Read Silver On The Tree by Susan Cooper Online

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This is the fifth and last book in "The Dark Is Rising" sequence. The Dark is rising in its last and greatest bid to control the world. The servants of the light: Will Stanton, the last of the Old Ones, the mysterious Professor Merriman, and the strange albino Welsh boy, Bran, are helped by three ordinary children in this last desperate battle....

Title : Silver On The Tree
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781416949688
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 288 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Silver On The Tree Reviews

  • David
    2018-11-24 12:13

    Fire on the mountain shall find the harp of goldPlayed to wake the Sleepers, oldest of the old;Power from the green witch, lost beneath the sea;All shall find the Light at last, silver on the tree.This was my Harry Potter, you kids.It is still magic.September 2013 rereadI still remember the day in fifth grade, many, many years ago, when the school librarian told me that the book I'd been waiting for was in. Silver on the Tree, the fifth and final volume in Susan Cooper's Dark is Rising sequence.It was this cover:I had torn through the first four books. (I think I read the first one, Over Sea, Under Stone, out of order the first time, which was okay because it's kind of a prequel to the rest of the series.) With the second one, The Dark is Rising, I was hooked. For some reason I had to wait for the fifth book, though. When the librarian handed it to me, I was thrilled... but also sad. I remember that distinctly. I was sad, because I was about to read the last book and then it would be over.I remember loving this concluding volume, but also feeling such sadness when I was finished because the series was over.I haven't felt anything like that since, until a few years ago when I read the entire Harry Potter series in a month. While the feelings were not as strong because I'm older and more jaded, and while I can certainly recognize Rowling's flaws as a writer, the fact that Harry and his friends in their silly boy wizard fantasy world managed to conjure some of the same emotions I once felt as a ten-year-old is the reason why I credit Rowling with having created something truly timeless and special, even if I can point to a dozen fantasy series that are objectively better-written. I don't know what that "special sauce" is in a children's book series that makes it transcend plot and prose and curl literary fingers around your heart, but Rowling had it, and Susan Cooper had it.Now, I am not much of a rereader. I almost never reread books. I understand a lot of people reread their favorite books often. There are people who boast of reading the entire Harry Potter series a dozen times. (I read them each once. That's it.) It's a habit I just don't get, even if I realize I am the unusual one. To my way of thinking, there are thousands of books I'd like to read and will never get to before I die, so why waste one of the finite "reading slots" allotted to me in my lifetime to a book I've already read?Still, now and then I do reread something, usually something I read so long ago I've forgotten it. Maybe in twenty or thirty years I will reread Harry Potter.Over the past year, I cautiously and with some trepidation approached my favorite childhood series once again. Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising. I was afraid the series I loved so much as a child would be a pale, childish shadow when read as an adult who's read thousands of books since. I've read the Chronicles of Narnia and the Lord of the Rings (well, I lie, I have never read the LotR all the way through, I need to do that one of these days) and lots of other fantasy, MG and YA and adult and grimdark. So nothing can be as new and fresh for me as Susan Cooper's books were when I first read them, nor as tragic.I didn't want to find out that they just weren't that special, though.To be honest, I enjoyed them on my reread, but yes, I'm an adult now and these books are written for children, so they just didn't enthrall me the way they did when I was ten. A fine series, and great, descriptive, evocative writing — Susan Cooper is so much better than J.K. Rowling when it comes to putting words on the page and imagery in your head.But until the last book, it was a pleasant nostalgia trip, but as I expected, they have aged perfectly well but they have aged.Then I got to the last few chapters of Silver on the Tree. And... it wasn't quite the same. Not quite. But I felt it again. That ten-year-old inside me remembers.Silver on the Tree relates the final battle between the Dark and the Light. It brings together all the characters who have been serving the cause of the Light throughout the first four books, sometimes together and sometimes separately: the Drew children, Jane, Simon, and Barney; Will Stanton, the last of the Old Ones, simultaneously a pre-adolescent boy and an immortal wizard with all the magical knowledge of the ages at his command; Bran, the albino boy taken out of time to fulfill a destiny set for him a thousand years earlier; and Merriman, of course.The Dark Rider returns too, along with a White Rider, and all the other forces of the Dark. Susan Cooper didn't write a plot so full of crafty easter eggs as Rowling did, but like Rowling, she will make use in the last book of things mentioned in all the preceding ones. Will and Bran have to go on a quest that resounds with Celto-Arthurian mythology, and the Drew children have their own mortal part to play. All that was fun and splendid and rich, that alone would have made this the best book of the series.But the ending — in which there is love and loss and sacrifice on a scale that probably only J.R.R. Tolkien or CS Lewis have approached in children's literature. Definitely not Rowling. I'm sorry, killing an owl and a Weasley or two is cheap tear-jerking. But the part that John Rowlands plays in the final confrontation, even after learning the truth about his wife, was about as intense as a ten-year-old reader could probably have grasped, when conveying adult feelings of grief and loss. Followed by the arrival of the King, and Bran's decision, and then... Will, left alone with the Drews, and what they lose as well.It's a happy ending - the good guys win, of course. And Susan Cooper's finale is more bloodless than Rowling's. There's hardly any actual bloodshed throughout the series; for all that the Dark is the manifestation of everything evil and selfish in the human heart, the child protagonists are always protected by "rules" that limit when the forces at war can do direct harm.But it's a very bittersweet victory. You can see them walking off into the sunset, and know that it's over.5 stars for the child in everyone's heart.

