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Greenwitch (The Dark is Rising, #3)
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(The Dark Is Rising #3)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  29,386 ratings  ·  923 reviews
Simon, Jane, and Barney, enlisted by their mysterious great-uncle, arrive in a small coastal town to recover a priceless golden grail stolen by the forces of evil -- Dark. They are not at first aware of the strange powers of another boy brought to help, Will Stanton -- nor of the sinister significance of the Greenwitch, an image of leaves and branches that for centuries ha ...more
Paperback, 147 pages
Published 1997 by Margaret K. McElderry Books (first published 1974)
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Heather I've read it the way Kris says and the other way (with The Dark is Rising second) and... there are passing mentions of Over Sea, Under Stone in The Da…moreI've read it the way Kris says and the other way (with The Dark is Rising second) and... there are passing mentions of Over Sea, Under Stone in The Dark is Rising that make more sense if you read them in order of publication (also in order by numbering in the sequence). Each book leads into the next, so they make more sense when read in proper order. If you just want to read one and not the others, though... you probably could do that.(less)

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Average rating 3.98  · 
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 ·  29,386 ratings  ·  923 reviews

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mark monday
Synopsis: Children shouldn't play with dead things, wild things, or green things; but if they do, they shouldn't stint on the compliments. A little empathy goes a long way!

This middle volume of Cooper's wonderful series is the second and last to center on the Drew siblings, "the three from the track". Three cheerful, curious, and often very excitable kids who never wore out their welcome. Yay for the Drews! See you all again in book five.

I really liked watching eerie series protagonist Will Stan
Dec 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 12, 2015 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
Paul E. Morph
In this third book in the Dark is Rising series, the protagonists from book one meet the protagonist from book two and things start coming together. This is another solid entry to the series and I’m still loving every minute of it. It’s certainly helping to take my mind off my torn rotator cuff...
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
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
Christine PNW
I needed a book to fill a hideous cover bingo square. This one fit the bill. Good book, ugly ass cover.
Nov 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an excellent bridge to set up the rest of the series. I LOVE Susan Cooper’s comfort with various mythologies as well as her character development. For example, the Drew children are heroic but suitably treated like children! Fabulous! And I think I have a literary crush on Will Stanton; I’ll let you know as the series continues. Overall, this was a very enjoyable adventure.
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I do believe this was the second time I’ve read this. I know I read it when I was young, but not since. I do think Susan Cooper’s Dark is Rising sequence is one of the best fantasy series written. This one is set by the sea in Cornwall again. The Grail which Simon, Jane and Barney discovered months before has been stolen. Great Uncle Merry takes them to Cornwall again where they meet Will Stanton. Of course they think Will is a boy but we know that Will is the last born of the Old Ones.

There is
Kara 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
Dec 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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,
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
Lara Thompson
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
The evocation of Roger Toms was a last minute addition and felt forced. Otherwise, a nice little story that ties the first two books together nicely. I can't wait for the next book in Wales! ...more
J.M. Hushour
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The middle volume of probably the best kids series is just as superlative as the rest. Throwing all the kids from the first two books together for a crazy adventure in Cornwall is fun and you can start to see all the various threads coming together.
"Greenwitch" is about the, you guessed it, Greenwitch, a cobbled-together effigy the women of a Cornish village make and then throw into the sea. Except it is actually a living creature, imbued with the Wild Magic that could give few fucks about the w
J. Wootton
Mar 09, 2021 rated it liked it
I read Over Sea, Under Stone several years ago and didn't like it, but I've been intrigued this series since coming across it (repeatedly, but never in the right reading order) in the library as a child. So I picked up Greenwitch and The Grey King and I'm glad I did.

I can't say I understood what was going on in the broad scope of the setting beyond the story - I suspect going back to read the second book would help - but the immediate adventure was intriguing and calmly absorbing. The suggestion
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reread, youth, audio, fantasy
This turned out to be far more interesting than I remembered. For some reason I had classed this with the first, Over Sea Under Stone, as lesser. I guess you just need to be in the right mood for re-reading. This is another chapter in the war between the Light and the Dark, and it brings together characters established in the first 2 volumes: Simon, Barney, and Jane from the first book and Will Stanton from the second. And of course, the siblings' Uncle Merry is involved as well. The Greenwitch ...more
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
Sep 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is a book with magic in its pages, its phrases, its words. There were moments when my neck hairs rose, especially during the making of the Greenwitch, and times when I was transported by the sheer poetry within a paragraph or passage. If this short novel in Susan Cooper's five-book fantasy sequence occasionally feels poised between revelation and resolution, that's no doubt because it's the middle book in the series: it's here where earlier strands become more intertwined but where we can't ...more
"Power from the Greenwitch lost beneath the sea"...I stand by my opinion that this series has better writing than the Harry Potter series. What Rowling did better was adding the Cinderella trope to the series. Will comes from a perfectly normal affectionate family and is well adjusted to begin with, before learning to cope with his newly developed abilities. Harry, of course, is coping with never having known his parents and having abusive guardians. But the quality of writing is higher in the D ...more
Kate Turner
Jun 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
the eeriest one, and also one of my favorites in the series. and as a bonus, inspired an enormous piece of my thesis book
Christine Norvell
Jul 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Can a third book in a series of five be the best?

A girl with an unselfish wish. Sailors’ folklore and Cornish ghosties. Deep journeys through the ocean and through time. But best of all, a delightful magic system and one more battle between Light and Dark.
Greenwitch by Susan Cooper is the second in the Dark is Rising series. I disagree with making Over Sea, Under Stone the first in the series. It's really more of a standalone. I'd call it a prequel except it was written before the other four. The events of OSUS relate to this book so it's helpful to read it, but not necessary.

Like the others in the series, I've read this book many times before. It's a slim book with a smaller plot, but I've always found it to be a bit creepier than the others. I
Dec 22, 2012 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
Rachel (Kalanadi)
Jan 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
More aptly 3.5 stars. I liked Greenwitch much more upon rereading. When I first read this as a kid, it really scared me - something creepy about the building and drowning of the Greenwitch itself. (There's something about the brevity and simplicity and broad implications of these books that really lets a kid's imagination go wild and fill in the unspoken bits.) But now I like it more, and Jane's more active role. ...more
I was talking with a friend about this series that we both loved as children, and mistakenly thought that I had re-read the entire series within the past few years; in reality, I had just read Over Sea, Under Stone and The Dark Is Rising again. So I set out to remedy that this weekend by listening to the amazing narration of Alex Jennings, who employs a wonderful Cornwall accent when needed, and treats the series with the gravity and adult perspective that it deserves. He really made the book co ...more
Gil-or (readingbooksinisrael)
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Gil-or (readingbooksinisrael) by: NinjaMuse
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Reviewed for The Bibliophibian.

Greenwitch is the shortest book in the sequence — in my collected edition it is, anyway — but I find that there’s a lot more to chew on than in the first book, Over Sea, Under Stone. Here the world of the first book and the world of Will Stanton collide, and we glimpse both the high purpose and the kids at play. There’s more moral complexity here, a little more maturity… and then there’s also those very human kids getting jealous because Will’s friends with their G
I really enjoyed revisiting this classic on audiobook, read by Alex Jennings. Listening to it was like falling into the book. It's a must-read/listen middle grade fantasy. ...more
Sep 14, 2021 rated it liked it
This was my favorite of the series thus far - the premise was interesting and showed a bit more where things are headed. I liked having the original kids back instead of just Will the Old One... but in general, I'm not as enthused about this whole series as I thought I would be and really wanted to be. ...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

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.” 11 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.” 2 likes
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