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Silver On The Tree

(The Dark Is Rising #5)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  29,816 ratings  ·  721 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 ...more
Paperback, 275 pages
Published March 1st 1990 by Scholastic (first published 1977)
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Average rating 4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  29,816 ratings  ·  721 reviews

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mark monday
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
an excellent finale for a smashing series. I particularly appreciated how the chapters alternated between magical duo Will & Bran and the resolutely "normal" Drew children, showing their differing reactions to the Rising. everything comes together nicely in the end. special shout-out to a superb new villain: The White Rider! *swoon* yes, I'm swooning for an infernal, chaos-loving, completely dastardly Lord of the Dark. The White Rider gave me some wonderful chills, especially during the ...more
Apr 05, 2010 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
Sep 04, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, young_adult
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
Sep 26, 2009 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
Cooper's prose, as always, is gorgeous, and her flair for imagery is enviable, but this final volume in the Dark is Rising sequence disappoints as a novel. The first four volumes were nothing but buildup - and this is nothing but buildup too, until five pages from the end.

Like books two, three, and four, there are random time travelling scenes, but here they muddle the plot instead of moving it along.

None of the characters have particularly vivid personalities, but the Drew siblings -
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
Jun 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Dec 28, 2008 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
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
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
Lizzy (Bent Bookworm)
I’ve read this entire series by audiobook, and while I enjoyed it, I really think I need to go back and read them as books. Sometimes I would have gaps of days in between my listening within a book, and gaps of weeks or even months between the books themselves, so I got a little confused. The whole series seems a bit un-explained, to me, and I’m really kind of perplexed that I couldn’t get as into it as so many other people. I didn’t like the way the point of view jumped back and forth between ...more
Pam Baddeley
In this volume we come to the climax of the five book 'The Dark is Rising' sequence and sadly I found it a bit of an anti-climax. As might be expected, the three sets of children: the Drews who figured largely in books 1 and 3 and Bran, the boy with the illustrious father (view spoiler) from book 4 and Will Stanton, last and youngest of the Old Ones, the champions of the Light, are all reunited as the Dark makes its final move. The book starts off with a sequence ...more
Nov 09, 2010 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 23, 2007 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!
Jul 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: amelie, susan-cooper
Finishing up my first reread of the series since I was much younger. And while The Dark is Rising still holds its spot as my favorite, I think Silver on the Tree is very close behind. There's a grand explosion of mystery and wonder and it all ties up in a fee perfect final chapters full of emotion and tension. Having more knowledge of Welsh mythology now (and the aid of the internet) is certainly a plus in really getting this series. Susan Cooper is really one of those authors whose books ...more
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 ...more
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
Nov 21, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rachel (Kalanadi)
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Mar 19, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, ya, fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 07, 2012 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 ...more
Mar 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...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
Jan 20, 2010 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.
Cooper brings us to a fine conclusion in the battle between good and evil, the light and the dark. The ending in this is packed with emotion and heartbreak. I thought this was a superb series; if I had read it as a child I would have loved it even more.
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I confess I found this less compelling than the earlier titles. Perhaps I read it too soon after the others, too many in a row; perhaps it was because I was traveling when I read it. It's not that it's not a good ending; it just seemed to lack the power of the earlier titles. Perhaps the resolution never quite lives up to the set up. Still, it's a satisfying ending, and a story that unites the 3 Drew children, Bran, and Will, along with Merry and others from the earlier titles. Glad to have ...more
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
Aug 16, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kids, fans of the series
Recommended to Jason by: Santa Claus
Update, 8/14/18:

Dropping from five stars to two which is disappointing. I seem to be oh for five with this series. The two I thought were best weren't quite up to par, and the other three were better than I thought. Well, you can't win them all. This one had the biggest swing, though. I considered doing 2.5 stars and rounding up to three, but I'm in a crappy mood and disinclined to be generous. And even though I let 13-year-old Pierce keep the Dark is Rising rating at five stars, I'm changing my
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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
  • Greenwitch
  • The Grey King
“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.” 82 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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