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The Dark Is Rising Sequence

(The Dark Is Rising #1-5)

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  16,102 ratings  ·  676 reviews
Cooper's highly acclaimed seriesOver Sea, Under Stone; The Dark Is Rising; Greenwitch; The Grey King; and Silver on the Treeis now available in its entirety for the first time in an attractive, sturdy boxed set that's perfect for gift giving. ...more
Paperback, 1148 pages
Published January 1st 1986 by Simon & Schuster (first published 1984)
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eyes.2c I read this series many years ago and really enjoyed it. You may not insatiably crave reading it. More like annoyed that you can't. The series may be…moreI read this series many years ago and really enjoyed it. You may not insatiably crave reading it. More like annoyed that you can't. The series may be available from a library.(less)
Leah This book would be Pg-13 but not all of the books in this series would be.…moreThis book would be Pg-13 but not all of the books in this series would be. (less)

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Average rating 4.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  16,102 ratings  ·  676 reviews

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Sep 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This series is fantastic, and has been horridly overlooked, particularly so seeming that our current culture seems so fascinated with all things Potter. Not that The Dark Is Rising is anything like Harry Potter - not at all. It's thickly steeped in Celtic and Arthurian legend, is relentless in its exploration of a myriad of layers of history and time, and simply reeks of magic. I love this series, and have for years. Within the past two years, I introduced these books to my wife, who seethed ...more
Nov 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Okay, the first thing to keep in mind is that Susan Cooper wrote these books long before JK Rowling was writing, so if you see the parallels of an English boy who discovers he has magical powers on his eleventh birthday...well, you just have to suck it up and admit that Cooper did it first.

These are AMAZING books. I was trying to think of which one I liked best, but they're all so good! Much darker than most children's fantasy. Very scary. When I was 10, I didn't sleep for days after reading
May 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
If you like:
-Harry Potter
-Philip Pullman
-King Arthur
-funny things
-English people
-any people
-big ideas
you will love:
The Dark is Rising sequence.
(any of the above is sufficient.)
These are the books that made me love reading, that made me sneak a flashlight under the covers at night to pick up where my father had last read aloud. The sequence begins mundanely, with three children going on holiday in Cornwall in Over Sea Under Stone, and ends in a battle of Arthurian
A dstinctive feature of this series of five children's books is that there are two distinctive groups of view point characters. A "normal" family group of three siblings who are the lead characters in Under Sea and over Stone and in Greenwich, while a boy with magical powers is the lead in the remaining three novels The Dark is Rising, The Grey King and The Silver on the Tree.

Although Susan Cooper has been resident for some years now in the USA all five books are firmly rooted in Britain of the
Kate Forsyth
The five books in The Dark is Rising Sequence are among my most treasured books from my childhood. I have the old Puffin paperbacks, which cost my aunt $2.75 each when she bought them for my 11th birthday. I have read them so many times they are battered and creased and faded. I read them again this Christmas as part of an international reading challenge initiated on Twitter by British authors Robert Macfarlane and Mary Bird. Thousands of readers joined in to read The Dark is Rising, Book 2 in ...more
Aug 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
You know what is weird? Grown adults reading or re-reading kids books and then complaining about plot issues or problems with the mythological underpinnings that no 10 year old would ever spot.

I loved these when I read them aged 9 or 10, and have very fond memories of feeling enveloped within their world.
Kirsten "keep calm there are only 47 days left"
This is one of the best fantasy series out there. Many years before J.K. Rowling thought of a wizarding school and a great fight of good v. evil, Susan Cooper came up with this Arthurian fantasy. I discovered it when I was younger (by accident) and I recently discovered this omnibus and thought, "I just HAVE to see if it's as good as I remember!" And it was! It still held my attention, it still had menace, suspense, and the heroism of good against evil! I highly recommend it to fans of Harry ...more
Jun 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: readownedloved
This was my absolute favorite series of children/early adolescent books. If I recall correctly (I reread all of these just a few years ago) Susan Cooper does not make so noticeable a shift in dumbing down the language or sentence structure for young readers, which I like a lot. It's a fantasy-ish story, but set in, well, what would have been current day for Susan Cooper at the time of writing it. It is difficult to review all of these books at once, because some are better than others, and they ...more
This is probably my favourite series of books of all time.

