She’s in Love with the Dark

The Dark Is Rising Sequence, by Susan Cooper – I don’t recall having heard of this series of books until fairly recently. I know there was a movie, but it didn’t do well, and I understand it was a poor adaptation. I read something about their making the hero American, when it’s a distinctly British series. The first book, Over Sea, Under Stone, was intended as a stand-alone novel about four children who find a magical artifact while staying at the seashore, but it left many questions unanswered, like what was so important about the grail they found. The next one, The Dark Is Rising, introduces Will Stanton, the seventh son of a seventh son who just turned eleven and finds out he has magic powers. There’s a connection between the two due to the presence of Merriman Lyon, the Drew children’s great-uncle (probably not biologically) and Will’s mentor, and probably the great wizard Merlin under a slightly different name. The third book, Greenwitch, brings Will and the Drews together during a festival in Cornwall. It turns out to be Jane Drew’s selfless wish on the Greenwitch that brings about the temporary defeat of the Dark. The Grey King has Will visit Wales and meet the boy Bran, who has a mysterious past. Everything is wrapped up in Silver on the Tree, which brings back all of the main characters. They’re pretty intriguing stories, yet a bit dreamlike in their logic, in that it’s not always entirely clear HOW Will and his friends manage to drive off the forces of evil. Time travel occurs pretty often, with Merriman mentioning how the future can affect the past. There’s also a continuing theme that seemingly ordinary people can have hidden sides, often serving as agents for the Light or Dark. British mythology features heavily, with not only Merlin but also King Arthur, Wayland the Smith, and Herne the Hunter showing up. There are references to many other local legends as well, most of which I didn’t know about previously. While I couldn’t help wanting a little more detail at times, the series is a good read and a nice overview of the mythical side of Britain.

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2 Responses to She’s in Love with the Dark

  1. Glenn I says:

    I would like to reread the Dark is Rising books. I read them more or less as they came out. I remember having a bit of trouble fitting it all together. Of course, now it’s so long ago that I remember nothing.

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