes the entire scope the first one had.

All in all I am tempted- o so tempted to read the Amber Spyglass- but I have other books on my list to check out sadly. But it was an excellent read.

4 1/2 stars.
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LibraryThing member amerynth
The second novel in Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy pulls Lyra Belacqua out of her world and into another, essentially a bridge between our world and hers. Lyra is more of a backup character in the novel, which focuses on Will Parry, a boy from our world who is also drawn into the
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in-between. While this book is a bridge between the first and third, I found it more compelling and harder to put down than the more famous "The Golden Compass." A myriad of story elements weave together skillfully and you are never entirely sure where the actual story is going. The only thing that stopped this from being a five-star book for me were the final few chapters, which seemed bogged down as Pullman tried to pull together all the threads a little too quickly and neatly for me. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series to see how it all ends.
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LibraryThing member thelorelei
In this second book of the "His Dark Materials" trilogy, Lyra leaves the captivatingly created world in which the entire first book took place. Despite my reluctance for the narrative to leave Lyra's world, I was ultimately caught up even more tightly in the new worlds into which she ventures.
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Pullman's creativity really caught fire here, and his skill in committing these flights of imagination to the page is nearly unmatched in other contemporary young adult authors. I literally could not put the book down except to do the most basic tasks, such as eating and sleeping when I absolutely HAD to.
"The Subtle Knife" may simply be a transitional book between the beginning and the denouement of Lyra's story, but it hurtles with the pace of a freight train, making for a very exciting read. One of the most effective aspects of Pullman's storytelling is that despite the heart-pounding, frantic speed of the narrative, he still somehow makes time for deep, intricate characterizations of his protagonists and antagonists. I always felt like I was reading about real people in these fantastical circumstances.
This book is a wonderful continuation of the very complex story begun in the first installment.
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LibraryThing member matlock.sarah
A bit slow in some parts, but mostly an exciting extension of the the first novel in the trilogy! The themes seem oversimplified to appeal to the younger audience but in fact represent very heavy, complex value systems that are generally addressed in adulthood. Overall, I'm enjoying these novels
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but I'm glad I read them as an adult rather than as a child or teen. Too much would have been over my head, I think.
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LibraryThing member Helena81
Excellent! More engrossing than The Golden Compass. As with other trilogies (think: Star Wars!) this second part is incomplete, with no resolution at the book's end. I can't wait to move on to The Amber Spyglass.

Although at times a little heavy handed, overall, Pullman is a master storyteller who's
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created an immensely rich and textured alternate reality to our own world.
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LibraryThing member cmwilson101
Lyra's on-going adventures in alternative worlds, accompanied by her friend Will and her daemon, Pan. Gorgeously written, beautifully described, intricately plotted. Incredible series by Phillip Pullman.
LibraryThing member brokenangelkisses
The second book in the famous ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy is certainly darker than the preceding novel. In ‘Northern Lights’ wild-child and apparent orphan Lyra Belacqua had to struggle against the adults she knew to try to save children who were going missing, and explore the mystery of
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dust. Now, in ‘The Subtle Knife’, Lyra moves between three worlds, each of which contains dangerous enemies who view her life – and death? – as crucial in fulfilling an old prophecy. As her pursuers close in, can Lyra discover the truth about dust – and her destiny?

Pullman’s series has been compared favourably to J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Having read neither of these, I cannot comment on the validity of these comparisons. However, I think it is sufficiently revealing though that while I won’t read Rowling and couldn’t read Tolkien (I gave up after a mere thirty pages) I have enjoyed both books in this trilogy so far. I’m not usually a fan of fantasy, as it tends to irritate me in its limitless acceptance of boundary pushing. (“It’d be useful if this character could fly. Shall we make them fly?” “Yeah, and let’s also make them able to balance a piano on their nose, just for a laugh.”) The joy in this series though is that the characters continue to ‘ground’ the surreal events. Our heroine, Lyra, is astonishingly pleased to discover that her new companion is a murderer – because it means that he is not a coward. A scientist worries that her work is coming dangerously close to ‘good’ and ‘evil’ – vague notions that she became a scientist to avoid. Pullman’s characters are unquestionably people, regardless of where they keep their souls.

This reality is created from the opening of the novel which, somewhat surprisingly, does not focus on Lyra, but on new character, Will. A young boy with much on his mind, Will’s tender but slightly awkward interaction with his mother soon melted my heart and meant that I was fully engaged in his story. This soon meets up with Lyra’s and an odd relationship begins, one in which Will’s carefully-maintained caution makes him curse Lyra’s impetuous solutions. It was interesting to see how two such different characters, almost equally alone in the world, were able to interact and work together in a bid to achieve their own ends. Lyra’s aims have already been mentioned; Will’s seem slightly more limited as he seeks to discover the truth and destiny of his explorer father, but it quickly becomes apparent that the quests of the children overlap in significant ways. The sections between the two children are convincing and naturalistic, which is probably why I was able to enjoy reading much of this fantastical story.