  • Maggie
    2018-12-05 20:13

    I remember loving these books as a child but I had forgotten how much I skipped over. Re-reading childhood favorites is dangerous, but in the case of the Dark Is Rising books, you really should not do it.What I loved was the Drew children, because Stone Over Sea is a wonderful book and I kept reading to get more of them. But everything having to do with Will Stanton was so outrageously irritating, I nearly didn't finish the fifth book, Silver on the Tree. Good lord. He magically gets all these outrageous powers with no effort, then is a rarefied Old One and crucial to the survival of the world.First off, I hate it when people get superpowers without any cost. Second, Will is boring. He just is. He doesn't have to fight for anything. Third, his powers are awfully convenient, or inconvenient, and that's just annoying. Every E. Nesbit book is infinitely more careful about powers and rules and costs than these books.Silver On the Tree was the worst offender, followed closely by The Dark Is Rising, for being full of convoluted and nonsensical challenges and mysterious labyrinths of guesswork. About fifty pages of Silver on the Tree, the part in the Lost Lands, could have been cut out with no discernible loss. I went back to read these because of my own writing in YA, and I did learn a lot, but I never expected so much of it to be what not to do! I learned a tremendous amount about writing terror in children. Stone Over Sea is completely terrifying, Barney and Jane and Simon constantly in situations far beyond their understanding or capabilities. But that is nearly always human danger, danger from recognizable human sources, even when those are driven by the Dark. When the danger is oversized and silly, it's impossible to grasp, like the absurd Tethys and the bellowing Greenwitch, who just become bizarre and almost laughable in Greenwitch, after a very promising beginning with an extremely frightening figure made of branches and leaves. Whereas by far the most terrifying thing to me in the whole series was the farmer who shot Bran's beautiful dog. I'm still in shock from that. So when I write YA with supernatural elements, I want to be sure to keep my evil and my danger located firmly in the human. The supernatural is always a metaphor, somehow, isn't it? The supernatural Dark should stand for the darkness within us, not the other way around.

  • Andres
    2018-11-18 17:06

    This was a disappointing end to a disappointing series. "It's all too... vague," says Jane at one point, at the start of yet another random adventure, a sentiment that unfortunately applies to the whole of The Dark Is Rising sequence.I don't even know where to begin, so I'll start with the same criticisms I had with the other four books: no explanation about how all the magic works and overuse of capitalized words that signify nothing. Now, there is a little speech Will gives at the beginning of this book about how there are the Old Magic, Wild Magic, and High Magic, and how there are two "poles" (the Light and the Dark) and how the Old Ones are there to keep the Dark at bay, etc. But this is a summing up of rather than an out and out explanation. There's no exploration of the myriad things they can or cannot do, seemingly dictated by what is needed by the plot. There doesn't seem to be any set rules by which all this magic is governed, and any new magic is introduced to fit the plot and isn't really revisited again.Questions! I have so many questions that I know now will never be answered, such as:-What does it mean when Will's scar burns?-Why do Will and Merriman shout at each other in loud situations when they can easily use their telepathy?-Why does Will have trouble learning Welsh in "The Grey King" when in "Silver on the Tree" it says that learning a new language (in this case Latin) "came without effort to an Old One, as did any language of the world..." (Chapter 3: The Calling).-Why do bunches of twigs from 7 different trees make magic grenades?-If the Drew kids are so important to the whole saving the world adventure, why are they continually kept in the dark about what's going on?-You must do what I say or something bad will happen.-Okay, what do I have to do?-I can't tell you that.-Why?-Can't tell you that either.-Why is the Lady so weak throughout the whole series, and yet when the Dark issues a challenge to the High Magic court of law (I KID YOU NOT!) she appears as if nothing were wrong with her and helps officiate?-Why would there be a freaking courtroom scene right in the middle of the buildup to the end battle? As in, both sides are racing to the battlefield and boom! court scene?-Why do the Dark and the Light follow what the High Magic court says when Will himself earlier said "No other power orders them"?-Why was there a slight rewrite about what happened when the six Signs were joined? What Will remembers here is different that what happened in the 2nd book.-Why would the revealing of a "mole" be shocking here when the character was really barely introduced in this volume and exists only for a few pages of the whole saga?-Why would anyone think this is as good or better than Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Narnia, or His Dark Materials?I could go on, but my point is made. The writing and descriptions are well done, the story imaginative, but it's all for naught if the details are lacking and the plot is weak. Even the philosophical underpinnings are contradictory and muddled. I don't recommend this for anyone above the age of 12. There are far better thought out and sophisticated books and series out there than the Dark Is Rising's simplistic approach to everything.-So, what's my job as an Old One?-You, and only you, can find the objects needed to vanquish the enemy.-Okay, where is the first one?-Everywhere and nowhere. Here and there. In This Time and Out of Time.-....-(pointing) It's over there.-Oh, there it is. That was easy.-You did have to get a chair to reach up there.-I guess.-Okay, so the Five of us are here.-Shouldn't there be Six of us?-Shut up, that doesn't matter right now.-You don't have to be rude.-That's the way it is with us Old Ones.-So where's this thing we're supposed to find?-I haven't said that part yet!-Sorry. Go ahead.-I'll say it when I want to, not when you tell me. (pause) Okay, so we have to find this hidden object.-Where?-I dunno. All I have is this mysterious riddle. "Find the thing you're looking for somewhere that isn't here."-What kind of riddle is that? Everywhere else is somewhere that isn't here.-Well lets start looking then. (pointing) Let's start over there.-Omigod, it's right there!-Whew! That was really hard.-No it wasn't. We found it in the first place we looked.-You know, it's a good thing you won't remember any of this when we're done.-Okay, so I'm a normal human child. What do I have to do to defeat the Dark?-Tsk child, there's no such thing.-But you just told me there was. There's a Dark and a Light, and the Light is good and the Dark is bad.-(waving his hand in the air) Forget everything child, you are just a human who can't handle knowing these things.-Who the eff are you? Obi Wan?-I said forget!!-Forget what?-Good. Now, we have a very important thing to do.-What?-We must find... a hidden object.-Why?-Because if We don't find it... They will.-Who's they?-They! With a capital T!-Okay... who are They?-They are the Dark. We are the Light.-I thought I wasn't supposed to know that.-When it's convenient for me. Now go find it!-So, the end battle, is it gonna be totally rad and violent and epic?-It sure is!-There's six of us. Well, actually seven, maybe eight, but whatever. What's our role? What's gonna make us beat the Dark? The magic sword? The six magic signs? The albino kid? Merlin? The old broad?-No. Well yes, but not really.-So... what?-Well, we're gonna pick a flower.-Say what?-It's a totally magical flower though. On a totally magic tree.-We need seven people and a magical lady to do this?-Yes.-Really?-Yes.-Really really?-Yes! We need the sword to cut the flower.-So, any one of us could do this.-No, only the albino kid can use the sword. The rest of us have to help keep the Dark away.-How?-We'll stand around the tree holding the Signs.-Oh. We can't just put them around the tree?-No.-We have to hold them? One per Sign?-Yup.-Why?-....because.

