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Greenwitch (The Dark Is Rising #3)

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really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  23,432 Ratings  ·  627 Reviews
Book 3 in the Dark is Rising series.
Jane's invitation to witness the making of the Greenwitch begins a series of sinister events in which she and her two brothers help the Old Ones recover the grail stolen by the Dark.
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Published 2007 by New York : Random House/Listening Library, (first published 1974)
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Kris I would read them in this order: The Dark is Rising; Over Sea, Under Stone; Greenwitch, The Grey King, Silver On The Tree.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Lightreads
Dec 28, 2008 Lightreads rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The eerie one, as opposed to the intensely disturbing one, which for me will always be The Grey King.

I remembered this as a slight, inconsequential book. The weird-shaped one in the middle where the kids meet each other on vacation before we get really serious. I didn't remember -- or likely didn't understand -- just how serious this little book is.

Here's where it crystallized for me. Simon and Jane have a brief run-in with Will's American aunt, who is delighted with all the 'natives and their q
...more
Nikki
Dec 12, 2015 Nikki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Greenwitch is the shortest book of the sequence, and yet that doesn’t mean that little happens. It’s perhaps the most densely packed with symbolism and meaning and mythology that you just can’t get a handle on: the drowned man, the ship going inland, Roger Toms, the Wild Magic… This book, to me, emphasises the aspects of this sequence which are otherworldly and quite beyond the human characters, even while the humanity of those characters plays a huge part. It is Jane’s human kindness which wins ...more
Cassandra
Re-read June 2013
I'm noticing this time around how clever Cooper is to show these events through the Drews' eyes, rather than Will's. The second book was of Will discovering and growing into his power; now we see him fully grown, as it were, relaxed and confident in his role as Old One, and the Drew children's outside perspective on him is invaluable. When he coolly deflects Simon's boyish attempts to quarrel, the way he treats Merriman as a peer--in the previous book, from Will's own point of v
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Moonlight Reader
I needed a book to fill a hideous cover bingo square. This one fit the bill. Good book, ugly ass cover.
Nikki
I'm probably becoming repetitive with my reviews of this sequence. Parts of this book, especially the descriptions, are just glorious and perfect. I think of it as the book that focuses more on Jane, too, which is always interesting as she's the only real key female character. It also contains one of my favourite scenes/images from the sequence: Barney scrying.

There are some very interesting newer concepts introduced in this book. We've already met the Wild Magic, in a sense, in the form of Her
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Karen Witzler
Haunting little book in the middle of Cooper's "The Dark is Rising" sequence. A young girl is swept up in ritual and myth as she watches Cornish village women construct and cast into the sea a "greenwitch"; a propitiatory straw and seashell sculpture. Very neo-pagan and steeped in British folkloric custom; I felt a strong desire to reread this after watching an episode of "Poldark" where the Cornishwomen are awaiting the annual running of the pilchard, but alas my copy has been lost to downsizin ...more
Nikki
Greenwitch isn't really my favourite book of the series, though it is the one with the most mystery -- I wonder a lot about the background mythology, the legends of Cornwall that the Greenwitch brings to life and what lies behind each glimpse of part of a story. It occurred to me last night while reading that maybe Susan Cooper has come closer than Tolkien to a "mythology for England". Granted, he's closer if you're looking at England as "the land under the rule of the Anglo-Saxons", but Cooper ...more
Nikki
Not my favourite book of this sequence, but fun nonetheless -- mostly because of the clash of characters. Barney and Simon's outrage at another boy intruding into their special relationship with Merriman, and their special quest, is just so human and believable. And there's nothing that demonstrates Will's strangeness as well as his refusal to quarrel with them, his adult and distant attitude.

I think the other great thing about this one is the atmosphere. Once the Greenwitch enters the equation,
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Ben Babcock
Greenwitch is the third in Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising series. It unites the protagonists of the previous two books. Will Stanton meets Barney, Simon, and Jane. Together, they foil the latest plot of the Dark, which involves stealing a secret artifact from the Greenwitch. This entity is a construct of twigs and leaves built by the women of Trewissick in an elaborate, night-long ceremony. They assemble the Greenwitch, then the men of the village cast it over the cliff and into the sea below ...more
Mathew
Far shorter than I thought it was yet no worse for it, the third in the Dark is Rising sequence sees Cooper balance a fine line between the narrative of Over Sea Under Stone and The Dark is Rising which, I had claimed, felt like they had been written by two different people. I think she does a good job here and actually enjoyed the fact that it was mainly still down to the children, especially Jane, to guide us through the story.