However, the witches were another story. They fly, they cast spells, and, perhaps most problematically, they have names like Serafina Pekkala. I mean, really? Somehow, this society seemed far less credible than the bear society Pullman created in ‘Northern Lights’. Possibly this is because there is so much already written about witches that it seems too obviously clichéd when they have meetings between coven leaders and discuss curses. The fighting bears were perhaps so enjoyable because they were so fresh and therefore vivid. The witch scenes seemed dull and I found myself almost skimming them to move on to other, more engaging parts of the story.

Similarly, the discovery of a magical sword seemed slightly flat and overly-hyped for such a conventional trope of fantasy. The elaborate handing over of the sword and brief training that the destined character receives all felt slightly old-hat, although that may be because I have read King Arthur so often! On the other hand, cutting open windows between worlds, another new idea (to me, at least), was conveyed credibly and used to good effect as a dramatic device.

Gradually, the whole novel took on the feel of a long journey, as all the groups of characters set off on epic missions to find other characters. This is where I often end up getting a bit impatient, because I’m not really interested in all the detailed scenic views this can entail. Pleasingly, Pullman usually keeps the journeying scenes quite fresh because there is still a sense of action and events unfolding. Since this is the second in the trilogy, these journeys are still in progress at the novel’s conclusion, although some minor stories have been resolved. These minor stories were all created within the worlds of this novel, which led me to wonder how much I’d miss if I skipped straight from the first to the third novel in the trilogy. Of course, that may be my inner critic just having a grumble because there were no bears in this instalment!

After an engaging start, much of the later novel feels like preparation for the third instalment, which is a shame, given the quality of Pullman’s writing. I will read the third instalment to reach the answers – and find out what happened to Will’s mother – but I’m not itching to read it. This could be seen as quite positive, since I’m able to view it to some extent as a standalone novel rather than simply part of a trilogy, but also fairly negative, since I’m not so involved in the story that I have to know what happens next. It could just highlight the fact that I was rather tired by the time I finished reading this, as I devoted a couple of days to it almost solidly. This was partly because I had the time for once (or pretended I did) and partly because each chapter ended in a way that meant I wanted to see how events developed (without endings being hideously cliff-hanger-ish). Ultimately, I would recommend this to those who enjoyed ‘Northern Lights’, but with the caveat that this is slightly more fantastical in nature and ends on a real cliff-hanger that will undoubtedly have most people wondering how to get their hands on volume three.
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LibraryThing member xiaomarlo
I really like these! Especially, of course, the abundance of animals/daemons (Will and his love of cats! So adorable!). Can't wait to read the third one. Wish I had known about these when they came out; I would've loved them when I was in my teens.

I hear the movie of the first book sucks, so I
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won't be seeing it, but I think these books would make a really excellent Hayao Miyazaki anime. It's got the strong female protagonist, lots of cute animals, and just... the feel of a lot of his stories. Compare these books to, say, Nausicaa or Princess Mononoke.
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LibraryThing member willowcove
Ok. These were good books that I enjoyed very much. A unique idea in the fantasy realm can go a long way. I am not religious, and do not agree with censorship of any kind. However......the anit-God stuff did get to even me after a while. If you're a parent (of whatever, if any, religion) you may
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want to talk with your children if they read the series.
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LibraryThing member quoddy
Thought this one was pretty average. Hardly any polar bears.
LibraryThing member Fluffyblue
I think for me, this book was the best of the trilogy. It was more involved than the first part, which really was scene-setting, and introduced the characters of Will and Mary.

This part of the story was fairly easy to follow, but I would imagine for a young adult it presented some fairly
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challenging reading at times. The writing was clear and concise and flowed nicely from the first part.
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LibraryThing member taylorh
I want my own animal companion
March, 2007

Second of the His Dark Materials series, the volume follows a tough and inquisitve Will through worlds and misadventures. Pullman is able to capture a playful delight in his young protagonists. They deal with complex scientific and spiritual situations yet
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still marvel at beauty and on occasion take a moment to play with animal companions. I wish I has read this series as a kid. What fun that would have been.
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LibraryThing member isabelx
"So here I came. And I discovered a marvel as soon as I did, Mr Scoresby, for worlds differ greatly, and in this world I saw my daemon for the first time."

In the second book of the His Dark Materials trilogy, the way between the worlds has been opened up and Lyra finds herself in the strange city
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of Citàgazze where adults are in constant peril and only children are safe, and in the Oxford of our world where she discusses the nature of Dust with a physicist and finds out that people in our world have been contacting Dust for thousands of years. She joins Will, a boy from our world, on a quest to find his missing father, and together they discover the Subtle Knife of the title, whose strange powers mean that it is sought by people from many worlds. When I was reading "Northern Lights" I was wondering why there had been such a kerfuffle about the anti-Church angle of the stories, but during this books it became clearer. It ends on a cliff-hanger, so if I were you, I would make sure I had a copy of the third book ready to start as soon as you finish this one.
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LibraryThing member nmhale
Although Pullman continues to weave many threads of plot in a fascinating story, I was less engaged with this second book in the Dark Materials trilogy.

