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Silver on the Tree

(The Dark Is Rising #5)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  35,277 ratings  ·  802 reviews
A dreadful warning breaks into Will Stanton's peaceful summer: The Dark is rising in its last and greatest bid to control the world. Will--last-born of the immortal Old Ones, dedicated to keeping the world safe from the force of evil--must join forces with his ageless master Merriman along with Bran, the Welsh boy whose destiny ties him to the Light. Drawn into the conflic ...more
Audio CD, 8 pages
Published 1997 by Listening Library (first published 1977)
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Average rating 4.09  · 
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 ·  35,277 ratings  ·  802 reviews

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mark monday
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 train ri ...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 sequen
Sep 04, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young_adult, fiction
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 o
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 - especiall
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
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 obsessio
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 carin
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 togethe
Paul E. Morph
A spellbinding, heart-wrenching final chapter to a wonderful fantasy series. It’s criminal that these books aren’t more widely read.

I first read this series as a child and I was really worried that by re-reading it as an adult it would let me down by not living up to my treasured memories of it. It most decidedly did not. I loved every minute of this and it fully deserves its place on my shelves next to the Chronicles of Narnia and the Lord of the Rings.

If you’re a fantasy lover, do yourself a f
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. ...more
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 t ...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
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 b
Aug 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: weep, babble-added
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! ...more
A quest. An adventure story. A warning for the future. Beautifully written. Just wonderful. I remember the first and only other time I read this. I was 19, on a geology field trip to Manitoulin island on a summer day. It was hot and sunny. Today I’m in Ottawa. It is January. It is -20 degrees Celsius this morning and a storm is coming. The ache in my heart right now is the same.
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 wher ...more
Anne Gazzolo
Mar 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This final volume of The Dark of Rising sequence begins with Will and his brothers, James and Stephen, enjoying the rarity of a lazy, hot summer’s day together. Will thinks life cannot get better than this, but he soon realizes it is but a lull before the great and last battle against the Dark.

Brief visions come to Will from the past. He slips entirely out of his own time and arrives shortly before the battle of Badon in Arthurian times. There Will understands what his next quest is: retrieve th
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 transc ...more
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.
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.
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 h ...more
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.
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
Philip Shade
Jun 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Silver on the Tree is the final and most ambitious of The Dark is Rising series. While each of the series is written to stand alone, readers won't get the full story without reading the other, excellent, books first.

Being the culmination of a larger story Silver on the Tree is also the most adult of the YA series. It's like the final year of high school where many of your interests are still self-centered, but you can no longer ignore the larger tumult of the world, and your place in it. Not on
Kara 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, fiction, ya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
James M. Madsen, M.D.
This last volume of the sequence "The Dark Is Rising" is a fitting conclusion to the series and shows off author Susan Cooper's love and mastery of words. Writing primarily for children, she refuses to dumb down her vocabulary or simplify her style; they can hold their own with any book penned for adults. It's a joy to read, and I can imagine how new and exciting and rewarding it would be for children accustomed to the usual reading level of children's books to be introduced to adult-style writi ...more
Jan 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
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 someth ...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)
  • Greenwitch (The Dark is Rising, #3)
  • The Grey King (The Dark is Rising, #4)

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