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The Subtle Knife

Cover of The Subtle Knife

The Subtle Knife

His Dark Materials Series, Book 2
Lyra finds herself in a shimmering, haunted underworld—Cittàgazze, where soul-eating Specters stalk the streets and wingbeats of distant angels sound against the sky. But she is not without allies: 12-year-old Will Parry, fleeing for his life after taking another’s, has also stumbled into this strange new realm.
On a perilous journey from world to world, Lyra and Will discover an object of devastating power. And with every step, they move closer to an even greater threat—and the shattering truth of their own destiny.
An Entertainment Weekly All-Time Greatest Novel
Newsweek Top 100 Book of All Time
A #1 New York Times Bestseller

“Pullman’s imagination soars . . . A literary rollercoaster ride you won’t want to miss.”—The Boston Globe
 
“Just as quick-moving and unputdownable as The Golden Compass. . . . The mysteries deepen and the wonders grow even more extravagant.” —The Washington Post Book World
 
“The story gallops with ferocious momentum [and] Pullman is devilishly inventive.” —The New York Times Book Review
 
“The Subtle Knife is as absorbing and irresistible as The Golden Compass—and even more so, as powerful new forces are set in motion. A brilliantly conceived work.” —Lloyd Alexander, author of the Prydain Chronicles, Newbery Medalist for The High King
 
“The intricacy of the plot is staggering. . . .There is no doubt that the work is stunningly ambitious, original, and fascinating.”—The Horn Book Magazine, Starred
 
“Presented in a rush of sensuous detail that moves and entrances . . . [this is] vintage Pullman: gorgeous imagery, pulse-pounding action, and the baiting of readers’ affections.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred
From the Paperback edition.
Lyra finds herself in a shimmering, haunted underworld—Cittàgazze, where soul-eating Specters stalk the streets and wingbeats of distant angels sound against the sky. But she is not without allies: 12-year-old Will Parry, fleeing for his life after taking another’s, has also stumbled into this strange new realm.
On a perilous journey from world to world, Lyra and Will discover an object of devastating power. And with every step, they move closer to an even greater threat—and the shattering truth of their own destiny.
An Entertainment Weekly All-Time Greatest Novel
Newsweek Top 100 Book of All Time
A #1 New York Times Bestseller

“Pullman’s imagination soars . . . A literary rollercoaster ride you won’t want to miss.”—The Boston Globe
 
“Just as quick-moving and unputdownable as The Golden Compass. . . . The mysteries deepen and the wonders grow even more extravagant.” —The Washington Post Book World
 
“The story gallops with ferocious momentum [and] Pullman is devilishly inventive.” —The New York Times Book Review
 
“The Subtle Knife is as absorbing and irresistible as The Golden Compass—and even more so, as powerful new forces are set in motion. A brilliantly conceived work.” —Lloyd Alexander, author of the Prydain Chronicles, Newbery Medalist for The High King
 
“The intricacy of the plot is staggering. . . .There is no doubt that the work is stunningly ambitious, original, and fascinating.”—The Horn Book Magazine, Starred
 
“Presented in a rush of sensuous detail that moves and entrances . . . [this is] vintage Pullman: gorgeous imagery, pulse-pounding action, and the baiting of readers’ affections.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred
From the Paperback edition.
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    7 - 12

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Awards-
Excerpts-
  • From the cover Will tugged at his mother's hand and said, "Come on, come
    on  ..."

    But his mother hung back. She was still afraid. Will looked up and down
    the narrow street in the evening light, along the little terrace of
    houses, each behind its tiny garden and its box hedge, with the sun
    glaring off the windows of one side and leaving the other in shadow. There
    wasn't much time. People would be having their meal about now, and soon
    there would be other children around, to stare and comment and notice. It
    was dangerous to wait, but all he could do was persuade her, as usual.

    "Mum, let's go in and see Mrs. Cooper," he said. "Look, we're nearly
    there."

    "Mrs. Cooper?" she said doubtfully.

