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The Dark Is Rising Sequence: Silver on the Tree; The Grey King; Greenwitch; The Dark Is Rising; and Over Sea, Under Stone Paperback – Box set, 1986

4.7 out of 5 stars 288 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Joined by destiny, the lives of the Drew children, Will Stanton, and a boy named Bran weave together in an exquisite, sometimes terrifying tapestry of mystery and quests. In the five-title series of novels known as The Dark Is Rising Sequence, these children pit the power of good against the evil forces of Dark in a timeless and dangerous battle that includes crystal swords, golden grails, and a silver-eyed dog that can see the wind. Susan Cooper's highly acclaimed fantasy novels, steeped in Celtic and Welsh legends, have won numerous awards, including the Newbery Medal and the Newbery Honor. Now all five paperback volumes have been collected in one smart boxed set. These classic fantasies, complex and multifaceted, should not be missed, by child or adult. The set includes Over Sea, Under Stone, The Dark Is Rising, Greenwitch, The Grey King, and Silver on the Tree. (Ages 9 and older) --Emilie Coulter

About the Author

Susan Cooper was born in Buckinghamshire, read English at Oxford and began her career as a reporter and feature-writer for the Sunday Times. Her sequence of fantasy novels, THE DARK IS RISING, won her numerous international awards, including the Newbery Medal. She has also written a Broadway play and several film scripts for TV and cinema. Susan Cooper lives in Connecticut, USA. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1148 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Box edition (1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0020425651
  • ISBN-13: 978-0020425656
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 3.1 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (288 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #725,266 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
Susan Cooper's books are the sort that immediately cause people to say "But aren't those for kids?"

Technically, yes. So is "The Hobbit," for that matter. And Susan Cooper's "Dark is Rising Sequence" has joined the elite shelf of timeless books that are technically for kids, but not necessarily JUST for kids. With her use of myth and folklore, rich language, and a time-spanning battle between good and evil, Cooper spins up a rare tale in her majestic prose.

"Over Sea Under Stone" features the three Drew children coming to stay with Merriman Lyon. In his attic, they find an ancient treasure map that leads to a hidden grail -- if they can only figure out what the map's writing and symbols mean. But they are not the only ones who are looking for the grail -- three sinister people are in pursuit.

"The Dark is Rising" shifts its focus elsewhere. On his eleventh birthday, young Will Stanton encounters the mysterious Merriman, and is told that he is the last of the immortal "Old Ones" who are fighting the forces of evil (known as the Dark). As the power of the Dark grows, Will must gather the six Signs that can help stop them -- and protect his friends and family from the Dark.

"Greenwitch" brings the four young heroes together. Will and the three Drew kids are brought to Cornwall, where the grail has been stolen. Jane is haunted by nightmares about the Greenwitch, a symbolic weaving of branches and leaves cast into the sea, and a sinister artist captures Barney. But the Greenwitch is not just a tangle of sticks -- it's alive with wild magic that neither Old Ones nor the Dark can control.

"Grey King" is the threat of the Dark.
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Format: Paperback
This series of books made me want to be a writer when I grew up. I remember distinctly reading these books and realizing the power that authors have to create a world and populate it with living characters. Ms. Cooper has created a universe in which magic lives just under the surface of the "real" world--her theme, that the power of magic is accessible to believers, and that we have a responsibility to fight against evil in both the real and magical realms, continues to resonate with me and many other readers.
I highly recommend The Dark is Rising series to children and adults. It's for a slightly older audience than the Harry Potter series, and makes a nice next level for kids who want more.
I am thrilled that the series is still available and I am adding it to my collection in the hope of passing it on to the children in my life. That, and I'm going to re-read them myself-- they're just too good to pass up!
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Format: Paperback
I first stumbled upon Susan Cooper's THE DARK IS RISING sequence when I was in sixth grade. I was required to read a Newberry Award-winning book and do a report, and the cover of THE GREY KING looked kind of cool, so I gave it a shot. Fifteen years later I still can't believe I haven't heard more about this series.
C.S. Lewis set the standard for children's fantasy literature with THE NARNIA CHRONICLES, and Susan Cooper has equaled Lewis' accomplishment in these books. In some ways, the stories are much better because Cooper's target audience is a bit older, wiser, and more mature. Evil characters are not always obvious in Cooper's world, nor are they always super-intelligent. Cooper weaves elements of Arthurian legend and Welsh mythology into modern day England in a way that tends to swallow the reader whole. Even as an adult I find these books rich and enjoyable; it is easy to forget that one is reading 'children's literature'.
Fans of THE NARNIA CHRONICLES or HARRY POTTER will find that THE DARK IS RISING is another series readers will enjoy no matter what their age may be. My one caveat would be to parents of young children: there are scenes in these stories that may not be appropriate for children under the age of 10 or so. As always, be aware of what your children are reading. Once your children have reached an appropriate age, however, I would highly recommend THE DARK IS RISING for both you and your children!
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I first read this series when I was in grade school, and fell in love with the magic! I wished that I could have been one of the Old Ones, having incredible powers, immortality, and (because of these qualities) dangerous adventures. Nearly 15 years later, I was searching for a gift for a young relative in the family and found The Dark Is Rising series again. I made the purchase fully intending to give it away. That cousin never got the books. I just had to re-read them. And was enchanted once again!
The storyline is great for kids, as one of the main characters, Will Stanton is 11 years old. The magic is fantastic....one of the powers, the ability to make people forget, could definitely be useful. I can think of a couple of instances where I would have loved to use it on my parents! Traveling through time has similar benefits....
But this is not a series just for children. The themes of constant struggle between good and evil, and the means by which evil seeks to attract followers are well developed, with details older readers appreciate. The story about Hawkins is a great example. He is clearly used by both sides, and he makes choices that have hard consequences for himself and others. Ignorance is not an acceptable excuse, and his character demonstrates that people are not entirely good (deserving of extraordinary responsibility) or entirely bad (deserving of condemnation). There is an incredible attention to small details. You definitely pick these up with each reading. There is also enough familiar mythology/folk legend in the stories to make them not only believable, but feel like it is happening now. The series is wonderful. If you like imaginative, gripping stories, I highly recommend this series for adults and children!
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