Over Sea Under Stone is aimed at the youngest audience of the five books, but it's still readable and the prose is lovely. The characters are instantly recognisable as children, rather than the mini-adults some writers make children, and they're easy to identify with. If nothing else, you have to be charmed by Barney. There's real suspense in this book: if your heart isn't in your mouth while Barney and Simon are crawling through the
Sep 15, 2013 rated it did not like it
I first read these books about twenty years ago, when I was just 9 years old. I subsequently forgot about them, although certain images and scenes have been rumbling around in my head for the better part of a decade. These scenes had managed to imprint themselves very deeply, so that long after the name of the author and the titles of the books were forgotten, I kept coming back to these flashes.

Recently I managed to get someone to identify the story on the scifi stackexchange. I immediately
Shane Hoover
Oct 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The Dark Is Rising is my first review on GoodReads, simply because it deserves to be. I can look back over more than 20 years of an insatiable hunger for the written word, and in the misty distance shine these books that started it all for me. That's not to say I didn't read before Susan Cooper, but I had never been so emotionally tethered to a story. In the person of Will Stanton, and his suddenly fierce friendship with Bran Davies, there remain to this day notes that resonate for me. Together ...more
Brenda ╰☆╮
Dec 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, re-read
A series I have enjoyed for many years. It is a children's book, so not for everyone.
To understand the whole you obviously need to read all the books. However, I would suggest starting with the second book The Dark is Rising (same name as the whole).
My favorite in the series, and the first I read, was The Grey King. I did not feel that I suffered for doing so, in fact maybe it was why I liked the entire series.
Enjoy...if you dare..
Helen (Helena/Nell)
Apr 08, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommended to Helen (Helena/Nell) by: Winifred McEwen
There are five novels in this sequence, which is for young readers, perhaps nine upwards, Id guess, though ten is suggested on the jackets. I missed them in my own childhood. The first (Over Sea, Under Stone) must have seen the light of day in the early seventies, and by then I was seventeen or eighteen and had read The Lord of the Rings several times, as well as a huge range of science fantasy for adults. But had I been ten when it was first printed, I would have loved it.

I would have loved it
Feb 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
I'm sure most of you friends who might end up reading this review have already read this series, but for anyone who hasn't, these books are the pre-Potter classics that may have really sparked J.K.'s joy of reading when she was a girl (in fact, I do remember reading one particular article in which Rowling mentions Susan Cooper as a favorite hero).

So Shelly Radmall and I were talking about being Anglophiles when we were chatting last at a girls' night out. I asked her if she'd read these books as
Kerry (The Roaming Librarian) O'Donnell
Jul 16, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone, but especially kids/teens
I just finished the final book in the series the other day, and it was pretty great. As a whole, Cooper's The Dark is Rising series was well written, and the stories flowed from one to the other without being too repetitive. I really enjoyed jumping right in to each book, and they went by pretty fast. While it is definitely a series for a younger audience, I was impressed by how intricately it went into the different Arthurian legends and such. I loved the character of Will, how he was able to ...more
Jane Williams
Oct 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
One of the classics that introduced me to fantasy and mythology as a kid, and I still re-read and enjoy now.
The writing is simple, elegant and vivid, the characterisation much more detailed and complex than one might expect from books aimed at children, and the descriptions of settings are always spot on, so real that you can smell them.

Erin Reilly-Sanders
Aug 02, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: juvenile, fiction, fantasy
After hearing a lot about this series, I was very disappointed in how pedestrian it was. Perhaps the rest of the series is better, but this one was very formulaic and not especially exciting. Following along with C.S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, it all starts on a rainy day with a bunch of British kids bored and playing in a big house. They start their adventure by finding an attic behind a wardrobe rather than actually in it. At one point, the dark side attempts to seduce one ...more
May 12, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-aloud
I think I loved this when I read it at the proper age -- 12 or so, I suppose. I know I read the series, and still have all of them. Almost 40 years later, though, it appeals to me much less. The presentation of the "old ones," the Light vs the Dark, etc., just seems simplistic and pretentious. Long on mythic symbols and swirling mists and short on compelling story. My kids seemed to enjoy it, though (I read it aloud.). Actually, my son particularly enjoyed Will's nearly instant acceptance of his ...more
Jul 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Long before there was Harry Potter, there was Will Stanton.

Again, my aunt Michele (who is probably barely talking to me just now, apologies again) was the wonderful person who gave me this book. She gave it to me for my 11th birthday, and someone else gave me scented pillows, and I can still smell those pillows everytime I opened the book. Sadly, my copy has finally disintegrated, so I shall have to replace it again before Christmas of this year.

