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The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials): 2/3 [Paperback]

Philip Pullman
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (228 customer reviews)
Price: 6.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

5 Mar 2007
Will is twelve, and he's just killed a man. Now he's on the run, determined to discover the truth about the father he's never known. Then he steps through a window into another world - where soul-eating Spectres haunt the streets of a city, and a strange girl called Lyra is searching for Dust. His mission and hers are mysteriously linked, and together they must find a powerful and secret object that people from many worlds would kill to possess.

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The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials): 2/3 + The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials) + Northern Lights (His Dark Materials)
Price For All Three: 18.97

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic; New paperback junior edition with endpapers edition (5 Mar 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439944678
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439944670
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (228 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 342,326 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Philip Pullman was born in Norwich on 19th October 1946. The early part of his life was spent travelling all over the world, because his father and then his stepfather were both in the Royal Air Force. He spent part of his childhood in Australia, where he first met the wonders of comics, and grew to love Superman and Batman in particular. From the age of 11, he lived in North Wales, having moved back to Britain. It was a time when children were allowed to roam anywhere, to play in the streets, to wander over the hills, and he took full advantage of it. His English teacher, Miss Enid Jones, was a big influence on him, and he still sends her copies of his books.

After he left school he went to Exeter College, Oxford, to read English. He did a number of odd jobs for a while, and then moved back to Oxford to become a teacher. He taught at various middle schools for twelve years, and then moved to Westminster College, Oxford, to be a part-time lecturer. He taught courses on the Victorian novel and on the folk tale, and also a course examining how words and pictures fit together. He eventually left teaching in order to write full-time.

His first published novel was for adults, but he began writing for children when he was a teacher. Some of his novels were based on plays he wrote for his school pupils, such as The Ruby In The Smoke. He is best known for the award winning His Dark Materials series, consisting of Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass.

Product Description

Amazon Review

At the end of The Northern Lights, Lyra Silvertongue watched in fear and fascination as her father, Lord Asriel, created a bridge between worlds. Lyra and her daemon Pantalaimon are now lost in an alternate universe where they meet Will Parry, a fugitive from a third universe. Will has found a small window between Cittagazze--where children roam unchecked, but invisible Specters suck the spirit out of adults--and his Oxford, which, with its Burger Kings and cars, is frighteningly different from the Oxford Lyra knows. Will's father, an explorer, disappeared years ago, but some odd characters have started asking questions about him. Will has managed to accidentally kill one of them and is wanted by the police. Armed with the Subtle Knife, a tool that cuts any material (including that which separates universes) and Lyra's alethiometer, the children set out to find John Parry, with adults of various stripes in desperate pursuit.

