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On the Midwinter Day that is his eleventh birthday, Will Stanton discovers a special gift — that he is the last of the Old Ones, immortals dedicated to keeping the world from domination by the forces of evil, the Dark. At once, he is plunged into a quest for the six magical Signs that will one day aid the Old Ones in the final battle between the Dark and the Light. And for the twelve days of Christmas, while the Dark is rising, life for Will is full of wonder, terror, and ...
On the Midwinter Day that is his eleventh birthday, Will Stanton discovers a special gift — that he is the last of the Old Ones, immortals dedicated to keeping the world from domination by the forces of evil, the Dark. At once, he is plunged into a quest for the six magical Signs that will one day aid the Old Ones in the final battle between the Dark and the Light. And for the twelve days of Christmas, while the Dark is rising, life for Will is full of wonder, terror, and delight.
On his eleventh birthday Will Stanton discovers that he is the last of the Old Ones, destined to seek the six magical Signs that will enable the Old Ones to triumph over the evil forces of the Dark.
The first wave caught him as he was crossing the room his bed. It halted him stock-still in the middle of the room, the howl of the wind outside filling his ears. The snow lashed against the window. Will was suddenly deadly cold, yet tingling all over. He was so frightened that he could not move a finger. In a flash of memory he saw again the lowering sky over the spinney, dark with rooks, the big black birds wheeling and circling overhead. Then that was gone, and he saw only the tramp's terrified face and heard his scream as he ran. For a moment, then, there was only a dreadful darkness in his mind, a sense of looking into a great black pit. Then the high howl of the wind died, and he was released.
He stood shaking, looking wildly round the room. Nothing was wrong. Everything was just as usual. The trouble, he told himself, came from thinking. It would be all right if only he could stop thinking and go to sleep. He pulled off his dressing gown, climbed into bed, and lay there looking up at the skylight in the slanting roof. It was covered grey with snow.
He switched off the small bedside lamp, and the night swallowed the room. There was no hint of light even when his eyes had grown accustomed to the dark. Time to sleep. Go on, go to sleep. But although he turned on his side, pulled the blankets up to his chin, and lay there relaxed, contemplating the cheerful fact that it would be his birthday when he woke up, nothing happened. It was no good. Something was wrong.
Will tossed uneasily. He had never known a feeling like this before. It was growing worse every minute. As if some huge weight were pushing at his mind, threatening,trying to take him over, turn him into something he didn't want to be. That's it, he thought: make me into someone else. But that's stupid. Who'd want to? And make me into what? Something creaked outside the half-open door, and he jumped. Then it creaked again, and he knew what it was: a certain floorboard that often talked to itself at night, with a sound so familiar that usually he never noticed it at all. In spite of himself, he still lay listening. A different kind of creak came from further away, in the other attic, and he twitched again, jerking so that the blanket rubbed against his chin. You're just jumpy, he said to himself; you're remembering this afternoon, but really there isn't much to remember. He tried to think of the tramp as someone unremarkable, just an ordinary man with a dirty overcoat and worn-out boots; but instead all he could see once more was the vicious diving of the rooks. "The Walker is abroad...." Another strange crackling noise came, this time above his head in the ceiling, and the wind whined suddenly loud, and Will sat bolt upright in bed and reached in panic for the lamp.
The room was at once a cosy cave of yellow light, and he lay back in shame, feeling stupid. Frightened of the dark, he thought: how awful. Just like a baby. Stephen would never have been frightened of the dark, up here. Look, there's the bookcase and the table, the two chairs and the window seat; look, there are the six little square-riggers of the mobile hanging from the ceiling, and their shadows sailing over there on the wall. Everything's ordinary. Go to sleep.
