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The second in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy takes a giant step into cross-world politics, while keeping the story easy enough for kids to follow.
The lead character, Lyra Belacqua, is joined in her quest by Will Parry, a boy who, it seems, also has a destiny to fulfill. Meanwhile, the rest of the heroes from the first book split off on other quests, all of which will eventually lead to the same end point.
Every now and then, you read a book which gives you a feeling of being involved, that something new and exciting is just around the corner. The Subtle Knife does just this. Some unanswered questions from the first book, Northern Lights, are answered. Yet it also poses new ones, providing new characters and beliefs which once again seem to question anything and everything.
It is important to have read Northern Lights before attempting The Subtle Knife, otherwise it is like starting a book halfway through. Many things will not make sense. But once you do so, you will likely not want to put the books down. The moment I finished The Subtle Knife, I picked up the thrid in the trilogy, The Amber Spyglass, and started reading it.
An amazing book, one that keeps you reading on and on and leaves you wanting more and more and more. Get it!