Lyra's finest qualities are her courage and her quick mind. She finds she must use them constantly--not to put too fine a point on it, she must lie and steal to keep herself and Will out of danger. However, she must also know when to tell the truth and when to trust. She does not yet know--though her friends the witches do, and so does the reader--what a huge part she will have in the upcoming battle between Good and Evil. (Age 9 and over) - --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars by a mile 7 Dec 2005
I'm normally reluctant to give 5 stars as overusage makes truly classic books difficult to differentiate, particularly when the book is part of an all-too-common trilogy. However I had no qualms about doing it here.
The Subtle Knife develops the main character Lyra from her adventures and early path to maturity in the Northern Lights and introduces her key comrade Will, as they battle together against and with forces they do not understand.
The story line is tight, well structured and flows at a remarkable pace. The way in which Pullman brings modern theories of Physics into an adventure story is quite an achievement.
A wonderful read.
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96 of 102 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better Than Harry Potter? Yes! 9 Jun 2001
By A Customer
Let's just get this clear - I will read anything. I am never not in the middle of reading a book. Whenever I know I'm nearly at the end of one book, I go out and buy another. I can't stand not having a book to read. Let's get another thing clear - I'm only thirteen, so adults reading this might not want to read my opinion - that's fine by me. Ok.
I have all the Harry Potter books, and my friend recommended Northern Lights to me because she said it was like a girl power equivalent to Harry Potter. I thought that sounded pretty cool, so I gave it a go. I realised that it is nothing like Harry Potter at all! Harry Potter is a *normal* boy in *our* world doing *normal* stuff with a twist of magic. The "His Dark Materials" trilogy is set mainly in *fantasy* worlds, but I suppose that you could say Lyra is kind of normal. Apart from the fact that she has a little Daemon called Pantalaimon. In fact, to her a daemon is normal - apparently seeing somebody without a daemon is like seeing somebody without a head - that's the kind of thing that makes this trilogy good.
This particular book is better than Northern Lights, in my opinion. There's a boy and a girl (Lyra and Will). They both come from different worlds - but they're kind of like parallel universes - there is an Oxford in Lyra's world, but it has certain features that are different, such as the aforementioned daemons and a certain Jordan College, which is not at the *real* Oxford Uni. Then there's ANOTHER world which is totally different. Things called spectres haunt and drown the souls of the adults, but the kids are unaffected. How creepy? And you can hear angels - and there are witches... It's all very creepy, which is v. cool.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sinister as you like 7 Feb 2003
By Tom
When the three parts of a trilogy form such a unity as in His Dark Materials it is perhaps a bit rash to compare them too closely but, like Star Wars, the middle is the best. Although perhaps lacking some of the darkness and sheer imaginative verve of the Amber Spyglass The Subtle Knife still delivers more overall. This is the most sinister book of the three and the most satisfying. The canvass is much more expansive then the Northern Lights but does not yet lose it self somewhat in the infinite splendour of the last book.
This is also our first introduction to Will, who provides an excellent foil for Lyra and is a wholly darker and more complex character. It is through Will and his discovery of the eponymous knife that the plot takes shape and that all the ideas of the whole trilogy finally come to be hung. The fact that Pullman's big ideas are still subsumed and mysterious also sets this book above its successor. The section in the Torre degli Angeli is the most gloriously sinister of the trilogy. The hatred of the children Paulo and Angelica, though almost incidental to the plot, gives a real bite to the central section of the book that is more disturbing then the metaphysical terrors of the Amber Spyglass.
Like Empire Strikes Back though the end is necessarily weak. I was lucky enough to have the next volume to hand and so could just plough straight on. Otherwise this leaves you hanging in mid air with many loose threads still flapping around. That said there is a denouement of sorts when Will finally meets his father, again just like Empire, but that doesn't go all together as expected.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I can't wait 27 Aug 2000
By A Customer
I picked up Northern Lights (the first book of the trilogy) in a book shop about 7 or 8 months ago, and ever since then I have been hooked. I went on to read thism the Subtle Knife, and have been impatiantly awaiting the arrival of the Amber Spyglass for, oh it seems like years. The books are Harry Potter for older readers, with all of the mystery and adventure of JK Rowling - and a lot more of the same, as well as deceit, wickedness and a plot with no tangles in it - you never get caught up. I am fighting against myself over whether to buy the new book in hardback, so i can read it as quickly as possible, or whether to wait and have all three in a matching set. Arrggghh...decisions! I lent the first two books to loads of my friends and everyone I know loved them! So many people have read and re-read them that they are decidedly tattered and dog-eared - but i still can't stop reading them! Admittedly, Northern Lights is better than the Subtle Knife, because of the pure fantasy (whereas Subtle Knife is set partly in our own world, and partly in Lyra's and Cittagazze, Northern Lights is set entirely in Lyra's world - a distrted mirror view of our own) but both books leave you wanting more. Probably the best books for anyone of any agte from about 13.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very good
Published 8 days ago by Sarah Slater
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read
One of the best books I have ever read. Part of a series of three. This was my favourite.
Published 25 days ago by Helen Lennox
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Seriously I love this series. Read it as a teenager, wanted to read it again as it was so memorable.
Published 2 months ago by Mr. Stephen W. Ballard Ltd
5.0 out of 5 stars not just for teenagers
granted it was my daughter that bought the first books but i got this one after getting hooked on the first on just so we had the set. Read more
Published 3 months ago by KARL MITCHELL
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Delivered quickly for my daughter aged 11, who loved the book as she is Philip Pullman mad. Recommend this book and the others in the series.
Published 3 months ago by Zaki Akhtar
5.0 out of 5 stars comment
I am a great fan of Philip Pulman's Dark Materials trilogy and think he is a brilliant and imaginative author. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mina Bowater
5.0 out of 5 stars g
had a chance to read it as I was on holiday, great book as I expected, bla bla bla bla
Published 7 months ago by Bill
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Read
Phillip Pullman books are very good and absorbing would love to have had this as a film to link to the Golden Compass.
Published 8 months ago by lynne hartman
4.0 out of 5 stars A darker instalment to the fantasy trilogy
Continuing with `His Dark Materials' Trilogy, the reader is a little thrown when we are presented with a new character in a world that is identical to our own. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Sarah Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars The Subtle Knife
A good book indeed and I enjoyed reading it, would recommend to reading it. postage and packing as expected,a good book to keep
Published 10 months ago by R. A. Beretta
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