HIS DARK MATERIALS IS SOON TO BE AN HBO ORIGINAL SERIES STARRING DAFNE KEEN, RUTH WILSON, JAMES McAVOY, AND LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA!
The spellbinding sequel to The Golden Compass, the modern fantasy classic that Entertainment Weekly named an "All-Time Greatest Novel" and Newsweek hailed as a "Top 100 Book of All Time," continues the epic adventure, catapulting readers between worlds, and toward a devastating discovery.
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.
A #1 New York Times Bestseller
Published in 40 Countries
“Just as quick-moving and unputdownable as The Golden Compass. . . . The mysteries deepen and the wonders grow even more extravagant.” —The Washington Post
“Pullman’s imagination soars . . . A literary rollercoaster ride you won’t want to miss.”—The Boston Globe
“The story gallops with ferocious momentum . . . Devilishly inventive.” —The New York Times Book Review
More than fulfilling the promise of The Golden Compass, this second volume in the His Dark Materials trilogy starts off at a heart-thumping pace and never slows down. On the run after inadvertently killing one of the sinister men who have been stalking his emotionally disturbed mother, Will, 12, hitchhikes to Oxford to seek information about his father, an explorer who vanished in the Arctic over a decade ago. As Will searches for a place to sleep, he stumbles upon Cittagazze--a deserted city in another world--accessible via a sort of magic gateway located (in one of the story's many witty mixes of the banal and the unearthly) near an ordinary traffic circle. Crossing into this peculiar place, Will encounters Lyra (heroine of the previous book), who has left her own world to find out what she can about the mysterious substance called Dust. Will and Lyra (and Lyra's daemon) join forces and travel between worlds, performing a mind-boggling multidimensional burglary, uncovering the ugly secrets of Cittagazze and gaining hold of an ancient and powerful weapon (the "subtle knife" of the title). Adding to the suspense are subplots involving Lyra's former companion, the Texan balloonist Lee Scoresby; the evil but beautiful Mrs. Coulter; the fierce Northern witch clans; and the mysterious Dr. Stanislaus Grumman. As in Golden Compass, the Arctic settings prove a strikingly original fantasy terrain. And where the first book hinted at a defective cosmology, this work develops that theme in terms of Judeo-Christian theology. Squeamish readers should beware: the narrative touches on such grisly topics as trepanning and genital mutilation. Nevertheless, the grandly exuberant storytelling is sure to enthrall. Ages 10-up.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Better than the 1st book
“The Subtle Knife” picks up the pace from “The Golden Compass” by having the story now cross multiple universes, including our own world. Lyra’s new companion, Will Parry, is, IMO, a much deeper and better developed character than Lyra was in the 1st book. If anything, Will compliments Lyra, making her a fuller and more sympathetic protaganist. Pullman also brings a greater depth to his story and its arc with a myriad of characters and places. Yet, his mixing of science, fantasy and hooey, works well in some instances, not so in others. Given all that, I’m really looking forward to the 3rd book.
Wonderful Middle Piece
The second of the series was amazing and I'm looking forward to the final. So many people when you tell them you're reading a fantasy turn off, like you're some kind loony. They have no idea how powerful and relevant these stories are. They're loss.