Review: The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials #2) by Philip Pullman


I say again, “This is a children’s series?!?!?”

The Subtle Knife picks up soon after Northern Lights and introduces us to Will.  He is a young man that lives in a different world from Lyra yet their paths are destined to cross.  When they meet, fate drives them each towards a dangerous journey.

As I finished reading this morning, I immediately started thinking about how best to write a review.  And, you know what?  I’ve got nothing.  Spoilers would be too easy and my puny words wouldn’t be sufficient to describe the emotion that Pullman has elicited.

My rating may show as 4-stars but the truth is that this is a 5-star read.  I deducted one star simply because the middle bogged down a little and the pacing felt off.  But, the beginning was strong.  And, the ending.  The ending.

I flew through the final 25% like the witches fly through the clouds.  There were a few jaw-dropping moments that had me struggling to see through the tears.  I grew ever more attached to Lyra and came to love others as well.  When they were fighting, I was raising my sword with them.  When they were in pain, I cradled my hand in sympathy.  And, when they experienced loss, I screamed at the heavens with all my might.

How good is The Subtle Knife?  I am about to put it on my shelf, pull down The Amber Spyglass and read until I know the outcome.  Because I need to see this through.  For Lyra, Will and the rest of the world.

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