I found the connection between the Greenwitch, Jane and the women
...more
Nikki
Dec 22, 2012 Nikki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
And belatedly continuing my rereads of these books before the New Year... Greenwitch is definitely not my favourite of the books, but I rank it a bit ahead of Over Sea, Under Stone, because it's just that little bit more mature, and some of the events are so mysterious that I can't help but be intrigued. The haunting of Trewissick, everything to do with Tethys, the weirdness with the caravan... Susan Cooper doesn't bother too greatly about giving a ton of explanations, and I actually like that, ...more
Wendy Bousfield
In GREENWITCH (book 3 of Cooper’s DARK IS RISING series), Simon, Jane, and Barney Drew (protagonists of book 1, OVER SEA, UNDER STONE) meet Will Stanton (book, 2, THE DARK IS RISING). However, the “muggles” (to borrow from HARRY POTTER) resent Will’s bond with their Great Uncle Merry, not realizing that both are immortal “Old Ones.” By the end of the book, the Drews and Will achieve a tentative collaboration.

GREENWICH begins with the theft of an ancient Arthurian grail. In OVER SEA, Simon, Jane,
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Andres
Sep 01, 2011 Andres rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, young_adult
The first book in this series was a treasure hunt plot with hints of magic. The second book in this series was all about the magic with little actual plot. This book, the third in the series, combines the two, with magic AND a plot. The results are... okay.

My main problem with the series so far is that not a lot of details are given about this ongoing battle between the Light and the Dark. Through two books we've been told of this ancient battle, and we've sort of seen some fights, but though th
...more
LPG
Feb 17, 2017 LPG rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Oooh. This one I did not enjoy. The original kids are back which was lovely, but they're largely relegated to unimportant background stuff. You get the distinct feeling that Merry and Will could have handled this one without them (convenient wish and that lil bit of scrying aside).

I don't know. This book is 99% what I don't like about Coopers writing. She tells and doesn't show. Or she uses a passive narrator. She did the same thing at the end of the previous book, which I thought was a bit of a
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Nicole
This is the midpoint of the series and the shortest book. Greenwitch brings together the Drew children from the first book and Will from The Dark is Rising in Trewissick after the grail the Drew children found is stolen. My husband said this was the book he liked the least as a child, and I can see how it might be a bit "over the head" for some. This is one of those books where, even as short as it is, it would have been nice to have a little character sheet with some background for the more myt ...more
Nick Swarbrick
Apr 24, 2017 Nick Swarbrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some genuinely creepy moments, and interestingly ambiguous set of relationships between the children from the previous two stories, Over Sea, Under Stone and The Dark is Rising. It is (perhaps) marred slightly by an ending that points to further into the sequence rather than reaching a resolution, but again Cooper manages landscape, family, folklore and danger and quite a difficult set of questions around how children identify whose side this adult or that might be on with her customary sureness ...more
Jacob
Apr 25, 2017 Jacob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. Good story, though not quite as compelling as the previous book in the series. However, I did really like the author's introduction of something that didn't quite fit into the paradigm of the light vs. the dark -- a sort of wild, elemental force.
Cody F.
I am going to write about a book review on greenwitch . Greenwitch is about where someone has stolen an object that has power . Where A person has A quest to reclaim the grail . The grail has A vital secret . But he will need some help on the way . They will also have to work together to get it.
David
Apr 05, 2010 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Meddling kids, Cornish villagers, sea goddesses
Recommended to David by: My 11-year-old self
Continuing my reread of my favorite childhood series, I remember that I found Greenwitch less interesting than the book before it or the books that followed — basically, a mid-series slump. This was my impression on rereading it many years later; it's not bad, but a fairly typical children's fantasy, and doesn't quite have the dark foreboding of The Dark is Rising nor the epic build-up of the end of the series.

I remain convinced Susan Cooper is a talented and under-rated writer. But while she ha
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Tania Poole
Sep 01, 2016 Tania Poole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book 3!
This one is set in Trewissick in Cornwall like the first book, and it is full of folkloric mystery again, creating a folk festival for the village that mirrors a lot of folkie stuff Cornwall gets into.

What I didn't mention when I reviewed the Dark is Rising, is how I love the idea of a child having an ancient and immortal power that makes him unique, I've written several tales with the same theme. Since I've often thought of children being far wiser that adults in many cases (additional
...more
Paul
In the third volume of "The Dark is Rising" sequence, author Susan Cooper brings together the protagonists of the two preceding books - Simon, Jane & Barney Drew, and Will Stanton - and returns the setting to the Cornish fishing village of Trewissick.