  • Tyas
    2018-11-22 18:12

    Some authors treat magic in a somehow mechanistic way, although perhaps no explanation is offered for how the magic works.The magic user says a spell, flames light up.The magic user says a spell, he levitates.The magic user says a spell, somebody dies.As easy as that.But there are other authors who can do more than that: they create worlds in which magic feels like air filling the atmosphere there, seeping through the words that we read so that we feel magical ourselves. One of the authors with such ability is Susan Cooper, known best for her The Dark Is Rising sequence. And this is the last book of the sequence, Silver on the Tree.Just like in the previous book, especially The Dark Is Rising and its Wild Hunt, magic runs wild in Silver on the Tree; things happen, impossible to be explained; don’t ask, don’t ask, just enjoy the ride.A train that appears from nowhere, taking passengers from different times in history?A lost land that is visited when it’s not been lost yet?A leap through time and space – will it disrupt and change the future? Will it? Won’t it? How? How?There, there, this is magic, although this does not mean the story does not show an internal consistency. There is High Magic; there is Wild Magic; and there are Light and Dark, bound by rules, and this is the final clash between both. The Six must go through different ordeals, face nightmares—indeed, the original nightmare—and make difficult decisions.Just like the Arthurian legends on which the sequence is based, there are hints of Christian influence; I reached a point that to me Arthur seemed like the Father, Bran Jesus, while Herne the Hunter the Holy Ghost. But just like the Arthurian legends, the sequence contains more than just references to Christianity; they’re always a mix-up bag that also consists of the so-called paganism and whatnot. Merriman’s final speech is just astonishing seen from that perspective, somehow implying that the human race do not need supernatural, if Divine, intervention anymore, that they do not need to wait for another second coming. The world will still be imperfect, because man is imperfect; bad things will still happen, but in the long run, the worse will never win over the better.The only thing that a bit disappoints me at the end is just that... I wish memory stays. (I hope I don’t spoil the end for you by telling you this.)I sighed when I closed the book after reading the last page. What a magical journey it had been, and how I enjoyed it so much.

  • TheBookSmugglers
    2018-11-26 14:57

    Well, this was exceedingly disappointing.Silver on the Tree encapsulates and highlights every single thing that was frustrating about the series as a whole: the vagueness of the plot, the lack of any real sense of danger (considering that the Dark!is!Rising!), the quests that are not really quests and are more like stumbling unto Things, the overwhelming sense that everything is pre-ordained even though everybody talks about free will, the lack of any character development, the romantic obsession with King Arthur.Actually, I am still not really sure what exactly the Dark is. How is it Rising. What would happen if they did. I mean, I understand in theory because evil is something we all know about but I do not think this was transplanted into the pages that well – it almost feels like there is a reliance on pre-knowledge of tropes and ideas and because of this a lot of the world-building, if we can even call it that, is merely glossed over.Speaking of the Dark and of Evil. There is one particular moment in this book that gave me cause for pause. The Drews witness a young boy being attacked because he is Indian. It is a very in-your-face moment that is later revealed to be a sign that the Dark is indeed rising – as though racism is a result of magical evil and not a social construct. Does this mean that now that the Dark has not risen, there will no longer be racism in the world? I’d say this is not the intention here because the idea that humans can be both good and bad and have free will is reinforced throughout but then I ask you, what is the point of the Dark?? Either Racism is a result of the dark rising or it’s a human thing. This series has no internal logic, guys.Stuff happen because they must, tasks and quests are undertaken by rota and challenges are faced in the most anticlimactic way by people remembering things they already know “deep inside” or by reciting poems and singing. We are told over and over again that the main characters are protected and nothing will happen to them and as such, any sense of real menace is taken away and everybody (both Dark and Light) just follows these rules and it is just so, SO boring. The Drew siblings are brought back because they have an essential role to play and that role is… to hold a Sign? It was hinted throughout that Barney is special but that went exactly nowhere. Worst of all: this is the last book in a series and after a long build up to the Dark Rising, the ending comes and it is anticlimactic to the extreme. Did I get it right that the Dark Would Rise only if they got a mistletoe from a tree? Did that really happen?An example of interaction between Light, Dark and Humans:Dark: *dramatically rides into the scene* I CHALLENGE YOU, LIGHTLight: OK.Me: *perks* This is going to finally get good!Dark: *darkly says* I challenge you to a… parley. Let’s talk about this boy Bran. He does not belong here and therefore cannot use his sword to do the thing.Light: OK, let us ask this one human guy what he thinks.Human Guy: He belongs here because he doesn’t speak Latin.Everybody: Ok then, fine. Let him play.Me: Wait. What just happened?And what of the female characters? They are few and of the three with bigger roles, one turns out to be a villain, Jane spends most of this book having “strange feelings” about… things and then the Lady, whom we had been promised had an important role to play in the end, comes back to… give Jane a message?And then, then we have that insufferable ending where everybody – all humans – are made to forget everything. Even though they are supposed to have free will. Except they don’t cause no one chooses this. I can see the intention behind this as I am sure the point here is that humans should go on living without knowledge of magic. But. Then. What. Is. The. Point. Of. This. Series.Silver on the Tree is not only an unsatisfactory end to a series but also I dare say… not a very good book at all.So now that it’s all read and done, where does that leave me? I am ultimately glad I gave the series a chance and read it but I can’t really say I found it specially good or interesting. I know this is a nostalgic childhood favourite for many people and I do wonder if had I read this when a child at a time when YA was not such a strong presence in book stores, if I would have felt differently.

  • Nikki
    2018-12-09 16:57

    In this last book, everything comes together. All the characters, all the plots and threads, all the separate pieces of mythology. Again, it's a beautiful book, and again, as always, there is some amazing characterisation. The things that catch my eye especially in this book are the initial awe/resentment of Bran from the Drews, Gwion's loyalty to and grief for Gwddyno, and John's grief when Blodwen betrays him. There's a lot of complex emotion going on here beneath the actual plot, and parts of it really, really hurt. There are also some parts that never fail to make me smile, like Barney's enthusiasm, and Bran and Will's Arthur/Merlin dynamic.The actual end of the book and sequence both is at once exhilarating and hurtful. "Five shall return, and one go alone", says the prophecy, but I can't help but think that is ambiguous. Is it that Will, Jane, Simon, Barney and Bran return to our world, and Merriman goes alone? Or is it that Jane, Simon, Barney, Bran and Merriman return to where they belong, while Will is left alone? I suspect it's the former, but there's truth in the latter too: when you imagine how abandoned Will is.I do love Bran's choice, despite what it leads to, because that's realistic. An adopted child doesn't lose their feelings for their adoptive parent just because they meet their biological parent. Bran still loves Owen (and, arguably another father-figure, John).Merriman's last few speeches are amazing, but particularly this, and this is how I'll end my reviews. It's a very appropriate thing to be saying to a child, I think, after a book in which two moral opposites clash over and over. It leaves you to think."For Drake is no longer in his hammock, children, nor is Arthur somewhere sleeping, and you may not lie idly expecting the second coming of anybody now, because the world is yours and it is up to you."Reread again in December 2009. I can't think of any better end to this review.

