The Subtle Knife - Wikipedia

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The Subtle Knife: His Dark Materials 2

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Poetic language will grip readers. And even reluctant readers will find enough non-stop action here to stick with this book -- and move on to other installments in the series.

There are obvious themes of good versus evil -- though who is who may sometimes surprise readers. Also, readers will pick up on a message about having courage to go on.

Kids are attacked repeatedly. The battles over the Knife, in which Will loses fingers, are bloody. Will accidentally kills a man. Many scary moments, including being surrounded by soul-sucking ghosts. Will, trying to save his mother, meets his father just before he dies.

Parents need to know that this brilliantly constructed story, even faster-paced than the first book, keeps readers breathless. There is some intense violence in this fantasy world: The child protagonists are attacked repeatedly and surrounded by soul-sucking ghosts, and the battles over the Knife, in which Will loses fingers, are bloody. Also, Will accidentally kills a man. But, the brilliant writing inspires imagination. Lyra and Will demonstrate loyalty, determination, and responsibility, even if they are not always honest.

Lyra's desperate adventures continue as she passes into a world called CittĂ gazze, where she meets a boy named Will, destined to become the Bearer of the Subtle Knife, which can cut anything, even the boundaries between worlds. Meanwhile, the nefarious Mrs. Coulter is out to stop Lyra from fulfilling her destiny, everyone is after the knife, and Lord Asriel is amassing the greatest army ever gathered for an assault on The Authority who is, well, God. And as happened once before, the angels are lining up on both sides.

Families can talk about how this book compares to the first book. Common Sense marked the first book, The Golden Compass , OK for 10 and older, but said this one is better for 12 and up. Do you agree? Why do series tend to get darker and more violent as they go on?



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