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Silver on the Tree (The Dark is Rising, #5)
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Silver on the Tree (The Dark is Rising #5)

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4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  23,791 ratings  ·  424 reviews
The Dark is rising in its last and greatest bid to control the world. And Will Stanton -- last-born of the immortal Old Ones, dedicated to keeping the world free -- must join forces with this ageless master Merriman and Bran, the Welsh boy whose destiny ties him to the Light. Drawn in with them are the three Drew children, who are mortal, but have their own vital part in t ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published December 1st 2000 by Margaret K. McElderry Books (first published 1977)
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Community Reviews

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David

Fire on the mountain shall find the harp of gold
Played to wake the Sleepers, oldest of the old;
Power from the green witch, lost beneath the sea;
All shall find the Light at last, silver on the tree.


This was my Harry Potter, you kids.

It is still magic.

September 2013 reread

I still remember the day in fifth grade, many, many years ago, when the school librarian told me that the book I'd been waiting for was in. Silver on the Tree, the fifth and final volume in Susan Cooper's Dark is Rising sequenc
...more
Maggie
I remember loving these books as a child but I had forgotten how much I skipped over. Re-reading childhood favorites is dangerous, but in the case of the Dark Is Rising books, you really should not do it.

What I loved was the Drew children, because Stone Over Sea is a wonderful book and I kept reading to get more of them. But everything having to do with Will Stanton was so outrageously irritating, I nearly didn't finish the fifth book, Silver on the Tree. Good lord. He magically gets all these o
...more
Tyas
Dec 13, 2009 Tyas rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: L-da, Miu Ririn
Shelves: fantasy, susan-cooper
Some authors treat magic in a somehow mechanistic way, although perhaps no explanation is offered for how the magic works.
The magic user says a spell, flames light up.
The magic user says a spell, he levitates.
The magic user says a spell, somebody dies.
As easy as that.

But there are other authors who can do more than that: they create worlds in which magic feels like air filling the atmosphere there, seeping through the words that we read so that we feel magical ourselves. One of the authors with
...more
Lightreads
And now we have to talk about The Thing. Spoilers abound, for once, because I’ve really just gotta get my teeth straight into this.

Before that, though, the rest of the book. It’s . . . honestly, I’m not crazy about it. I remember that this was never one I reread much as a child. Well, that’s not true – I reread the first third all the time, but I’d stop whenever the magic started coming thick and heavy. There is something so wrenching about Will and his brother by the river, about Stephen carin
...more
Nikki
In this last book, everything comes together. All the characters, all the plots and threads, all the separate pieces of mythology. Again, it's a beautiful book, and again, as always, there is some amazing characterisation. The things that catch my eye especially in this book are the initial awe/resentment of Bran from the Drews, Gwion's loyalty to and grief for Gwddyno, and John's grief when Blodwen betrays him. There's a lot of complex emotion going on here beneath the actual plot, and parts of ...more
Eh?Eh!
The 5th of an amazing children's series I'd read so many times over that the spine creases combined into one, big, obscuring curl. I'm saddened by the previews of the upcoming movie where it appears the lilting beauty of Cooper's story has been fed steroids and 'enhanced' with explosions. What's this about an American protagonist rather than English, and no mention of the Arthurian connection? The horrors!
TheBookSmugglers
Well, this was exceedingly disappointing.

Silver on the Tree encapsulates and highlights every single thing that was frustrating about the series as a whole: the vagueness of the plot, the lack of any real sense of danger (considering that the Dark!is!Rising!), the quests that are not really quests and are more like stumbling unto Things, the overwhelming sense that everything is pre-ordained even though everybody talks about free will, the lack of any character development, the romantic obsessio
...more
Jess
A satisfying conclusion to the series. I realized, listening to the books, that they're not so much about what happens as about the tone, the sense of place, and the way that good and evil work themselves out in the world. I couldn't really tell you the plot of this one - the Dark is rising again and Will and the others are trying to stop it? But that scarcely mattered, because I was interested in how Bran would decide his own fate, and how John Rowlands would respond to an unexpected twist in h ...more
Nikki
Squeaked this in just before 2013 began. There's little more I can say about this book: I don't understand people who don't like it, who can't see the layers of ambiguity in it, the way there's always more to discover. Mind you, I'm sure it's partly me that brings that to this most loved story.

I love that Susan Cooper's people are people, most of them neither Dark nor Light but people, trying to live. I've needed a Stephen Stanton in the past, and Susan Cooper reminds me -- as Will is reminded b
...more
Nikki
This book brings together the rest of the sequence, and brings the struggle of the Light and the Dark to its conclusion. It's mostly set in Wales, with all the characters reuniting there. It has a lot of the stunning passages of prose that I've praised before, and as with The Grey King, it's a bit more subtle in terms of the Light/Dark divide. Not quite as much as I'd really like to see, I think: the White Rider is a pretty troubling figure. I'd want more ambiguity there, more of a hint that she ...more
Andres
This was a disappointing end to a disappointing series. "It's all too... vague," says Jane at one point, at the start of yet another random adventure, a sentiment that unfortunately applies to the whole of The Dark Is Rising sequence.

