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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
7,664210955 (4.12)2 / 687
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. 30
    The Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman (LKAYC)
  4. 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)
  5. 31
    The Silver Crown by Robert C. O'Brien (ncgraham)
  6. 20
    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)
  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. 10
    The Forgotten Door by Alexander Key (infiniteletters)
  9. 10
    A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle (Anjali.Negi)
  10. 00
    Dark Rise by C. S. Pacat (TillyWiz)
    TillyWiz: A 21st century reimagining - Cooper's moral absolutism and obeisance to traditional authority figures is out; subversion of traditional fantasy tropes, shades-of-grey, and diverse representation are in.
  11. 00
    Advent by James Treadwell (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: Similar style of writing and atmosphere.
  12. 00
    The Enchanted Castle by E. Nesbit (casvelyn)
  13. 00
    The Hound of Rowan by Henry H. Neff (infiniteletters)
  14. 00
    Tamsin by Peter S. Beagle (questionablepotato)
  15. 12
    Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay (Yarrow)
  16. 34
    Coraline by Neil Gaiman (Nikkles)
1970s (20)

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English (203)  French (1)  German (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (208)
Showing 1-5 of 203 (next | show all)
As lyrical and wonderful as ever. ( )
  fuzzipueo | Apr 24, 2022 |
These are those books where you wonder if those 5 star reviewers even read the same book as you. This was extremely boring and poorly written. ( )
  Bandit_ | Jan 15, 2022 |
The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper is a series of vintage children’s fantasy books. Read my review here.


#TheDarkIsRising #SusanCooper #JohnCAdamsReviews #JohnCAdams #FantasyFriday #book #review #books #reviews #bookreview #bookreviews ( )
  johncadamssf | Dec 10, 2021 |
Pretty decent boy-wizard story but i preferred the previous book [b:Over Sea, Under Stone|11312|Over Sea, Under Stone (The Dark Is Rising, #1)|Susan Cooper|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1443993959s/11312.jpg|742] which had less magic but more adventure.
This suffers from the usual Chosen One problem, too much predestination which undermines the tension of the story. Also its a bit video-gamey. The plot involves collecting magical items and at one point something happens which i can only describe as Leveling Up, it took all my self restraint not to shout 'Level 2' Achievement Unlocked: Uncompelling!

The other problem i had was that its really dark in tone in the first half, it felt like a kids version of The Omen or something. This dissipates significantly once the character Levels.

I know i sound like i'm trashing it but the writing is generally very good. The protagonist has a big and functional family which was interesting and not something you tend to see much of anymore.

I actually thought i might have to give it 4 stars, as the third quarter was really compelling and uncertain, but things felt more predestined again towards the end.

So not bad at all, really nice writing but not great plot. ( )
  wreade1872 | Nov 28, 2021 |
This book passed me by in childhood, although the classics cover of it looks very familiar. Anyway I read it with Milly and we both really enjoyed it. It feels like a local and manageable adventure for young Will to become engaged in, but with big themes of light and dark and saving the world. It happens over Christmas and we feel the cold and the snow as well the air of menace coming from the Black Rider. ( )
  AlisonSakai | Oct 10, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 203 (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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Original title
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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
Canonical LCC

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: (4.12)
0.5 3
1 29
1.5 3
2 60
2.5 26
3 221
3.5 68
4 482
4.5 76
5 671

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