  • Nikki
    2018-11-17 18:06

    Finally finished my yearly(ish) reread with this book. The conclusion to the sequence is full of its own magic and beauty, but because of the ending, it just can’t be my favourite. (Perhaps in a similar way that The Farthest Shore doesn’t work for me; I don’t like it when the magic comes to an end!)The whole sequence in the Lost Land is gorgeous, and probably my favourite thing about this book. Then, of course, there’s the interactions between the group – such disparate kids, and brought together for a quest beyond their understanding. As always, Cooper’s handling of the children and the way they react to each other, particularly the Drews, feels spot on and realistic. Of course they’re going to bicker. And of course the Welsh/English divide feeds into it, setting Bran apart. The whole sequence has had history intruding on the present and the present intruding into history; it’s appropriate that that fraught history also touches the story.Reading it this time, I wasn’t sure about the pacing. It might just be that I want more, more adventures, more of the Six together, but everyone spent so much time in ones or twos rather than together. There’s so much hinted at – Bran’s relationship to Herne the hunter, for just one – that I would love to explore. That’s why I come back to the book, I suppose, and yet…Originally posted here.

  • Lightreads
    2018-11-20 14:09

    And now we have to talk about The Thing. Spoilers abound, for once, because I’ve really just gotta get my teeth straight into this. Before that, though, the rest of the book. It’s . . . honestly, I’m not crazy about it. I remember that this was never one I reread much as a child. Well, that’s not true – I reread the first third all the time, but I’d stop whenever the magic started coming thick and heavy. There is something so wrenching about Will and his brother by the river, about Stephen caring enough to ask, and his blunted adult incomprehension of Will’s answers, the depth of Will’s loss in that moment. Contrast that to the back half of the book, which is having a quite high-level discussion of the production of art, and it just . . . it’s not like it isn’t a good discussion. Cooper is and was a hell of an artist herself, obviously. I’m just not engaging on that level, after the book opens so viscerally.All right, enough stalling. The Thing.As a child, the end of this book was arbitrary and cruel because it directly opposed my main interest in fantasy. Nothing unusual about what I was after – I wanted to read about kids having access to a world bigger than the regimented, difficult, pedestrian one I lived in. I wanted to read about kids being able to open a door into power and wonder. And the end of this book slammed the door in all our faces.This time, of course, I knew what was coming, and as an adult I can follow the argument Cooper has been having about it all along. Mostly in Greenwitch, much to my adult surprise. And it’s . . . look, it’s not like I agree with her. I don’t, to put it bluntly.But I do get it now, and I think it’s actually some really difficult territory she’s on. Losing the memory of what has happened isn’t a way to strip everyone of the power they’ve accessed; it’s the only way to open the door to a new power and responsibility. That’s what Merriman says, anyway: “For Drake is no longer in his hammock, children,nor is Arthur somewhere sleeping. And you may not lie idly by expecting the second coming of anyone now because the world is yours, and it is up to you. It makes me think of my favorite monument, which is in fact a “countermonument.” It’s a monument against violence and fascism, a pillar designed, over time, to sink into the ground and disappear. Eventually, the monument space will be empty because, as the monument itself reads, “in the end, it is only we ourselves who can rise up against injustice.”I love it. It’s a symbol of how collective recovery is a process. We have to remember, but the obtrusion of the memory into the world changes over time – the emotional shadow it casts (literal shadow in this case), its usefulness for the business of living. Not a perfect analog for the end of this book by a long shot, but thinking about the monument helped me to . . . grow a general respect for the decisions Cooper made. She wrote about the passing of an age, about the ascension of man. No longer caught between the temptations of the dark and the outsider rebuttals of the Light. So yes, casting the Dark out of the world means that the Light, too, must go, and I can see the . . . esthetic sense in which she concluded as a matter of course that they must forget. No one is coming to save us, as Merriman says, and the kinds of power she was writing about – the alien magic of the Light and the complicated ownership man has over the world – could not . . . exist in the same space.It still deeply offends me on a personal level, on behalf of the Drews. They earned those memories with a lot of courage and striving. Living through it changed them, and to have it all so casually erased is still outrageous to me, a kind of assault. But on the broader thematic level . . . yeah, all right. I get it. I don’t like it. But I get it.

  • Lizzy (Bent Bookworm)
    2018-12-12 19:54

    I’ve read this entire series by audiobook, and while I enjoyed it, I really think I need to go back and read them as books. Sometimes I would have gaps of days in between my listening within a book, and gaps of weeks or even months between the books themselves, so I got a little confused. The whole series seems a bit un-explained, to me, and I’m really kind of perplexed that I couldn’t get as into it as so many other people. I didn’t like the way the point of view jumped back and forth between the Drew kids and Will, I didn’t like the way the “magic” was never fully explained (at least not to my satisfaction), and I didn’t like the characters themselves much! I was especially affronted by how the female characters are either air headed (Jane) or magical. Why is this series considered to be so brilliant? I really feel like I’m missing something.Despite that, I stuck it out for the entire series and was fascinated by the setting of Wales and England. I think that, given how short the books are, I will go back and re-read them at some point. I think maybe all my gaps in reading effected my comprehension of the plot. I really don’t think anything can rescue the characters though.--------------------------Wait WHAT. That was NOT an acceptable ending, AT ALL!! *sniff*

  • Jessica
    2018-11-17 16:17

    I never read these as a kid, though I was aware of them. I read them as an adult, and I remember the entire series as a whole. I think I'd like to read them aloud to my kids, once we finish Harry Potter.

  • Rachel (Kalanadi)
    2018-12-07 15:06

    What breaks my heart a little bit every time is that they have to forget it happened.Sometimes I think the best ends to stories like this are the bittersweet ones. The adventure happened, you changed the world, but then you must forget and become ordinary once more.

