Philip Pullman's Subtle Knife - description?

Can anyone tell me how Pullman describes the Subtle Knife, the special knife that can cut passages between different worlds (it is in the second part of the trilogy His Dark Materials)? How big it is, how does its handle look like etc.? I don't have the book with me, and I cannot find it on the internet... Thanks!


Thanks, Queasy! I wanted to mark your reply as the "Best Answer" but the option does not appear as yet. When it will, you have it granted!

2 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    "It was an ordinary-looking dagger, with a double-sided blade of dull metal about eight inches long, a short crosspiece of the same metal, and a handle of rose-wood. As he looked at it more closely, he saw that the rose wood was inlaid with golden wires, forming a design he didn't recognize till he turned the knife around and saw an angel, with wings folded. On the other side was a different angel, with wings upraised. The wires stood out a little from the surface, giving a firm grip, and as he picked it up he felt that it was light in his hand and strong and beautifully balanced, and that the blade was not dull after all. In fact, a swirl of cloudy colors seemed to live just under the surface of the metal, bruise purples, sea blues, earth browns, cloud grays, and the deep green under heavy-foliaged trees, the clustering shades at the mouth of a tomb as evening falls over a deserted graveyard... If there was such a thing as shadow-colored, it was the blade of the subtle knife.

    But the edges were different. In fact, the two edges differed from each other. One was a clear bright steel, merging a little way back into those subtle shadow-colors, but steel of an incomparable sharpness. Will's eye shrank back, from looking at it, so sharp did it seem. The other edge was just as keen, but silvery in color, and Lyra, who was looking at it over Will's shoulder, said: 'I seen that color before! That's the same as the blade they was going to cut me and Pan apart with – that's just the same!'"

    Source(s): p. 180 - 181, The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman
  • aguila
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    they have been fairly dark. that's been a mutually as on the grounds that i examine them yet i'm making plans on rereading them until now the action picture comes out. i submit to in innovations that i loved the 1st e book the main.

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