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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)

4.16  ·  Rating Details ·  26,581 Ratings  ·  503 Reviews

This is the fifth and last book in "The Dark Is Rising" sequence. The Dark is rising in its last and greatest bid to control the world. The servants of the light: Will Stanton, the last of the Old Ones, the mysterious Professor Merriman, and the strange albino Welsh boy, Bran, are helped by three ordinary children in this last desperate battle.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 8th 2007 by Margaret K. McElderry Books (first published 1977)
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Aug 23, 2007 Eh?Eh! rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: babble-added, weep
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!
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
Feb 25, 2016 Rowan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, fantasy, fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Jul 04, 2012 Lightreads rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 13, 2009 Tyas rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 26, 2009 Maggie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 20, 2010 Debbie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 12, 2016 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: You kids with your Harry Potter twee

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
Nov 09, 2010 Jenna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 06, 2016 Scott rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 09, 2011 Nikki rated it it was amazing
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
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
Sep 05, 2011 Andres rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
Jun 18, 2012 Sunil rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
I wanted to like this book. The Drew kids were back, as was Bran, so they were supposed to outweigh Will Stanton's Will Stantonness. Ironically, Will Stanton actually has more human moments in this book than he's had in a while, so to balance it out, Bran basically loses all sense of self and sleepwalks through his destiny. And the Drew kids? BARELY DO ANYTHING. Susan Cooper's poor pacing continues, as we begin with random racism that's supposed to represent the Dark's hold on humanity or someth ...more
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
Mar 28, 2013 Bev rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
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
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
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
Jan 24, 2016 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Loved the ending. Best of the series.

I would have enjoyed all of the books more if the details of the plot had been more precise. It's all a mystical world, so the author gets to make up the rules; but they seemed very blurred and haphazard. As the reader, you know The Light will win in the end, but the eventual triumph seemingly rests on lots of vague circumstances taking place and things happening just so. Arbitrary laws seem to be the basis for everything, which partly increases the mystery o
Steven Bell
As I finish this series I'm filled with a lot of mixed feelings. There were a great deal of things I enjoyed about these books but other things that were disappointing or baffling...

But in terms of this book, I found this an underwhelming and overly long finale. Too often the text devolved into descriptions of things. The entire first part of the book was 100% unnecessary. When you can cut an entire large section of your book without it messing up the plot you have a very serious problem. And I
Moraes the Bookworm
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, the quests that are not real 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 obsession with King Arthur.

Actually, I am still
Finally finished my yearly(ish) reread with this book. The conclusion to the sequence is full of its own magic and beauty, but because of the ending, it just can’t be my favourite. (Perhaps in a similar way that The Farthest Shore doesn’t work for me; I don’t like it when the magic comes to an end!)

The whole sequence in the Lost Land is gorgeous, and probably my favourite thing about this book. Then, of course, there’s the interactions between the group – such disparate kids, and brought togethe
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
Well, that's that. At last.

When these books first came out I gulped them, without a belch or even coming up for air. I loved them, but my life changed radically in about 18 mos time and I left the small town where I grew up, its library, and indeed its continent for a new home. I thought about this series fondly from time to time, so when I had the chance to re-read it, I was eager to do so.

Oh dear.

Those who follow my reviews will know it's been just one disappointment after the other. 80% of t
Jul 29, 2016 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kidlit, own, king-arthur
I never read these as a kid, though I was aware of them. I read them as an adult, and I remember the entire series as a whole. I think I'd like to read them aloud to my kids, once we finish Harry Potter.
Sep 20, 2016 Tania rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It took me longer to read this one. I remembered nothing of it from when I read it in 2004 - nothing stood out as being interesting in this story back then, so only recalled the Mari Llwyd scene, as I used that bit in an article I wrote.

Does Susan Cooper have something against redheads? All her villains seemed to have vibrant ginger hair in this entire series (I'm a redhead!) :(

This book was the worst of the lot of them, in my opinion. Nothing in it was interesting, I kept falling asleep while r
Rachel Joy
My favorite book in the Dark is Rising sequence is the first one, Over Sea, Under Stone. All the others are just not as good.

I listened to these books and probably would not have finished all of them if I had been reading them instead. This one had the same long-winded descriptions of this and that, so much so that the reader gets kind of lost in what the actual action is, that is to say what's important to the story line. The ending got way too preachy for my taste, but I suppose that could be
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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 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)

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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.” 73 likes
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