  • Jenna
    2018-12-08 18:06

    I really don't know what it is about this series that leaves me less than enthusiastic about reading it. I barely managed to finish this, the final book. In fact I ended up skimming most of the second half and tuning back in only for the final battle. Throughout the whole series the story suffered from a removed and distant point of view, so I never felt anxious or sad of happy about anything that happened. The bad guys weren't really that bad- they followed all the rules! There was even a point in this book where the Dark tried to stop the Light by calling them on what was basically a minor legal matter... as if the whole battle could be won because someone broke the rules along the way! I mean, the bad guys are supposed to be bad because they do whatever the heck they want to, right? It's just not threatening at all if they follow all the rules. I could go on with everything that bothered me but I'll just say that I couldn't ever become interested in the story and I would probably only recommend this for smaller children, who would be comforted by the following of rules rather than bored by it.

  • Eh?Eh!
    2018-11-16 16:07

    The 5th of an amazing children's series I'd read so many times over that the spine creases combined into one, big, obscuring curl. I'm saddened by the previews of the upcoming movie where it appears the lilting beauty of Cooper's story has been fed steroids and 'enhanced' with explosions. What's this about an American protagonist rather than English, and no mention of the Arthurian connection? The horrors!

  • Jess
    2018-11-20 15:59

    A satisfying conclusion to the series. I realized, listening to the books, that they're not so much about what happens as about the tone, the sense of place, and the way that good and evil work themselves out in the world. I couldn't really tell you the plot of this one - the Dark is rising again and Will and the others are trying to stop it? But that scarcely mattered, because I was interested in how Bran would decide his own fate, and how John Rowlands would respond to an unexpected twist in his life, and how Will would deal with the ongoing struggle of being a twelve-year-old Old One, and so on. And these are smart kids - they go off and do things on their own, and are responsible and capable but also very much children. They don't act in a way that says, "oh, grownups can't figure it out so we have to, clever us," since they often do need the help of grownups. But the adults trust them to do things on their own - whether it's going for a walk in the mountains or saving the world from the Dark. You might be able to enjoy this as a stand-alone, but I'd really read the rest of the series first - start with Over Sea Under Stone.

  • Nikki
    2018-11-20 16:50

    Squeaked this in just before 2013 began. There's little more I can say about this book: I don't understand people who don't like it, who can't see the layers of ambiguity in it, the way there's always more to discover. Mind you, I'm sure it's partly me that brings that to this most loved story.I love that Susan Cooper's people are people, most of them neither Dark nor Light but people, trying to live. I've needed a Stephen Stanton in the past, and Susan Cooper reminds me -- as Will is reminded by his family -- that people like him do exist. There's nothing impossible about the human characters of her books. I just have a moment of regret right now that we don't see Owen Davies in this book. I mean, with the ending of The Grey King, and what he knows about his son... How would he react to what happens in this book? What does he hope, or fear? Does he know that Bran will meet his real father in the course of all this, and does he wonder if Bran will ever come home? That would've been interesting to see.At this point, I've built so many what-ifs and could-have-beens out of this book that I could probably write a book on them myself...

  • Scott
    2018-11-22 17:16

    SO a five book series comes down to a three page climax in which the main character (can't really call him a protagonist because of how little he actually does) is little more than an observer. He's never in danger, never emotionally challenged, and does not grow or change. He does what he's supposed to do, like everybody else in the series, but there's never really any reason to feel anything for him, about him, or with him.The writing is sometimes beautiful, and the world is interesting, with a sometimes brilliant reimagining of Welsh legend. But there's never any reason to feel anything for the characters. We're told often that they can't be harmed, so the reader never fears for them and never doubts that the light will win against a dark that's never really all that dark and that, even in the final battle, never really does anything.

  • Ben Babcock
    2018-11-21 14:57

    Well, here we are, at the end of a very long journey. I can see now why The Dark is Rising sequence is packaged, well, as a sequence. The individual novels are quite short--some of them closer to novellas than anything else. The five-book stories are in fact a single story, but packaged together, they take up nearly 800 pages of very small print. It's an adult-sized story aimed at young adults and children, and I imagine the omnibus edition is intimidating. I found it intimidating, which is why I've been taking it one book at a time.When I started reading this series, I was fairly dismissive of Susan Cooper's ideas and writing. Over Sea, Under Stone isn't a very well-developed book, and I stand by the problems I had with its plotting and characterization. In some respects, these criticisms have never completely evaporated. Though the novels steadily improve, my complaints about each of them are, by and large, very similar. However, I feel somewhat hobbled in the sense that I don't think I'm the appropriate audience for these books. I think that older children and young adults would devour these without fail, and it's not really fair for me to press adult sensibilities upon such fare.The last two books, The Grey King and this one, Silver on the Tree, have forced me to reevaluate Cooper. These are the best books in the series, not the least because they contain genuine peril and high stakes. Both take on a more complex structure, with Cooper resorting to parts as well as chapters to organize everything. Silver on the Tree is the climax and the resolution; the forces of Dark are rising to make one final attempt to take control of our world, and the Light, led by Will Stanton, must stand against the Dark.It's all very exciting. I'm still uncomfortable, though, by the extent to which Cooper leans on destiny. And this isn't unique to her; it's an issue a lot of strong fantasy writers seem to struggle with. Relying too much on destiny and prophecy and "knowledge" acquired through arcane means irks me in a fantasy novel, because it spoils some of the mystery of the story. Barring a very downer ending (which we obviously wouldn't see here), we know the protagonists have to succeed. It's not about whether they win; it's about how. But if so much of it is choreographed by destiny, down to the point where our protagonists almost can't fail, then the story becames a cutscene in a rails shooter, and it starts to lose its appeal.That's an issue when the two sides are called "Light" and "Dark". They are simplistic in a way that appeals to kids and even to some adults. But when all the heroes are unfaltering in their allegiance to the Light, it gets boring. The most intense parts of these books occur when other characters have to make the choice to side with the Light or the Dark. One of these moments happens in Silver on the Tree, when John Rowlands must rule whether Bran belongs in the present time and, therefore, is able to help the Light push back the Dark. Both sides are bound by the Higher Magic, and they mutually empower John as the adjudicator. The Dark tempts John with his wife in a rather heartbreaking way. And he still chooses for the Light--which, again, is not much of a surprise. But hey, at least we had some dramatic tension.(And then, because the Light is paternalistic as shit, after John can't decide whether to keep his memory of these strange events, the Lady decides for him and makes him forget. Why not just make everyone except the Old Ones and Bran forget? Why do Barney, Simon, and Jane need to remember?)I'm glad I read this series, because now I know what people are talking about when they extol its role in their lives. I've had similar books--for me, the Belgariad was my gateway to epic fantasy in a way Lord of the Rings never was, even though the latter is arguably better. I am, without a doubt, a literary snob, albeit one who occasionally tries to mend his ways. And in such a gesture, it's necessary to note that a book doesn't have to be "good" to also be influential (that vampire book ring any bells?). Yet our definition of "good" is always going to vary. I do, in fact, consider The Dark is Rising as a whole a good series, but one with much variation within that category. I can't personally attest to its greatness or claim it has left much of a lasting impression on me. But I can see the potential for it to do so, in another time and another place.My reviews of The Dark is Rising sequence:← The Grey King

