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The Dark Is Rising (1973)

by Susan Cooper

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Dark is Rising Sequence (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
7,112195907 (4.13)1 / 648
On his eleventh birthday Will Stanton discovers that he is the last of the Old Ones, destined to seek the six magical Signs that will enable the Old Ones to triumph over the evil forces of the Dark.
  1. 81
    The Owl Service by Alan Garner (klarusu)
    klarusu: Similar atmosphere - dark Welsh mythology and a teenage protagonist in The Owl Service
  2. 50
    So You Want to be a Wizard by Diane Duane (MyriadBooks)
  3. 20
    Sabriel by Garth Nix (electronicmemory)
    electronicmemory: Both books have beautifully written prose, elegantly sketched worlds, and stories that stay with you long after you've finished. Two young protagonists must face overwhelming dark forces as they struggle with isolation from their peers and allies.… (more)
  4. 20
    The Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman (LKAYC)
  5. 10
    The Box of Delights by John Masefield (souloftherose)
    souloftherose: Although The Box of Delights was written in 1935 and The Dark is Rising was written in the 1970s, both books have a similar sense of magic, mystery and menace running through them. Both are part of series but can be read without having read the earlier books in the series.… (more)
  6. 21
    The Silver Crown by Robert C. O'Brien (ncgraham)
  7. 10
    A String in the Harp by Nancy Bond (Sakerfalcon)
    Sakerfalcon: Both books vividly depict the merging of past and present, and have a strong sense of place and of local folklore.
  8. 00
    The Hound of Rowan by Henry H. Neff (infiniteletters)
  9. 00
    The Forgotten Door by Alexander Key (infiniteletters)
  10. 00
    Tamsin by Peter S. Beagle (questionablepotato)
  11. 00
    A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle (Anjali.Negi)
  12. 00
    Advent by James Treadwell (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: Similar style of writing and atmosphere.
  13. 02
    Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay (Yarrow)
  14. 24
    Coraline by Neil Gaiman (Nikkles)
1970s (26)

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» See also 648 mentions

English (190)  French (1)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (194)
Showing 1-5 of 190 (next | show all)
Engrossing book. Can't wait to start the next. ( )
  Jessica_Olin | Sep 17, 2020 |
I really wanted to like this book more than I did - it has a pretty archetypal fantasy plot and I enjoyed the references to Arthurian mythology but the book was just so heavy-handed and overwritten. I really slogged through it... ( )
  scout101 | Sep 15, 2020 |
I first read The Dark Is Rising in either fourth or fifth grade -- I don't remember exactly because I had the same wonderful English teacher both years, and got so many amazing fiction recommendations. I forget why it was given and not lent to me, but I had the paperback for years afterwards. This book is an amazing blend of myth and drama, but it also had a quick scene that stuck with me for years. Will, our hero, comes in when his older sister is chopping onions for a family meal and singing a song, and when I was ten or eleven, the idea of being able to cook AND being confident enough to sing in public seemed like the highest level of adult maturity that one could possibly reach.

Moving on.

That scene is an almost impossibly tiny moment in an epic story. Unlike some other middle-grades fiction, I thought this held up very well. There are really two storylines in The Dark Is Rising, one about a boisterous Welsh family over Christmas holidays, and the other about time travel and British myth. On the night before Will's eleventh birthday, odd things begin to happen and odd people appear in their small Welsh village. He discovers that he's an Old One, and begins to take on the responsibilities and learn the abilities, as the Dark rises and the extremely heavy snow keeps falling. The two stories blend well and create a world where magic is constantly just around the corner.
  TheFictionAddiction | Aug 12, 2020 |
re-read an old favorite. ( )
  mirihawk | May 21, 2020 |
I was surprised by this book and its dreamlike wanderings. At points I found myself re-reading without realizing I'd already gone through a page or two the night before, and that drowsy dreamlike sense of the writing was a real appeal. ( )
  james.d.gifford | Apr 4, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 190 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cooper, Susanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cober, Alan E.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dillon, JulieCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jennings, AlexNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pekkanen, PanuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rikman, KristiinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Westrup, Jadwiga P.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
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Awards and honors
For Jonathan
First words
"Too many!" James shouted, and slammed the door behind him.
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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This LT work, The Dark Is Rising, is Book 2 (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.
Publisher's editors
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


On his eleventh birthday Will Stanton discovers that he is the last of the Old Ones, destined to seek the six magical Signs that will enable the Old Ones to triumph over the evil forces of the Dark.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary
Midwinter terror,
Seventh son of seventh son
Is a young Old One.

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Average: (4.13)
0.5 3
1 27
1.5 3
2 52
2.5 26
3 203
3.5 64
4 448
4.5 74
5 640

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