He switched off the light again, and instantly everything was even worse than before. The fear jumped at him for the third time like a great animal that had been waiting to spring. Will lay terrified, shaking, feeling himself shake, and yet unable to move. He felt he must be going mad. Outside, the wind moaned, paused, rose into a sudden howl, and there was a noise, a muffled scraping thump, against the skylight in the ceiling of his room. And then in a dreadful furious moment, horror seized him like a nightmare made real; there came a wrenching crash, with the howling of the wind suddenly much louder and closer, and a great blast of cold; and the Feeling came hurtling against him with such force of dread that it flung him cowering away.
Will shrieked. He only knew it afterwards; he was far too deep in fear to hear the sound of his own voice. For an appalling pitch-black moment he lay scarcely conscious, lost somewhere out of the world, out in black space. And then there were quick footsteps up the stairs outside his door, and a voice calling in concern, and blessed light warming the room and bringing him back into life again.
Posted February 3, 2000
I myself ,as a 13 year old boy, Have never read a book with such detail! Susan Cooper is a master auther. The Dark is rising is an amazing example of genius and imagination. The landscapes and people are described so vividly that you actually feel like your there next to Will Stanton fighting off the minons of the Dark!I say that this book is a must read for all those fans out there who love a mixture of fantasy and mystery!I felt like I couldn't put the book down!!!!
6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 10, 2007
For bereft HP fans who are seeking a new series to follow, look no further. This novel contains mature insights, grounding in British folklore and culture, and true adult themes. I'm not talking about sex, violence, and snogging. I mean the wisdom that an older person gains through experience, including knowledge of human natures deepest flaws and their consequences. The Dark brings emotional and mental depth to the fantasy genre, as young Will is plagued by concerns for his destiny in a way that makes Harry Potter seem like a frat boy on a holiday. Though Will can return to his ordinary life, he becomes immersed in his quest, and we go right along with him through Cooper's scintillating prose. As I read, I felt as if I could see different people and places that Will saw, including Hawkin and the Manor. Cooper's deftly told story is also blessed with a remarkably adult tone. It doesn't insult a teenage reader's intelligence, and it contains unfamiliar words to enrich their vocabulary. These qualities would make it an excellent pick for a junior high English class to read. Unfortunately, the novel's many strengths are bogged down by Cooper's failure to delineate the characteristics of the Light and Dark side. Sometimes, the Old Ones behave in ways that seem more in line with the Dark side. Furthermore, their powers were only vaguely described. Apparently, the worst thing the Dark side can do is freeze the English countryside, a rather mundane power at best. Also, the Light side seemed rather weak. I haven't read the rest of the series, so I'm hoping that Cooper will give it a fuller treatment in subsequent books. I also felt that Cooper could have given greater character development to the Stanton family. Sometimes they seemed more like cardboard cutouts than distinct individuals. In spite of its few flaws, I highly reccomend this book due to its haunting imagery and reflections on human character. If someone could combine the zestful spirit and character development of Harry Potter with the intellectual depth of The Dark is Rising, one would find a near-perfect novel.
4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 3, 2000
The book is great! I peronsally loved William's charater, and Merriman is just what he needed. I'd give anything to make a movie outta this. Harry Potter: Eat your heart out!
4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 11, 2008
Enchanting, and if you want to introduce a child to fantasy, and you've gone through the Narnia books, and they aren't ready for Lord of the Rings yet, this is the series you want to read! Full of references to authentic British folklore - I loved this book as a kid, and then very much enjoyed introducing the whole series to my child. I stumbled across 'The Dark Is Rising' before any of the other books in the series - so even though it is the 2nd book in the actual series, it's always been my 'first', and young Will Stanton very quickly became one of my heroes when I was growing up. It wasn't just that he battled evil with mystical powers and items of power - it was the way that he solved the problems with thought to what was right, and good, and really struggled with very difficult issues. As his character travels back and forth through time, he gets to see the consequences of his own and others actions, and it's moving to see how he takes these things into account, and how this causes him to grow in wisdom and discernment.