  • Pica
    2018-11-26 16:06

    I have now completed my re-read of this series.I want this book to be so much better than it is. It's not as weak as The Dark Is Rising was, but it's not much better. Susan Cooper describes things and people and scenery endlessly, and continues to drop chunks of convenient exposition all over the place that haven't even been hinted at in the foregoing series, but there is minimal character development of the protagonists, and sometimes minimal interaction. It is almost as if Cooper suddenly realized she had too many characters in her primary cast and didn't know how to write scenes where they all contributed. in some places, she handles this by splitting them up, bringing Merriman into the story late, and sending Will and Bran on a quest to the Lost Land, separating them from the Drews for several chapters.While I liked the character Gwion, the Lost Land chapters bored me so much that I kept falling asleep. The dreamlike quality and endless descriptions of the place did not help. Do we really need a description of Bran every time Will looks at him? I get it. He's very pale. He has unusual eyes. I hadn't forgotten in the last 2 pages. All the descriptions are probably meant to build tension, but all they do is stall the forward momentum of the story.There were things I enjoyed. It was good to have the Drews back, especially Jane. It was nice to revisit Wales and some of the characters there. And everything having to do with John and Blodwyn Rowlands was great. But it wasn't enough to hold my interest in the story.There were several scenes that seemed only tangentially related to the main plot, including the first few chapters where Will is at home with his family. There is a scene where Will and his brothers rescue a young Asian boy from a racist attack, but it has no greater significance than for Cooper to say "racism is bad and of the Dark," which felt a little uncomfortable, considering her use of a Roma character in Greenwitch, and the fact that the boy in this scene never appears again nor is he ever mentioned.I got very tired of things happening just because that's how it is due to some ancient law that is never adequately explained. I'm tired of characters just knowing what to do at the right time because the knowledge comes to them, without them having to be clever or resourceful or draw on past knowledge they have gained. I'm tired of new major plot elements being dropped into the middle of the story without any sort of buildup, previous mention, or foreshadowing. And I am really tired of Old Ones wiping people's memories all over the place "for their own good". Wasn't there supposed to be an important message of free will in here somewhere? How can people have free will if they are not permitted to benefit and grow from their knowledge and experience? So at the end of it all, 4 of the 6 primary characters will remember nothing of their adventures in these books, will learn nothing from their experiences, and any growth or character development they gained is permanently erased as if it never happened. Screw that.But I think the thing I disliked most was the way the climax and the ending were handled. All the characters are finally together in one place and its like Cooper has no clue what to do with them. It's easy to forget some of them are there for pages at a time, especially the Drews, who hardly do or say anything during the climax. None of the primary characters interact much with each other during this crucial scene, and we are only reminded of their presence when Will occasionally notices their facial expressions. It is very frustrating. I'm glad to be done with this series. I liked the idea of it. I liked some of the characters. I liked books 1, 3, and 4 (Greenwitch especially was very good, with a tightly paced plot). I liked the pagan/historical/legendary elements and how they were important parts of the world Cooper built. But I have seen the Epic Battle Between Light And Dark with child and adolescent heroes done so much better.

  • Sunil
    2018-11-19 13:07

    I wanted to like this book. The Drew kids were back, as was Bran, so they were supposed to outweigh Will Stanton's Will Stantonness. Ironically, Will Stanton actually has more human moments in this book than he's had in a while, so to balance it out, Bran basically loses all sense of self and sleepwalks through his destiny. And the Drew kids? BARELY DO ANYTHING. Susan Cooper's poor pacing continues, as we begin with random racism that's supposed to represent the Dark's hold on humanity or something, and then there's some magic shit, and then there's random domestic drama, and now here's some English and Welsh history LIKE I CARE, and then there's the Lost Lands where Will and Bran go through a mirror maze or something, and the Drew kids are on a train for some reason, and, seriously, I just plain gave up trying to pay attention about halfway through the book. This series is not about characters doing anything. This series is about little props fulfilling a rhyming prophecy by doing what they're supposed to do without any sense of conflict or real danger. Rarely is any actual insight required; instead they just know what they're supposed to know because they're supposed to know it. And when the final battle between the Light and Dark occurs, it's...basically a bunch of mumbo-jumbo and magic bullshit.There are a few good things about the book. The Drew kids ARE still the Drew kids, thankfully, and they have their good moments, especially a scene between Jane and the Lady. John Rowlands faces some interesting dilemmas as an emissary for humanity. Bran has a dramatic choice to make. The White Rider was cool and sinister.But the end actually made me so angry I was cursing the book out loud. (view spoiler)[Everyone but Will fucking Stanton FORGETS EVERYTHING?? (hide spoiler)] Fuck you, book. Fuck you.

  • Nikki
    2018-12-06 15:59

    This book brings together the rest of the sequence, and brings the struggle of the Light and the Dark to its conclusion. It's mostly set in Wales, with all the characters reuniting there. It has a lot of the stunning passages of prose that I've praised before, and as with The Grey King, it's a bit more subtle in terms of the Light/Dark divide. Not quite as much as I'd really like to see, I think: the White Rider is a pretty troubling figure. I'd want more ambiguity there, more of a hint that she had feelings as those of the Light do.Still, I love this book so much. I love the characters, the weaving in of mythology, the Welshness... And I have no doubt that I'll be reading it again, sometime soon.

  • Debbie
    2018-12-01 12:48

    This book was slightly better than the 3rd or 4th book in the series, but I just couldn't get through it. I think one reason that I don't really like these books is that there is no climax. It follows the characters down a fairly straight-forward path. There is no tension; everything just falls into place and is easy.