    But he was already ringing the bell. He had to put down the bag to do it,
    because his other hand still held his mother's. It might have bothered him
    at twelve years of age to be seen holding his mother's hand, but he knew
    what would happen to her if he didn't.

    The door opened, and there was the stooped elderly figure of the piano
    teacher, with the scent of lavender water about her as he remembered.

    "Who's that? Is that William?" the old lady said. "I haven't seen you for
    over a year. What do you want, dear?"

    "I want to come in, please, and bring my mother," he said firmly.

    Mrs. Cooper looked at the woman with the untidy hair and the distracted
    half-smile, and at the boy with the fierce, unhappy glare in his eyes, the
    tight-set lips, the jutting jaw. And then she saw that Mrs. Parry, Will's
    mother, had put makeup on one eye but not on the other. And she hadn't
    noticed. And neither had Will. Something was wrong.

    "Well ..." she said, and stepped aside to make room in the narrow hall.

    Will looked up and down the road before closing the door, and Mrs. Cooper
    saw how tightly Mrs. Parry was clinging to her son's hand, and how
    tenderly he guided her into the sitting room where the piano was (of
    course, that was the only room he knew); and she noticed that Mrs. Parry's
    clothes smelled slightly musty, as if they'd been too long in the washing
    machine before drying; and how similar the two of them looked as they sat
    on the sofa with the evening sun full on their faces, their broad
    cheekbones, their wide eyes, their straight black brows.

    "What is it, William?" the old lady said. "What's the matter?"

    "My mother needs somewhere to stay for a few days," he said. "It's too
    difficult to look after her at home just now. I don't mean she's ill.
    She's just kind of confused and muddled, and she gets a bit worried. She
    won't be hard to look after. She just needs someone to be kind to her, and
    I think you could do that quite easily, probably."

    The woman was looking at her son without seeming to understand, and Mrs.
    Cooper saw a bruise on her cheek. Will hadn't taken his eyes off Mrs.
    Cooper, and his expression was desperate.

    "She won't be expensive," he went on. "I've brought some packets of food,
    enough to last, I should think. You could have some of it too. She won't
    mind sharing."

    "But ...I don't know if I should ...Doesn't she need a doctor?"

    "No! She's not ill."

    "But there must be someone who can ...I mean, isn't there a neighbor or
    someone in the family--"

    "We haven't got any family. Only us. And the neighbors are too busy."

    "What about the social services? I...
Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Classic themes of good versus evil, innocence versus experience intertwine with those of intrigue and deception, compassion and loyalty in this second volume of the fantasy trilogy HIS DARK MATERIALS. The audio production is equally well crafted. The clear, crisp tones of author/narrator Philip Pullman blend seamlessly with the multi-voiced cast of characters. From first to last, the actors bring the vivid landscape of personalities to life, while the phrases of music by composer Peter Pontzen, which introduce each chapter, add color and texture to the story's predominantly dark mood. The superb production of this fascinating fantasy epic makes it a heart-thumping listening adventure. J.J.F. Winner of AUDIOFILE Earphones Award. (c) AudioFile 2000, Portland, Maine
  • Publishers Weekly, Starred "More than fulfilling the promise of The Golden Compass, this second volume starts off at a heart-thumping pace and never slows down....The grandly exuberant storytelling is sure to enthrall."
  • The Horn Book Magazine, Starred "The intricacy of the plot is staggering. . . .There is no doubt that the work is stunningly ambitious, original, and fascinating."
  • Booklist, Starred "The character development as well as the relentless pace . . . make this a resoundingly successful sequel . . . it will leave readers desperate for the next installment."
  • The Boston Globe "A literary rollercoaster ride you won't want to miss."
Title Information+
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    Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
  • OverDrive MP3 Audiobook
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  • OverDrive MP3 Audiobook
    Burn to CD: 
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    Public performance: 
    Not permitted
    File-sharing: 
    Not permitted
    Peer-to-peer usage: 
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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The Subtle Knife
The Subtle Knife
His Dark Materials Series, Book 2
Philip Pullman
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