Lyra has stepped out of her world after Roger's death, and entered the strange new land called Cittagazze. But we actually don't learn about what
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happens to Lyra immediately; the novel opens with Will's adventures. Will is a new protagonist who we soon realize is Lyra's equal in narrative weight. He is a great character. The novel begins in the middle of action - Will leaves his mother with a kindly old neighbor, not explaining much, and dashes back to his house to try and beat some mysterious men in finding papers hidden inside. A lot of mystery surrounds Will, and Pullman slowly parcels out the missing pieces over the course of the novel.

Will's tragedies drive him to seek a safe place to hide, and destiny guides him to a secret window to another world, which just happens to be Cittagazze. Will soon finds Lyra, and we learn that after she stepped into her new world, she scavenged around, half starving, looking for people to help her find out more about Dust and her father. Unfortunately, Cittagazze is curiously lacking in people. Strange specters float through the world and feed on adults, leaving empty husks that are still breathing, but dead inside. The place is quite creepy.

I was very engrossed with the opening. It adds new layers of mystery to an already complex story. And I liked Will a lot. My interest was sustained well past the middle of the book, as Lyra and Will contend with a creepy old man who steals her alethiometer, a scientist working on a computer that pixelates Dust in computer images, and the disturbing children of Cittagazze and the crazed knife-wielding brother they protect. Gripping material.

In the last third of the novel, though, my interest began to wane. I felt that Pullman was using a lot more exposition, and less action. He definitely has a heavy plot that needs explaining but I never felt bogged down before. Once the kids began to travel with the witches, my attention drained away. Lee Scoresby had one shining moment. The rest of that last third of the novel was lackluster, even when Will met his father, which should have had so much more emotional impact!

To be fair, I confess that I did break my self-imposed rule of not reading books in a series consecutively. I like to give myself a break from the material, because I've had past experiences where I hit the second or third book and start to wonder if the author has lost her touch. When I come back to the same series later, I like it again, leading me to believe that when I read too much of one story I can get overloaded. However, this is a trilogy, so I thought I should read all three books right in a row. Now I think not. Either this book was just not as good as the first one, or I am judging it too harshly because I was ready for a break. I plan on giving my reading a little space before I attend on the last book in the trilogy; Pullman is a powerful writer, and I want to give his work a fair chance.
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LibraryThing member earthlistener
Pullman’s trilogy continues on with the Subtle Knife. This novel was quite the page turner and once I picked it up I did not want to put it down. As the story continues the plot and character relationship continue to become more and more in-depth and complex. Old character’s make new entrances
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and continue to develop as new characters appear to move and add to the story. The ending of this book left me at a bit of a cliffhanger making me want all the more to read onto the next book.
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LibraryThing member john257hopper
The adventure continues, this is subtly slightly more adult, more SF and less straight fantasy than Northern Lights. Great stuff and I am particularly taken with the concept of daemons shared by the people of Lyra's world.
LibraryThing member shabacus
After a first volume set entirely in a fantasy world, it is a bit of a jolt, but not too much, to find ourselves suddenly connected to the "real" world. It's not a unpleasant surprise, however, and the depth of this novel is remarkable. Although not as spectacular as the first, it's well worth a
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Recommendation: For mature young readers.
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LibraryThing member bookwormteri
An amazing series, I cannot wait to read the third and last book. I just hope that everything is clearly explained as I still feel a little lost, but am loving the books.
LibraryThing member Ravenclaw79
"Oh, no!" That was my reaction when I finished this one. I've gotten so used to everything being neatly resolved in this series, a series of young adult books, after all, that I'd already figured out in my head how this book would have to neatly end, where the nice break in the plot would be before
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the next book begins. And instead, I got a cliffhanger, and so instead of prolonging the series by putting off reading the last book, I'll have to start on it immediately, 'cause I have to know what happens next.That's the kind of book this is, and the kind of series this is -- even when you know, or think you know, how something will turn out, you have to keep reading to find out what happens next. I've enjoyed these books so much that I was hoping to prolong it by taking a break between this one and the next, but now I can't, 'cause I just have to know what happens to Lyra next.By the way, this book is just as good as "The Golden Compass," if not a little better for its further explanation of Dust and how Lyra's world has to do with ours. But the ending, agh! I'm glad I'm not reading these when they're first coming out, 'cause the idea of having to wait months for the next one to be released would kill me. :)
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LibraryThing member LittleRaven
This book is even more fast-paced than the last. The plot becomes more intriguing, and I appreciate the beauty in how the threads are drawn together so precisely and satisfactorily. At the same time, this does not detract from the vivid character moments and the emotional punches thrown.
LibraryThing member knielsen83
Now that I've reread the second book, I can see where religious nutjobs will want to burn this book... after all.. a war against God? Anyways... I'm always surprised when these books end, because I feel like there's so much more that I need to know and that the books don't take up enough time. It
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seems like in this book only a week passed during the whole 8 discs I listened to. On to the last and final one in the series, hopefully I will remember more of that one than this last one.
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(6958 ratings; 4.1)
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