  • Steven Bell
    2018-12-12 15:47

    As I finish this series I'm filled with a lot of mixed feelings. There were a great deal of things I enjoyed about these books but other things that were disappointing or baffling...But in terms of this book, I found this an underwhelming and overly long finale. Too often the text devolved into descriptions of things. The entire first part of the book was 100% unnecessary. When you can cut an entire large section of your book without it messing up the plot you have a very serious problem. And I can't even say "oh it was nice to see Will's family again" because it wasn't. They were never interesting to begin with. But that's in part because Will himself was never really interesting.Frankly, this wasn't the hardest book in this series to get through. "The Dark is Rising" was excruciatingly dull and lifeless. Improvements Susan Cooper made in "Greenwitch" and "The Grey King" carried over here but she still backpedaled into some of the poor choices that plagued the second book... Especially in terms of that feeling of "choices don't matter. things happen because because they do." In fact at one point Gwion literally chides Bran for trying to make sense of things. Silly Bran, stuff just happens in this series, the rules don't matter.What was good? The Drews are always great though they were mostly pretty wasted in this book, especially Simon and Barney. Frankly, the choice to push the Drews into the background in favour of Will who is a far less interesting character is one of many absolutely baffling decisions Susan Cooper made in this series.I liked Gwion. I liked John Rowland's story, though the plot twist with Blodwen felt a bit too left field.In all honesty, this book isn't terrible. It's still a much better read than "The Dark is Rising." It's weak and meandering as a finale but more than anything it highlights all of the things I already didn't like about this series.Like just think about the structure of this series and how weird it is. We get two separate intro books, the second of which ends up being treated as more important by the narrative. It's pretty strange how the Arthurian stuff gets pushed into the background and the once it pops up it's still like she's... ashamed.Think about how things just... get forgotten about. The signs are obviously a huge deal in "The Dark is Rising" but then are basically forgotten about until this book. Then we have the lack of any mention of the Pendragon until the end of "The Grey King". It's just weird. The whole series feels very poorly planned out. I suspect because it wasn't planned out at all. And hey, sometimes stuff without a plan comes out great... it just didn't here.Instead we have a series that could've been great. It needs more continuity and through lines. It needs less things happening just because they are. It needs more of a sense of CHOICES MATTERING. Like it's ironic that John Rowlands gives his big speech about free will when this whole series has been about characters having no free will... I actively laughed when the giant skeleton horse was literally taken out by petals from a tree. That entire bit was spectacularly bad writing and quite possibly one of the worst prophecies I've ever read in a series.The ending is frustrating. After everything all the kids but Will lose their memories. It's a final insult. Frankly, I don't think Susan Cooper ever really justifies the notion that being able to remember the old ones is a bad thing. She just says it is. Which is pretty much all she does. It's lazy and possibly even cowardly writing. It often feels like she simply couldn't be bothered to figure out how things make sense. We just have to accept that it does and move on.Looking over reviews of the previous books I notice a trend that the people who really love these books seem to largely be people who read them as kids. I honestly have no clue how I would've felt about these books as a kid (or it's possible I read them and forgot... I read a lot of fantasy books and if they failed to impress I would've forgot them.) But as an adult I can say comfortable that stories like this have been done much better elsewhere. But beyond that they just flatout aren't that great."Over Sea, Under Stone", "Greenwitch" and "The Grey King" I did feel were pretty good. "The Dark is Rising" and "Silver on the Tree" were boring and plodding on the other hand. I feel the real value of books is whether or not you could recommend them to someone and whether I would want to re-read them. I'm unsure of the answer to either of those questions.

  • Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
    2018-11-26 13:16

    Well, that's that. At last.When these books first came out I gulped them, without a belch or even coming up for air. I loved them, but my life changed radically in about 18 mos time and I left the small town where I grew up, its library, and indeed its continent for a new home. I thought about this series fondly from time to time, so when I had the chance to re-read it, I was eager to do so.Oh dear. Those who follow my reviews will know it's been just one disappointment after the other. 80% of that is because I am a completely different person at 50-something than I was at 15; my core beliefs are totally different than those of the girl I was then. But even so, Cooper merrily mixes the Arthurian cycle with bits and bobs taken from Tolkein, Norse mythology,A Wrinkle in Time and Uncle Tom Cobbleigh and all. One minute human love is the strongest force in the world, the next it means nothing compared to Cooper's many magicks. Many of the quest clues make no sense, such as what do mirrors have to do with a womb? What was the deal with the weasels or minks or whatever they were? They were so "important" in the opening chapters and then--nothing. Who or what is the Lady? She seems to be a BVM-type figure, with her white tunic and blue cloak, but why should an immortal be depleted if she cannot age past a certain point or be killed even by poison? Britain is instrumental in saving the world from the Dark, and Yggdrasil the World Tree is transplanted from Asgard to the Chiltern Hills! Strewth. And that's just for starters.But then of course Cooper was born under the Empire, so perhaps in her mentality, it follows that Britain will save the day for the whole earth, Micronesia included (for example). There are so many oddnesses in these books that have so little to do with the actual quest-story itself.Too much timeslip, and too many people on both sides of the fractures that are aware of it for it to be real (even within the context of the story), especially as it's all predetermined anyway. What would be the point of all this slipping around from one century to another?Oh, well, the "point" appears in the last twenty pages or so, where the author preaches at the reader her strange concept of "free will" and says at one point, "You may not (in the sense of must not) be idly expecting the second coming of anybody now...it's up to you." Again, it's not enough for her to create her own alternate history/theory of "magics" etc, she has to denigrate Christianity whenever she can (and so much for it being an allegory!). In every single book Cooper felt the need to point up the idea that the Cross is of none effect by replacing it with her own symbol of circle-quartered, by showing that a Christian rite is powerless against the Dark, that Christianity is merely going through motions to make oneself feel better. Sucks to you, Susie.The parts I most enjoyed were when Cooper is describing the normal family interactions between the Stantons, even the part where they deal with an obnoxious, racist (ginger-haired) neighbour and his nasty (ginger-haired) kid. This time around, I noticed that most of her bad guys in most of the books have red or chestnut hair; obviously Cooper doesn't like gingers. Will and Bran's friendship also had its moments, but again Will, the famous Old One, doesn't seem to actually use all those powers he supposedly has; and weren't they given just for this period in history? He blunders around going mostly on emotions and the reactions of horses and dogs. Some hero. I don't think I actually finished this book the first time I had access to it; I remembered the conversation between Will and his brother, another truncated thread that goes nowhere because of a time-slip--apparently when an idea wasn't going well Cooper would just timeshift to get herself out of the mess. But nothing of what came later left any impression. If it had, I wouldn't have re-read it. Meh. That is all.