2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 7, 2005
Posted December 5, 2007
THE perfect book for fantasy lovers or novices - chock full of myth, mystery and a Dickensian Christmas Spirit in a huge family in Britain. It's suspensful, warm, scary, brilliant - all rolled into one. Definitely the best of the series! And it hasn't lost any of its interest or actuality, even though it's been around for 30 years. It was the first fantasy book I ever read when I was about 12 and I got so hooked up, I eventually became a literature major working on a PhD - in Fantasy Literature. This book ist live-changingly captivating!
1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 3, 2007
Fantasy as a genre gets no better than this. The Dark is Rising combines ancient lore and magical quests with the everyday life of an eleven-year-old boy who claims to be, 'just Will.' He is far more than 'just' anything, however. He is the last of the Old Ones--a circle of people who are more than human--existing both within our human times and apart from them. Will joins with Merriman, the mysterious old Lady, and others to battle the tide of the Dark. Their epic struggle takes place both inside the world in which Will lives--alongside his large and boisterous family--and outside--Will must travel through time to seek the mysterious Signs that only he can join together to combat the Dark. I am rereading this story to my daughters right now and they are on the edges of their beds each night waiting to find out what fate awaits Will. I delight in sharing this with them--a story that is truly timeless in its power and appeal.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 30, 2005
Having read other customers' responses to this book, I am forced to share my own opinion. People say over and over that it is a confusing, and rather slow, book. So, point the first: it is FANTASY. Keeping the reader guessing is a quality that only exemplary writers have. You are not required to understand everything in the book. I still do not understand what is meant by it, though I read The Dark is Rising at the age of twelve and understood it perfectly. I was rather caught up in the action, as well, bringing me to the second point. Granted, the book can be slow reading it a second time through, but the first time, when everything is fresh and new, is exhilirating. Cooper has created an incredibly unique world, incorporating both reality and imagination and is to be commended for her work. Of course, everyone has their own taste. No one is required to enjoy all the books that I do, or visa versa. That's the wonder of our world. HOWEVER: I was astounded at the fact that there were no reviews praising this book series, and at the continued bashing of The Dark is Rising Sequence.
1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 20, 2013
Posted February 28, 2013
Hey. The person who wrote number 16 is a stupid @$$hole. This book sets the standards for best Fantasy book of it's time. Do not tell me that you think it was the worst book you have evr read because thet is just plain bull$?it. Think about your words before you write them down.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 2, 2013
Posted December 31, 2012
This has been and will continue to be one of the best books the world has ever known. Everything about this e-book is flawless. This is a great edition... very ledgible, clear, and crisp. The book is attractive just by looking at it. Susan's writing is great, it's a mystery why this dook didn't win the newbery metal. I would recomend this book to anybody... $5.99 is a great deal for the book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 21, 2012
Posted January 8, 2012
this is a great book! i love to read! i do get tired of people complaining that they cant get good games that gets old! anyways reading is fun and those of you that love scary mystery olden day booksthis is the book for you!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 18, 2011
Posted December 11, 2011
Posted November 22, 2011
This is one of the all time best fantasy novels no matter your age. I keep a copy within an arms reach of my bedside just to dip into. Characters rich and real, plot complex and fast moving, mythology nice interwoven. Just love the whole series after many, many years of reading. You get an elegant serving of what good fantasy is all about.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 3, 2011
I loved the book at first i didn't like it but as i read on it got more and more interesting. Even though i was reading it for school i still really enjoyed it. I can't wait to read more of the series!! :)Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 30, 2011
when i was 7 i almost threw out the grey king because the cover looked boring, im lucky my sister -who was 5 at the time- was convinced that i would regret it for the rest of my life if i didnt at least read it before giving away. i read it immediatley and loved it! havent been able to find the rest of the series, but if its as good as that book then susan cooper is extremely talented. im 15 now, and i found the book hiding in a corner of my bookshelf . . . reread it and loved it just as much as i did when i was 7! READ THIS BOOKWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 2, 2011