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The Subtle Knife

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The Subtle Knife

His Dark Materials Series, Book 2
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"The most magnificent fantasy series since The Lord of the Rings." --The Oregonian 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...
"The most magnificent fantasy series since The Lord of the Rings." --The Oregonian 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...
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    7 - 12

  • "The most magnificent fantasy series since The Lord of the Rings." --The Oregonian

    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
    A Newsweek Top 100 Book of All Time
    An Entertainment Weekly All-Time Greatest Novel

    "The story gallops with ferocious momentum." --The New York Times Book Review
    "Pullman's imagination soars. . . . A literary rollercoaster ride you won't want to miss." --The Boston Globe
    "Destined to become a classic." --Detroit Free Press
    "The Subtle Knife is as absorbing and irresistible as The Golden Compass--and even more so, as powerful forces are set in motion. A brilliantly conceived work." --Lloyd Alexander, author of the Prydain Chronicles, and Newbery Medalist for The High King

  • From the book

    Will tugged at his mother's hand and said, "Come on, comeon ..."

    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

    "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 don't mean to put you off, dear, but--"

    "No! No. She just needs a bit of help. I can't do it myself for a little
    while, but I won't be long. I'm going to ...I've got things to do. But...

About the Author-
  • Philip Pullman is the author of The Golden Compass as well as the highly acclaimed trilogy of Victorian thrillers featuring heroine Sally Lockhart: The Ruby in the Smoke, Shadow in the North, and The Tiger in the Well. A graduate of Oxford University with a degree in English, he teaches literature at Westminster College and has written novels, plays, and picture books for readers of all ages. He lives with his family in England.

    From the Paperback edition.
  • Publishers Weekly (starred review) "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 (starred review) "The intricacy of the plot is staggering...There is no doubt that the work is stunningly ambitious, original, and fascinating."
  • Booklist (starred review) "The character development as well as the relentless pace...make this a resoundingly successful will leave readers desperate for the next installment."
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    Random House Children's Books
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The Subtle Knife
The Subtle Knife
His Dark Materials Series, Book 2
Philip Pullman
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His Dark Materials Series, Book 2
Philip Pullman
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