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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
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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!
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!
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!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love this series as a kid and am excited to be able to share it with my children.Published 1 month ago by Kelly Krueger
Ordered for a school library. Excellent book, story and transaction. Thank you.Published 7 months ago by msconee
One of my favorite books when I was a child, and as an adult I still love it. I can't wait to share it with my daughter when she's old enough to enjoy it!Published 10 months ago by B. OReilly
A binge read, even for an adult. I started this series on the recommendation of Gretchen Rubin of THE HAPPINESS PROJECT who loves kid lit so much she is in 3 (adult) kid lit... Read morePublished 12 months ago by EllieA
I really love these books, they held me so captive that I didn't want to put them down. They have a very interesting story with great depth of imagination that keeps you wondering... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Marilyn M. Tepley
Few of the later ones get slow, but all in all a classic, intriguing, skilled series.Published on July 10, 2014 by Hawkeye Girl