The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman

15 Aug

Title: The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials #2)

Author: Philip Pullman

Publisher: Alfred Knopf

Genre: YA Fantasy

Pages: 326

Rating:   5 / 5 stars

Reading Challenges: Fantasy; Mount TBR; What’s in a Name — Pocket

How I Got It: I own it!

In The Subtle Knife, readers are introduced to Will Parry, a young boy living in modern-day Oxford, England. Will is only twelve years old, but he bears the responsibilities of an adult. Following the disappearance of his explorer-father, John Parry, during an expedition in the North, Will became parent, provider and protector to his frail, confused mother. And it’s in protecting her that he becomes a murderer, too: he accidentally kills a man who breaks into their home to steal valuable letters written by John Parry. After placing his mother in the care of a kind friend, Will takes those letters and sets off to discover the truth about his father.

Warning: This review may contain spoilers concerning The Golden Compass… 

This book had some crazy twist and turns. The first part of the novel I was confused.  How does everything fit together?  Who is Will?  How is he connected to the larger war?  And how is he connected to Lyra?  What are the Specters?  What does Mrs. Coulter want?  Is Stannislaus still alive?  How is he connected to everything?  How are all the worlds connected?  Why are they connected?

So many questions…  We don’t get them all answered in this volume, but it certainly sheds light on many of the mysteries.  I loved how we get to see the worlds and the quest through another pair of eyes, Will Parry.  He’s an interesting counterpart to Lyra.  In fact, he seems to have a controlling effect on her that I wouldn’t think possibile after the first book.  She is growing.  Will is growing.  All of the other characters are playing intregral parts to that growth and their futures.

Throughout the book, I found myself having to pause and reflect on what I read. I didn’t power through the pages like I usually do.  I savored the paragraphs.  I stopped to think of answers to questions either posed by characters or ones that popped into my head.  I’m very intrigued by where this is all going.  J told me that I would have to read all three books back to back.  I didn’t believe him at the start, but I do know.  I will definitely be continuing with The Amber Spyglass just as soon as I get something to eat…

His Dark Materials

  1. The Golden Compass
  2. The Subtle Knife
  3. The Amber Spyglass


Posted by on August 15, 2012 in Book Reviews


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3 responses to “The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman

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