The Subtle Knife

The Subtle Knife

Book - 1999
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Summary: 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.
Publisher: Toronto: Random House, 1999
ISBN: 9780375802119
Branch Call Number: YA Pullm
Characteristics: 326 p


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Aug 08, 2020

This trilogy had a lot of promise but fell real short across the board and the moral of the characters and how corrupt they are is so bad that I truly question how anyone would recommend this as a children’s book. I am not saying this because of theology or because I care about religion. It is a fundamental concern about morality!
This first installment was quite intriguing and did weave an interesting world and story despite the main character being a pathological liar.
This second installment raised more concerns that I had about the moral of the main characters and truly made me question its suitability as a children’s book! but I was hopeful that the final installment would provide some interesting epiphanies. I had really high expectations for how theological questions were going to be answered and it all was very anti climactic. Very disappointing. And too many rambling story lines.

Mar 21, 2020

A little disappointed in this sequel novel. While still inventive and far-reaching in its fantastical ambitions, I found it to be a little too complicated, with very few of the compelling supporting characters from The Golden Compass having a role. I wasn't a fan of Cittàgazze, the spectres, or transitioning the primary POV to be Will instead of Lyra. While it was enjoyable in parts (Dr. Malone, Stanislaus Grumman, and the witches being highlights), and while I still intend to read the third, it tempered my excitement for the trilogy.

Feb 21, 2020

I enjoyed this much more than the 1st book. It’s less sheer fairytale fantasy, more plausible & realistic. Will is a good character - hope he can teach Lyra some common sense.

JCLIanH Nov 26, 2019

Pullman spirals out from The Golden Compass and crafts an equally fascinating, exciting, and compulsively readable follow-up. The world-building is still top-notch, and the introduction of the Will Parry character as Lyra's ride-or-die companion is an excellent addition to the series.

Aug 17, 2015

The first book was better, with more of Lyra's world.

The Subtle Knife really offended me because of all the religious references... definitely agree with rene (below).

In addition, darker and less action mostly because of the prescence in "our" world.

redban Apr 07, 2015

Truly a classic trilogy. Even better, it can be enjoyed in adolescence and as an adult, so reading it again as an adult now brings nostalgia AND intrigue (still!). Very few fictions deserve such accolades, this one is a masterpiece!

And I agree, this book does get darker with the introduction of Will. The third book evens things out.

fergusonfan Jul 28, 2014

I enjoyed this more than the Golden Compass. It doesn't have quite as many plot twists as the first book. Lyra and Will are the main characters. Lord Asriel is a minor character in this,as is Mrs. Coulter.

formrfarmr2011 Jul 14, 2014

This is the second book in the series; and much darker than the first. The idea of Dust is intriguing, but I did not enjoy this one as much as The Golden Compass.

iLoveLibraries0_0 Oct 12, 2012

Another entertaining work of fiction from Philip Pullman.

This book goes much deeper into the author's views on Christianity, and Catholicism (not actually named) more specifically. Depending on what your own beleifs are, you might need to pull yourself out of this book for a moment and take a breather before continueing in certain parts.

narutouzumaki485 Jul 21, 2012

great for summer reading

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Jun 02, 2019

pink_cat_5222 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Aug 10, 2015

black_rabbit_165 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Apr 30, 2012

freeflyer thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Nov 07, 2007

Japanda thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over


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Aug 04, 2014

"I found folly everywhere, but there were grains of wisdom in every stream of it.”


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