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The Grey King by Susan Cooper

The Grey King (1975)

by Susan Cooper

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Dark is Rising Sequence (4)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,288691,151 (4.14)161
  1. 31
    The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander (infiniteletters)
    infiniteletters: The Grey King is technically Book 4 of a series, but it could be read alone. Silver on the Tree also has Welsh mythology.
  2. 00
    The Eye of the Storm by Nicholas Wilde (bookel)

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» See also 161 mentions

English (68)  German (1)  All (69)
Showing 1-5 of 68 (next | show all)
A continuation of the Welsh fantasy adventure with the 6 young people associated with the saga. A darker vibe in this book. The characters associated with the dark seemed a bit contrived. ( )
  SandyAMcPherson | Apr 25, 2017 |
In the shadow of a king, he will wake.

In the aftermath of a dreadful illness, Will travels to Wales to recover his strength, and his memory. For Will once held a secret, an ancient verse, taken from him in the height of his fever. Bit by bit the words come back to him, until a chance encounter brings it all rushing back. Will is an Old One, and it is his quest to wake an ancient power, before the Grey King can seal it away.

For the first time in the series, Will sets out on an uncertain path. He’s forced to find his way without the guidance of his master, Merriman, relying instead on the support of friends and family, who for the most part remain ignorant of his otherworldly role. The harsh demands of the Light, referenced in earlier books, are strikingly realized in this tragically personal story. Description and character remain strengths of the series, but plot joins them, as mundane and magical conflicts blend, as equals, into a rich tableau, with twists and uncertainties sorely lacking in prior volumes. This may be the strongest volume in the Dark is Rising series. It’s certainly my favorite.

+Strong Characters
+Strong Ideas
+Strong Description
+Strong Plot
*A blend of young and mature

4/5 ( )
  adamg211 | Jan 14, 2017 |
interesting. ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
Hmm. I didn't like this one as much as the previous ones. The big bad villain just gave up at the end. The big bad is obsessed with hurting dogs. I hope the last book will be as good as the earlier ones were. ( )
  adamwolf | Oct 2, 2016 |
I have to admit, I zoned out a few times while the kids and I were listening to this. Some of it was just a little too...funny for me. Not ha-ha funny, either. Sorry to be vague, but I can't be more specific without giving away the ending. I really liked listening to the narrator's Welsh (and imagining that my parents had named me "Angharad" like they'd considered doing), but I'm going to try reading it myself rather than listening to the audiobook and see if I like it any better. ( )
1 vote ImperfectCJ | Jul 21, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 68 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Susan Cooperprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dillon, JulieCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heslop, MichaelIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mitchley, RichardNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pekkanen, PanuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rikman, KristiinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Westrup, Jadwiga P.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Although all the characters in this book are fictitious, the places are real. I have however taken certain liberties with the geography of the Dysynni Vallen and Tal y Llyn, and there are no real farms where I have made Clwd, Prichard's and Ty-Bont stand.

The Brenin Llwyd I did not invent.

I am grateful to the Rev. Kenneth Francis, Mr J.L. Jones and Mrs. Eira Crook for kindly checking my Welsh.
First words
"Are you awake, Will?"
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 the 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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This LT work, The Grey King, is Book 4 (of 5 Books) in Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising Sequence. Please distinguish it from other single titles in the series, and from any combination(s) of part or all of the series. Thank you.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0689710895, Mass Market Paperback)

There is a Welsh legend about a harp of gold, hidden within a certain hill, that will be found by a boy and a white dog with silver eyes-- a dog that can see the wind. Will Stanton knew nothing of this when he came to Wales to recover from a severe illness. But when he met Bran, the strange boy who owned a white dog, he began to remember. For Will is the last-born of the Old Ones, immortals dedicated to saving the world from the forces of evil, the Dark. And it is Will's task to wake-- with the golden harp-- the six who must be roused from their long slumber in the Welsh hills to prepare for the last battle between the Dark and the Light.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:28 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

In this volume of The Dark Is Rising sequence, Will Stanton, visiting in Wales, is swept into a desperate quest to find the golden harp and to awaken the ancient Sleepers.

» see all 9 descriptions

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