This book is wonderful - magic, mystery, great
Gail Carriger
Nov 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, ya, favorites
Before Harry Potter even considered uttering one misbegotten bastardized Latin phrase, Susan Cooper wrote the Dark is Rising series. Heavily reliant on Welsh mythology, incredibly sympathetic main character (in Will), beautiful, lyrical, and amazing. Every kid should read these books.

They are also wonderful on tape.
Jan 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
My all time favorite fantasy series. I make a point to re-read this series every year to drink in Cooper's enlivening of old Celtic myths twined through an eleven-year-old protagonist. Her prose is seamless, her story compelling. If you like fantasy that's about the characters yet still gives you an aura of magic, I dare you to put this series down.
May 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My absolute favourite series as a child. It's such a shame that no one knows about this series -- it's so sublime.
Dec 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Shara by: Jason Snow
Shelves: borrowed
I never read this series as a child, and in hindsight, I wish it'd been more available to me when I could've fully appreciated the magic and wonder of the series. As it stands, reading it for the first time as an adult, there were some parts that worked wonderfully, and other parts that just didn't sit well with me at all. As a whole, The Grey King is my favorite and I think the best of them all, but I did enjoy the ending of the last book. The series is worth reading, but if you're like me and ...more
Joell Smith-Borne
I reread all 5 of these books over the last couple of weeks, because I remembered loving them so much as a kid but was unable to remember any details. In fact, I remember finding them confusing and dreamlike back then, so this time I wanted to pay attention and see if I could make it more concrete in my mind. So, they definitely hold up, not like certain other books I could name (*cough Wrinkle in Time cough*). Most of my reactions to reading these are based on my previous experiences, so it's ...more
Eric Feldhusen
Apr 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While classified as a young reader's book, it's still am entertaining and well written story for any age interested in fantasy. The movie was a so-so adaptation of the book, so don't gauge the book in any way on the movie
Faint shades of Enid Blyton in Over Sea Under Stone deepen in The Dark Is Rising to begin to approach the skill and imagination of Alan Garner. No holiday in North Wales has ever been quite the same after I read Silver On the Tree.

Very imaginative, and grippingly good to read.
Jun 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone and anyone
Shelves: fantasy
This is literally my favorite fantasy book in the entire world.
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
A childhood favourite; RTC.
May 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mine, favorite-series
1. Over Sea Under Stone ⭐⭐⭐⭐
2. The Dark is Rising ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
3. Greenwitch ⭐⭐⭐⭐
4. The Grey King ⭐⭐⭐⭐
5. Silver on the Tree ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
My copy of this book (with one of the worst cover illustrations EVER) contains all 5 books in The Dark is Rising series. I've never read it, and am interested, since one of the books one a Newbery Award and one a Newbery Honor. I finished the first book, Over Sea, Under Stone in early April. Since it's an enormous hardback, and I was traveling, I put it down for a while, and am picking it back up for the second book, The Dark is Rising, now.

Over Sea, Under Stone (c1965) I would give about 3
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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

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

News & Interviews

“Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.” That’s Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani human rights...
47 likes · 16 comments
“When the Dark comes rising six shall turn it back;
Three from the circle, three from the track;
Wood, bronze, iron; Water, fire, stone;
Five will return and one go alone.

Iron for the birthday; bronze carried long;
Wood from the burning; stone out of song;
Fire in the candle ring; water from the thaw;
Six signs the circle and the grail gone before.

Fire on the mountain shall find the harp of gold
Played to wake the sleepers, oldest of old.
Power from the Green Witch, lost beneath the sea.
All shall find the Light at last, silver on the tree.”
“On the day of the dead, when the year too dies,
Must the youngest open the oldest hills
Through the door of the birds, where the breeze breaks.
There fire shall fly from the raven boy,
And the silver eyes that see the wind,
And the light shall have the harp of gold.

By the pleasant lake the Sleepers lie,
On Cadfan’s Way where the kestrels call;
Though grim from the Grey King shadows fall,
Yet singing the golden harp shall guide
To break their sleep and bid them ride.

When light from the lost land shall return,
Six Sleepers shall ride, six Signs shall burn,
And where the midsummer tree grows tall
By Pendragon’s sword the Dark shall fall.

Y maent yr mynyddoedd yn canu,
ac y mae’r arglwyddes yn dod.”
More quotes…