The Dark Is Rising: The Seeker

The Dark Is Rising: The Seeker

by Susan Cooper

Paperback(Movie Tie-in Edition)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416949695
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication date: 08/21/2007
Series: Dark Is Rising Sequence Series
Edition description: Movie Tie-in Edition
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 8.10(w) x 5.36(h) x 0.75(d)
Age Range: 9 - 14 Years

About the Author

Susan Cooper, one of today's most distinguished children's book writers, won a Newbery Medal and a Newbery Honor for books in her fantasy sequence, The Dark is Rising. She is also the author of King of Shadows, a Boston GlobeHorn Book Honor Book, and Green Boy, which was called "an intriguing and truly lovely book" by the New York Times Book Review. She lives in Fairfield, Connecticut, and her Web site is at

Read an Excerpt

It was then, without warning, that the fear came.

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.

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Dark Is Rising: The Seeker 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
the_hag on LibraryThing 25 days ago
Will Stanton turns eleven on midwinter¿s eve¿and up until now, he¿s led a normal, if somewhat hectic life as the seventh (and youngest) child in his normal family. It is on this, his eleventh birthday, that he finds out he is anything but normal and also the beginning of a series of events that will help him define the man he will become. While I did thoroughly enjoy The Dark is Rising¿I think the greatest draw for this book (and the series as a whole) is for children (or young adults if you prefer), ages 9-14 (or so). The ¿light¿ and ¿dark¿ are fairly cut and dry, no shades of grey here¿the characters are ALL good or ALL bad, no subtle shading or real depth to them and while I do feel this is appropriate for the age range (because that¿s rather how kids of this age are still seeing the world, things are ¿good¿ or ¿bad¿); it¿s a shame the author doesn¿t challenge us and help introduce a more nuanced character set to the readers (perhaps in later books in the series), because this is also the age range where pushing that comfortable envelope should begin to be introduced. Having said that, I want to be clear that while I do see the characters as lacking depth to a certain degree, I did enjoy the book and would definitely recommend it, and it¿s just not as richly drawn as it might otherwise be if it were geared toward an older audience or if the author had written richer characters. Additionally for such surprisingly flat, one dimensional characters the text itself is highly detailed and extremely well written, though in places a bit confusing (for example where she refers to Will¿s friend¿he¿s actually one of his brothers, but this is unclear early on and is distracting). Cooper successfully weaves both British and Celtic folklore/mythology into the threads of the story and successfully creates an entire world in which Will must navigate to successfully achieve his quest (with time travel, even). We meet a variety of characters through Will, both Light and Dark and travel along with him as he struggles to come to terms with his new found knowledge, responsibilities and powers¿it¿s not an easy quest for an 11 year old, nor does he suddenly ¿become¿ an Old One, it¿s a struggle for him the whole of the journey (as it should be for an eleven year old). One of the best features of the story is that Will¿s home life is happy and healthy¿he is part of a tight-nit family unit. His family is normal: a two parent home where no one is sick, crazy, or otherwise absent or in need of rescue (at least as the story begins) and best of all, the entire family is well adjusted and actually get along (i.e. there is no bully or abusive siblings, no schoolyard conflicts, he¿s not a misfit, and there is no wicked step parent). While they do not really know about or help with Will¿s struggle or challenges, they are ever present and he must work in this quest and still fulfill his family obligations and remains a part of the family throughout. Overall, The Dark is Rising is an interesting and entertaining tale that readers of all ages can dig into and love. It¿s got strong mythological bones, interesting plot points, and relatively well defined and likeable characters which help to allow readers to forgive it¿s few flaws (somewhat flat characterization¿especially of the ¿Dark¿ characters, some confusing plot points, and the real lack of anything difficult being required of the ¿hero¿ when it¿s all said and done). I give it 4 stars and hope that later books in the series provide a bit more challenge for this (and other) characters as the series develops.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Quite dissapointing. the first half of the book was sooooo boring but as it got near the end it was OK 'thats the only reason i'm giving it a ** instead of *. I do not reccomend it! (ps try something else like harry potter or eragon)
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is a very good book I love it. I started it and couldn't put it down.It and the grey king are my favorite in the series. but you should read them all to find out.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Will was running, the Dark Rider not far behind, just when it seemed the Rider would catch him, Will finds himself on top of a beautiful white stallion, Will thought he was safe, but then he saw the doors. The Dark Is Rising is a great book and I highly recommend it. I like how in the book, one day Will is just an ordinary kid, and the next, he can control objects and people with his mind, speak a language that only the Old Ones(a magical group of people that fight against the dark) know. I also like how the author makes so much happen in one day. In twenty-four hours, Will discovers he is the very last of the Old Ones, receives one of the six magical signs that will help to defeat the Dark, and travels back in time to meet the rest of the Old Ones and discover Will's true powers. My favorite thing about the book is that Will, and the rest of the Old Ones, can freeze time and then travel to the future or the past to complete a task whenever they want to then go back to the present and whoever got frozen wouldn't notice a thing! The Dark Is Rising is really good and I recommend it to anybody that likes to read or has read the firs book in The dark Is Rising series, Over Sea Under Stone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Dark is Rising The rider throws Mary into the Thames to die when a flash of light comes and sweeps her up. Will is a chosen Old One and he doesn¿t¿ even know it. All his life he dreamed of snow for his birthday and Christmas. The year he turned eleven he got it and something he didn¿t expect. Will gets an odd present from his brother Stephen, He finds an old tramp that is attacked by many crows, and he learns about his fate and destiny. I recommend this book for anyone who likes a simple fantasy that has action and adventure. I love the adventure in this story. Will figures out he is the sign seeker. He is lost in a magical war between the Light and the Dark. Will must obtain the second of three Items of Power. The Dark tries to tempt him into joining the Dark but with Merriman and the Lady¿s help he resists. Merriman¿s liege man however could not resist and must become the holder of one of the six signs. However he hates the signs. I also love the action in this book. Will must not get killed by the dark while he has the signs otherwise hope will be lost. He must travel back in time to collect some of the signs and must see for himself what the Dark can do to a man. The Dark do not hesitate to punish but they will not kill easily. Will must not get killed by the Rider when the Rider attacks in a swirling mist of Darkness. Will watches as Herne the hunter hunts down the Rider and kills him. He must survive and know all the secrets of Graymare while collecting the signs. If he dies then another seventh son of a seventh son will have to do the work for him. I love the fantasy in this book. The book is filled with magic and other things that make it a non-fiction fantasy story. Like when Merriman¿s light sweeps up Mary as she is about to fall into the Thames. Will puts the head on Herne and he grows bigger and the mask becomes a real head. Also will learns how to protect his mind learn how to use the signs to help him and to travel through time. Merriman shows him how to put out candles with his mind. The Lady uses her force to protect Merriman and Will from the Dark coming through the door. I recommend this for fantasy-adventure lovers. It is an exciting tale of courage and heart. If you have not read it go out and buy it. N. Rahman
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow!I loved this book! In some Parts it was a little hard to follow, but you just get into it so much. I read it in two days. My dad's gonna read it next. I can't believe I'd never read it before. It's ot a very new book, but it's better than some of the new books. Will's powers are awesome. I can't wait to see the movie, but I'm interested to see how it compares with the book.