Title: The Subtle Knife
Author: Philip Pullman
Page Count/Review Word Count: 342
The Subtle Knife is the second book in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, and it’s the second strongest (behind Northern Lights) in my opinion, although all three scored 10/10. In this story, we meet Will, a boy who comes from our reality but who finds a window into another world, where he bumps into a girl called Lyra. You might remember her from the first book.
I can’t say too much about the plot here, because it leads directly on from the last book and because there are a lot of potential spoilers, but I can tell you that the titular knife allows its bearer to cut holes in the fabric of reality to open windows to other universes, like the one that Will discovers. Lyra and Will find themselves teaming up and hopping between worlds like tourists, and we learn a lot more about the nature of Dust and daemons.
You’ll also meet a lot of familiar faces from the first book, and I’m sorry to say that one of them comes to an untimely demise, which is a shame because they were one of my favourite characters. Still, it’s an excellent book despite that, and one which I’ve re-read multiple times, and will continue to do so.
Now, I’d recommend reading the trilogy in order if possible, because each of the three books leads on from the other and so you’ll get the best reading experience like that. The books in this series don’t really work as standalones, and so you’ll be glad that you did. You’ll also have discovered a new series to fall in love with, and I almost envy you because I can’t start the series from scratch again, ever.
Overall then, despite not even being my favourite in the trilogy, The Subtle Knife is still one of my all-time favourites, and it belongs on everyone’s bookcase. So what are you waiting for? Go get it!