robyn's Reviews > The Grey King

The Grey King by Susan Cooper
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Jan 27, 11

bookshelves: mythopoeia, coming-of-age, magic, perfect-books

This is the fourth book of the Dark is Rising sequence, and the standout of the series. It's set in Wales, and while half of the book is entirely concerned with mundane human matters - a dispute over sheep, a flat tire, a boy with a chip on his shoulder, long-standing grudges - all the while there's a tension rising beneath the surface that will finally explode in a powerful, surprising confrontation between Light and Dark.

Will Stanton is in Wales, ostensibly to recover from a long illness. In reality he has been sent by his masters - sent with a capital S - in order to meet Bran Davies, a boy whose destiny is far stranger than anything Will OR the reader could expect. It's truly one of the best YA books I've ever read; it's filled with beautiful, supernatural imagery and on the human side, the interactions between the human players are entirely believable and at times, all too terribly predictable.

Cooper is very good at endings; you always get the sense that there's more to say. Grey King is a heart-wrenchingly lovely book, and its last line always leaves me with a feeling of great wistfulness, or possibly regret.
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