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The second book in the world-renowned His Dark Materials trilogy.

She had asked: What is he? A friend or an enemy?
The alethiometer answered: He is a murderer.
When she saw the answer, she relaxed at once.

Lyra finds herself in a shimmering, haunted otherworld – Cittàgazze, where soul-eating Spectres stalk the streets and wingbeats of distant angels sound against the sky. But she is not without allies: twelve-year-old Will Parry, fleeing for his life after taking another's, has also stumbled into this strange new realm.

On a perilous journey from world to world, Lyra and Will uncover a deadly secret: an object of extraordinary and devastating power. And with every step, they move closer to an even greater threat – and the shattering truth of their own destiny.


A dazzling sequel to the much praised Northern Lights. Angels, witches and magic sit comfortably beside physics, religion and philosophy as the story moves towards an end that leaves the reader breathless for the final volume.


The Subtle Knife is the second volume of a trilogy that promises to live alongside the works of Tolkien and C. S. Lewis as an icon of imaginative writing for children. It's a claim made for many books but it is to be taken seriously in Philip Pullman's case, because of the depth of his vision.

The Times

This extraordinary, multi-layered masterpiece will harness the imaginations of children and adults now and in future generations.

Daily Mail

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Formats & editions

  • EBook


    March 5, 2015

    RHCP Digital

    448 pages

    Online retailers

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    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by Philip Pullman

La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One
His Dark Materials
Northern Lights - The Graphic Novel
The Firework-Maker's Daughter
Clockwork Or All Wound Up
I Was A Rat! Or The Scarlet Slippers
Northern Lights - The Graphic Novel Volume 2
His Dark Materials: The Complete Trilogy
Northern Lights - The Graphic Novel Volume 1
The Adventures of the New Cut Gang
The Collectors
Northern Lights: His Dark Materials 1
The Amber Spyglass: His Dark Materials 3
Grimm Tales
Magic Beans: A Handful of Fairytales from the Storybag
Four Tales
The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ
Once Upon a Time in the North
Count Karlstein - The Novel
The Scarecrow And His Servant
I Was a Rat!
Lyra's Oxford
Puss In Boots


WaR: Wizards And Robots
Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons series)
Ranger's Apprentice 1: The Ruins Of Gorlan
The Hazel Wood
Charlie And The Great Glass Elevator
Magisterium: The Silver Mask
The Alchemyst
Magnus Chase And The Ship Of The Dead (Book 3)
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
Kensy and Max 1: Breaking News
A Wrinkle In Time
La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One
Mummy Fairy And Me
Friday Barnes 1: Girl Detective
Hatchimals: The Official Colleggtor's Guide
Boy Overboard
Great Expectations