Every year, the women of Trewissick build an effigy of leaves and branches called the Greenwitch, and cast it from the coastal cliffs as an offering for good fortune and good fishing in the coming year. As it sinks beneath the waves, it becomes
...more
Nigel
Dec 07, 2016 Nigel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-ya
Greenwitch always had a special place in my heart, perhaps not quite my favourite book in the Dark is Rising Sequence, but it has something the others don't. Jane, Simon and Barney meet Will Stanton for the first time. Will's an Old One of the Light, the others aren't. Will's one of the in-crowd, full of secret knowledge and magic and authority. The kids generally go along with this a bit too meekly for my liking, but in Greenwitch there's a spiky bit of resentment and irritation.

The grail recov
...more
Nikki
Mar 03, 2011 Nikki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Greenwitch isn't my favourite book of the series, but I do appreciate it a lot. It's beautifully written, and it features Jane more prominently, I think, than at other times -- she does have her place in other books, but it's her impulses and her goodness that really win through for the Light in this book. Without her, they'd be really, really stuck. She embodies some things that the Light lacks, or rather, can't consider. They're concerned with cold, absolute justice, but like John Rowlands, in ...more
Jenna
Oct 12, 2010 Jenna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
With the third book in The Dark Is Rising series I feel I'm finally able to describe this properly. The books are turning out quite good. They are imaginative and colorful, with likable characters and interesting plot. I still have a feeling of disconnect from the story, but I think it's more because of my age.

For instance, this series is a somewhat typical good vs. evil adventure, yet the evil isn't really very evil. Magic is used but really the only bad things that happen are a sister and a do
...more
Magali
Dec 31, 2015 Magali rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ok so here's my problem with The Dark is Rising (and with Narnia, and with Lord of the Rings for that matter): it's all just too Calvinist for me.

Everything is predetermined and there isn't a whole lot of room for free will, even though people talk about it an awful lot. Everyone has a part to play and he or she has very little choice in the matter; you are good or you are bad, but that is something that you cannot change (even though the narrative alludes that it is possible, I've never seen i
...more
Helen
Nov 04, 2016 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The third of the Dark is Rising series. This book returns to Cornwall, the setting of the first book, Over Sea, Under Stone, and reintroduces the three Drew children. Will Stanton is also there, brought by Merriam Lyon, who is the Drew children's great uncle. The relationships in this series are sometimes complex but it doesn't matter if the reader ignores that issue entirely.
There are many traditions surrounding a leafy green face, often referred to as the Green Man, and having to do with ferti
...more
Rowan
Mar 19, 2008 Rowan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of YA fantasy
Shelves: ya, fantasy, fiction
This book is much better-paced than "The Dark is Rising", the characters are more well-rounded and engaging, and the threat feels more real, spooky, and inhuman. I especially love how pivotal Jane is to the story, since I liked her so much in "Over Sea, Under Stone". I would venture to say that it is the strongest book in the series so far. It's a pity that it is also the shortest.

My only substantial complaint is that the only POC character in the series so far to appear in more than a paragraph
...more
Kristin
Another lovely book in this series. Susan Cooper's writing is lyrical in some sections. Her descriptions of the landscape in Cornwall evoke the moods of the characters and the themes of her work excellently. In this story, one of the things of power has been stolen, and Uncle Merry, Will Stanton and the Drew children must recover on the cliffs of Cornwall. All the elements from this series are present, but this story showcases the power of empathy and kindness and also depicts the loneliness tha ...more
Kim
Mar 13, 2009 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While many of the young adult fantasy series out there (Harry Potter, His Dark Materials, etc.) are perfectly readable and enjoyable for adults, this series is probably not one of them. It tends to be a bit too simplistic with the problems too easily solved. This is the third book in "The Dark is Rising" sequence and brings together characters from the first two books. One of the characters is clearly in control of the situation, not needing to work it solving the problems at all and the other 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
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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)
  • The Grey King (The Dark Is Rising, #4)
  • Silver on the Tree (The Dark is Rising, #5)

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“Never dismiss anyone's value until you know him.” 5 likes
“It's all right!" Simon said hoarsely. Hastily he cleared his throat and put his shoulders back, though it was hard to recover dignity in pajamas.” 1 likes
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