The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials #2)

The Subtle Knife


Lost in a new world, Lyra finds Will--a boy on the run, a murderer--a worthy and welcome ally. For this is a world where soul-eating Specters stalk the streets and witches share the skies with troops of angels.
Each is searching--Lyra for the meaning of Dark Matter, Will for his missing father—but what they find instead is a deadly secret, a knife of untold power. And neither Lyra nor Will suspects how tightly their lives, their loves, their destinies are bound together . . . until they are split apart. (Summary and cover courtesy of


This is easily the weakest book in the series and that’s a little surprising for a sequel.  There were a lot of things introduced that needed to be explained, but honestly I just didn’t connect with Will very well.  I also didn’t find the storyline revolving around the knife nearly as interesting, but perhaps that’s just me.

I think this book is also the point where Pullman makes this book slightly less for the younger audiences and more for the religious standpoint.  I don’t necessarily mean that as a bad thing, but had I read this one as a kid I think I would have been disappointed.  In any event, my other complaint is that this book was definitely a bridge to get to the last story as well.  There wasn’t much plot in it, just moving along the events until the finale in the third book.  That being said, it was well-written and got me interesting in the third book so I’d say it was a success in the end.

Warning: Contains violenceb

Rating: 4 stars!

Who should read it? Folks invested in the series

Want to read the whole series?