I don't even know where to begin, so I'll start with the same criticisms I had with the other four books: no explanation about how all the magic works and overuse of capitalized words that signify nothing. Now, there is a little speech Will gives at the beginning of
...more
Jenna
I really don't know what it is about this series that leaves me less than enthusiastic about reading it. I barely managed to finish this, the final book. In fact I ended up skimming most of the second half and tuning back in only for the final battle. Throughout the whole series the story suffered from a removed and distant point of view, so I never felt anxious or sad of happy about anything that happened. The bad guys weren't really that bad- they followed all the rules! There was even a point ...more
Nikki
Silver on the Tree combines all the best of the other books of the sequence: the magic, the genuine moments of terror and alarm, the weaving of legends and the everyday, the mysteries that leave you to wonder, the sense of place... And more than any of the others it combines both sadness and joy; in that, it's the most adult of the sequence.

I especially enjoy little touches like Bran getting to meet Owain Glyndŵr; one thing I did miss was Barney not having more of a reaction to actually meeting
...more
Nikki
My full, more overview-like review of this book is here -- this review is just about my most recent reading. It was unfortunately swift, really, since my poor girlfriend needs to sleep and I was only halfway through by sometime past midnight. So I hurried up, and didn't have as much time as I'd like to savour the images and the taste of the words... Not that it isn't, in a way, appropriate to read it as a race against time, since that's what this book is. From the sleepiness, the slow start of O ...more
Bev
The last book in the quintet series of The Dark Is Rising.

This concludes the tale of Will the sign seeker and the Drew children and Bran Pendragon. It races across Buckinghamshire, Wales and the Chiltern Hills towards the last battle of the Dark against the Light.

There are some unforgettable characters with this series and although aimed at young people initially, it is timeless and ageless in it's appeal. With it's mix of Arthurian and Old English and Welsh mythology it has a magical feel to it
...more
Alex Sarll
Concluding my seasonal* reread of The Dark is Rising, the series' last and longest book. Also, somehow, the hardest to read. You know how sometimes, a book isn't bad or boring you, but you still find your eye sort of sliding off the text? And yet the story is definitely making it through to you, albeit in a fractured form. The whole series has had an aspect of dream to it - waking in the middle of the night to find oneself back in time, and so forth - but it's a deeper dream this time, with much ...more
Ben Babcock
Well, here we are, at the end of a very long journey. I can see now why The Dark is Rising sequence is packaged, well, as a sequence. The individual novels are quite short--some of them closer to novellas than anything else. The five-book stories are in fact a single story, but packaged together, they take up nearly 800 pages of very small print. It's an adult-sized story aimed at young adults and children, and I imagine the omnibus edition is intimidating. I found it intimidating, which is why ...more
Scott
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nick
The Dark Rises, the Light Responds, and the Capital Letters Proliferate in this highly satisfactory conclusion to Cooper's fantasy epic. There was never any doubt about the conclusion, but a nice plot twist near the end keeps the interest high. My only wish was for more, which is always a good sign in fiction. I wanted to hear what happened to our heroes in after times, once the epic battle was concluded. Cooper set up that potential sequel so nicely that I wasn't ready for the story to end. Won ...more
Debbie
This book was slightly better than the 3rd or 4th book in the series, but I just couldn't get through it. I think one reason that I don't really like these books is that there is no climax. It follows the characters down a fairly straight-forward path. There is no tension; everything just falls into place and is easy.
Emily
There are lots of books out there for young adult readers. There are lots of series too. In my opinion, there are lots that should have never been written, let alone read. Unfortunately, I have read far too many of those. But this series, well, it falls into a different category altogether. This is a must-read, classic series of stories about the battle between Light and Dark,and the High Magic above it all that watches the struggle. Though the High Magic is supposed to be impartial, you can tel ...more
Gongjin
And so ends my The Dark is Rising Reread in accordance to the book's 40th Anniversary. And I'm going to do a little bit of philosophical musing here.

For me, the entire sequence could be summed up by this one quote from Gwion:

"All life is theatre," he said. "We are all actors, you and I, in a play which nobody wrote and which nobody will see. We have no audience but ourselves...."

And indeed this whole battle between the Light and the Dark feels like one big stageplay, wherein each participant is
...more
Jill
Liked a lot: This final book contains some absolutely beautiful writing. The descriptions of scenery and of action scenes are often breathtaking, and I truly enjoyed the many references to Arthurian and other British legends.

