Skip to main content

The Subtle Knife


The Subtle Knife

With THE SUBTLE KNIFE, master storyteller Philip Pullman continues his His Dark Materials trilogy in grand style. Twelve-year-old Will Parry must find his father --- an arctic explorer missing for over ten years --- but when he accidentally kills one of the sinister men who have been hounding his emotionally disturbed mother for information about his father, Will runs away to Oxford in search of answers. While there, he chances upon a portal to another world through which he passes into the haunting and seemingly deserted city of Cittegazze.

Void of adults and overrun with children and invisible soul-eating Specters, Cittegazze is strange indeed. Will encounters Lyra, the plucky and precocious heroine of THE GOLDEN COMPASS, who has followed her Uncle Asriel into this otherworld bent on revenge. Lyra is determined to avenge her friend Roger's death and discover the origin of a mysterious substance called Dust, but soon joins forces with Will in an attempt to help him locate his father.

Together, Will, Lyra and Pantailamon embark on a dangerous, multidimensional adventure where they discover an ancient and powerful weapon --- the subtle knife --- capable of cutting through the veneer of the present world to reveal yet another beyond. In this stunning sequel, Philip Pullman's intentions become ever more clear, as he slowly reveals the connections between Dust, the bridges between worlds, angels, supreme beings, and cosmic forces; and takes on the very foundations of the Judeo-Christian world. Talk about "shaking the foundations."

Reviewed by Tammy L. Currier on November 2, 1999

The Subtle Knife
by Philip Pullman

  • Publication Date: September 10, 2002
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 0375823468
  • ISBN-13: 9780375823466