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THE SUBTLE KNIFE (original 1997; edition 1999)


Series: His Dark Materials (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
22,314333118 (4.06)401
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.
Info:ALFRED A. KNOPF (1999), Paperback
Collections:Your library

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The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman (1997)

  1. 73
    The Neverending Story by Michael Ende (Leishai)
    Leishai: Also a story about fantasy with another world
  2. 52
    Wizard and Glass by Stephen King (levasssp)
    levasssp: or any of the Dark Tower series...similarities include an ability to travel between different, but closely related, worlds through portals or doors. Additionally, there are themes of religion, good/bad and questions about "essence" that are similar in both series.… (more)
  3. 21
    The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers (Leishai)
  4. 11
    Lycidas by Christoph Marzi (Leishai)

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» See also 401 mentions

English (318)  Spanish (3)  French (2)  German (2)  Dutch (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Danish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (330)
Showing 1-5 of 318 (next | show all)
This was a reread about 13 years later. As before, I really enjoyed this book and so far it remains my favourite of the trilogy. Will is a a wonderfully complex character and Lyra seems to have grown from the first book by learning from her mistakes and feeling regret about them. There was a strong opening and end, while at times the middle slowed and became a little bogged down with all the different perspectives. Reading this now, I'm better able to grasp the theological and philosophical themes that went over my head on he first read. Thoroughly enjoyed. ( )
  sianhopper | Dec 6, 2021 |
YA fantasy fiction; not my cuppa tea ( )
  dualmon | Nov 17, 2021 |
Looses a bit of the charm from the original since it expands the story and takes us other places that I don't find so enchanting. Pullman's worldview also shines through a lot more which can get in your face at times but not enough to stop me from wondering what Lyra will get up to next. The end is a killer cliffhanger though, not as self contained as the original and it's practically forcing me to read the (hopefully) last book. ( )
  nosborm | Oct 10, 2021 |
The first book in the series was good. It declines from there steadily. ( )
  mgplavin | Oct 3, 2021 |
I truly enjoy the writing style of Philip Pullman he has a great way of creating a believable but still fantastical world and populating it with interesting and intriguing characters. I do not enjoy the ending to this series at all but I can still enjoy the series as a whole even if the ending deeply irks me. ( )
  KateKat11 | Sep 24, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 318 (next | show all)
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 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.

» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pullman, Philipprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bailey, PeterIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bützow, HeleneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nielsen, CliffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Peterson, EricCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rohmann, EricCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tutino, AlfredoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Will tugged at his mother's hand and said, "Come on, come on..." But his mother hung back.
“I’m only an ignorant aëronaut. I’m so damn ignorant I believed it when I was told that shamans had the gift of flight, for example. Yet here’s a shaman who hasn’t.”

“Oh, but I have.”

“How d’you make that out?”

The balloon was drifting lower, and the ground was rising. […]

“I needed to fly,” said Grumman, “so I summoned you, and here I am, flying.”
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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.

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Average: (4.06)
0.5 4
1 64
1.5 13
2 248
2.5 60
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3.5 291
4 2300
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