Not so much: I never felt as if I knew any of the characters well enough to identify with them emotionally. For the most part, they said their lines and went through their motions as if following a very episodic and disconnected script, and there was never enough sense of t
...more
Stephanie Jobe
Oh yeah, baby (sorry couldn’t resist, more than mildly pleased with finishing already). I wondered if Susan Cooper planned out all the numerical symmetry ahead of time, honestly I should of seen it sooner, but it just makes me more impressed with her that I didn’t. John Rowland finally gets a little bit of spotlight in this one. You find out why Caradog Pritchard was such an ass. Bran, Merriman, Will, Barney, Simon and Jane are all together finally as the six, but they are not the people that th ...more
Learning Community Learning Community
Imagine living in a world where your friends could be evil(the dark) or good (the light). where your best friend might be a imortal who fights for the dark or the light. Susan Cooper's Silver On The Tree is just like that!

In the begining five of a group of six come together and start the search for the cystal sword of the light.

But they get split up and the dark tries to stop them.

In the end after they have the sword they are split up by the dark after the five of the six had regrouped,but
...more
LH Johnson
And so, my headlong, occasionally giddy, somewhat breathless rampage through The Dark is Rising sequence ends; and it ends here, with this book of almost breathless bigness and Breugel/Dali/Escher-esque overtones.

It is a heck of a series this, huge and madly inventive (though that's wrong, it doesn't feel as if it's invented, it feels real, all of it, as though Cooper's just pulled off the lid of something and let us look inside), and it is a heck of a reading experience to read them all in a g
...more
Tiffany
A reread, and I found that I enjoyed it much more, the second time round. :> More time to let it sink in, I think... and besides, Silver on the Tree is just so meandering that it really takes a slow read to fully appreciate it.

Exquisite writing, as usual. Cooper's distinctive touch with the landscapes and settings - it's just so... vibrant, tactile, touchable and tangible. Best thing about her work? Sure is. Every breath of that air was real.

As an artist and writer myself, the Lost Land par
...more
AmbushPredator
The final book of the series, and it's back to Wales and...to another place, the Lost Land, to face the final battle between Light and Dark. And this final chapter is the most adult of them all, and also the most bittersweet, for weren't we warned that 'five will return, and one go alone'? Who will it be? Well, it's possible to guess, but the finale is still a jolt. No matter how many times you read it.

The journey to the final sequence is very heavily symbolic, and parts of it remind me - a lot
...more
Douglas Larson
This book is the culination of the previous 4 books in the Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper. It brings to conclusion the struggle between The Dark and The Light, the two opposing forces for evil and good respectively that Cooper portrays in all 5 books of the series.
My first reading of this book, at least 20 or 25 years ago, I found it exciting, profound and a fabulous conclusion to the series. I re-read it about 5 years ago and found that it lost a bit of the awe I had experienced previou
...more
Nancy Ellis
Wonderful conclusion to this amazing series! All the story lines come together, all the characters become even more real, and all the symbolism becomes clearer than ever. There are so many things to say about this book, it's impossible to put them all in one review. I highly recommend reading it, but do read the series right from Book 1!! It is one of those perfect epics of the eternal struggle between Dark and Light, but putting it that way almost trivializes the whole point....It's much more t ...more
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Susan Cooper's latest book is the YA novel "Ghost Hawk" (2013)

Susan Cooper was born in 1935, and grew up in England's Buckinghamshire, an area that was green countryside then but has since become part of Greater London. As a child, she loved to read, as did her younger brother, who also became a writer. After attending Oxford, where she became the first woman to ever edit that university's newspap
...more
More about Susan Cooper...

Other Books in the Series

The Dark is Rising (5 books)
  • Over Sea, Under Stone (The Dark is Rising, #1)
  • The Dark is Rising (The Dark is Rising, #2)
  • Greenwitch (The Dark is Rising, #3)
  • The Grey King (The Dark is Rising, #4)
The Dark is Rising (The Dark is Rising, #2) Over Sea, Under Stone (The Dark is Rising, #1) The Grey King (The Dark is Rising, #4) Greenwitch (The Dark is Rising, #3) The Dark is Rising Sequence (The Dark is Rising, #1-5)

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“The future cannot blame the present, just as the present cannot blame the past. The hope is always here, always alive, but only your fierce caring can fan it into a fire to warm the world.” 67 likes
“For ever and ever, we say when we are young, or in our prayers. Twice, we say it. Old One, do we not? For ever and ever ... so that a thing may be for ever, a life or a love or a quest, and yet begin again, and be for ever just as before. And any ending that may seem to come is not truly an ending, but an illusion. For Time does not die, Time has neither beginning nor end, and so nothing can end or die that has once had a place in Time.” 51 likes
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