  • Tyler
    2018-12-09 12:57

    Cooper brings us to a fine conclusion in the battle between good and evil, the light and the dark. The ending in this is packed with emotion and heartbreak. I thought this was a superb series; if I had read it as a child I would have loved it even more.

  • Nikki
    2018-11-30 16:50

    Silver on the Tree combines all the best of the other books of the sequence: the magic, the genuine moments of terror and alarm, the weaving of legends and the everyday, the mysteries that leave you to wonder, the sense of place... And more than any of the others it combines both sadness and joy; in that, it's the most adult of the sequence.I especially enjoy little touches like Bran getting to meet Owain Glyndŵr; one thing I did miss was Barney not having more of a reaction to actually meeting King Arthur who he's idolised since before the first page of the first book. I can't remember having noticed it before, but that jarred me, this time. Also, I remember someone mentioning to me how much it bothered them that this book plays into the betrayal of a woman theme (as does The Dark is Rising, in the form of Maggie Barnes, "a sweet face" to lure people into the Dark). Thinking about it this time, I see their point, even though the White Rider is otherwise ambiguously gendered. It's as if women can somehow hide their allegiance to the Dark behind womanly charms, where the men are immediately picked out (Mr Mitothin doesn't fool Will for a moment; Maggie Barnes, however, has to act wickedly to get him to realise, and "Blodwen Rowlands" fools John entirely until the very end). We do have some great female characters in these books -- the Lady and Jane, mainly, with Will's sisters, mother and aunt and other such minor characters -- but it's a bit nasty that the alluring side of the Dark is pretty unambiguously female.Still, that's not enough to ruin the books, and nor is it suggested as something all women could/would do. It's just something that may bother you, particularly if you forget how old these books are.I think I've ended my reviews of this book with this quotation before, but it's still true. The book ends with a call to arms to all of us, to stop relying on anyone else to change the world and know that we are, alone, responsible for our own choices."For Drake is no longer in his hammock, children, nor is Arthur somewhere sleeping, and you may not lie idly expecting the second coming of anybody now, because the world is yours and it is up to you."

  • Nikki
    2018-12-05 17:55

    My full, more overview-like review of this book is here -- this review is just about my most recent reading. It was unfortunately swift, really, since my poor girlfriend needs to sleep and I was only halfway through by sometime past midnight. So I hurried up, and didn't have as much time as I'd like to savour the images and the taste of the words... Not that it isn't, in a way, appropriate to read it as a race against time, since that's what this book is. From the sleepiness, the slow start of Over Sea Under Stone, and Will's slower awakening in the second book, the urgency is desperate now, and all the characters have their quests.John Rowlands is the figure that struck me most, this time. He is such a good, good man -- better than those of the Light -- and used by both Dark and Light, and yet somehow he is not bitter, not so bitter that he doesn't wish them both ill and withdraw. He still has a responsibility to the world, to humanity, and he recognises that and discharges his duty admirably.It's hard not to feel that the ending is a cop-out. Why can't Bran remember? Why can't he have the memory of his real father to strengthen him? Why does Will have to be left so totally alone, the only one who remembers? Jane, Simon, Barney and Bran, and perhaps John Rowlands, are the only ones who could possibly begin to understand what Will is and what he must do, and yet the Light shut off all hope of that... The cold hard justice at the heart of the Light, I suppose.

  • Alex Sarll
    2018-11-30 19:56

    Concluding my seasonal* reread of The Dark is Rising, the series' last and longest book. Also, somehow, the hardest to read. You know how sometimes, a book isn't bad or boring you, but you still find your eye sort of sliding off the text? And yet the story is definitely making it through to you, albeit in a fractured form. The whole series has had an aspect of dream to it - waking in the middle of the night to find oneself back in time, and so forth - but it's a deeper dream this time, with much of the action relocated from the everyday world, or even its hidden magical corners, to the Lost Land, a whole country gone in time. The last battle looms, which is inevitable enough; more impressively, it's no anticlimax, and given emotional weight by turning less on the clash of cosmic forces than on a single, heartbreakingly human decision. And at the end, magic passes from the world, and a story about ancient protections and immortal guardians reaches rather awkwardly for the moral that humanity must take care of itself now. Still wonderful books, which I look forward to foisting on friends' offspring once they're a little older.*This was possibly the volume where I most closely mirrored the temporal contours; I started on Midsummer's Eve, then read the Midsummer Day chapter at solstice dawn on the Heath.

  • Sarah
    2018-11-13 20:09

    Loved the ending. Best of the series.I would have enjoyed all of the books more if the details of the plot had been more precise. It's all a mystical world, so the author gets to make up the rules; but they seemed very blurred and haphazard. As the reader, you know The Light will win in the end, but the eventual triumph seemingly rests on lots of vague circumstances taking place and things happening just so. Arbitrary laws seem to be the basis for everything, which partly increases the mystery of the world of the Old Ones, but also takes away tension from the story because anything -maybe almost literally anything - can happen.Other than the dubious nature of the plot, this series was a lot of fun. I love how each book builds on the last, and the way the characters interweave throughout the five books and all come together in the end. The poem that holds the series together is very Tolkein-esque (which means...it is awesome).

  • Rachel
    2018-12-02 19:15

    My favorite book in the Dark is Rising sequence is the first one, Over Sea, Under Stone. All the others are just not as good.I listened to these books and probably would not have finished all of them if I had been reading them instead. This one had the same long-winded descriptions of this and that, so much so that the reader gets kind of lost in what the actual action is, that is to say what's important to the story line. The ending got way too preachy for my taste, but I suppose that could be attributed to the times in which it was written and what would've been on many people's minds then.I did like this quote from the Lady, ". . . all love has great value. Every human being who loves another loves imperfection, for there is no perfect being on this earth--nothing is so simple as that."

  • Bev
    2018-11-19 15:04

    The last book in the quintet series of The Dark Is Rising.This concludes the tale of Will the sign seeker and the Drew children and Bran Pendragon. It races across Buckinghamshire, Wales and the Chiltern Hills towards the last battle of the Dark against the Light.There are some unforgettable characters with this series and although aimed at young people initially, it is timeless and ageless in it's appeal. With it's mix of Arthurian and Old English and Welsh mythology it has a magical feel to it.I am sad every time I read the set and reach the end of it. I always wondered what happened to them all afterwards. It is one of those series that you never want to end.One of the best English fantasy sets ever.