Sunday, 19 March 2017


Susan Cooper
Puffin Books

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 has been cast into the sea for good luck in fishing and harvest. Their search for the grail sets into motion a series of disturbing, sometimes dangerous events that, at their climax, bring forth a gift that, for a time at least, will keep the Dark from rising.

This third book in Cooper's 'The Dark is Rising' series turned out to be an absolute joy.  The first was a bit 'Tally-ho chaps' Famous Five style frolicking and the second, despite being a huge improvement and thoroughly enjoyable lacked any sense of jeopardy as everything in the story just felt like it was entirely preordained for young Will and all he really had to do was sit back and go along for the ride. This instalment brings together the protagonists of the first two in an uncomfortable alliance back in the town of Trewissick at the time of the making of the 'Greenwitch' in order to locate the Grail instructions lost in the battle at the end of the first book. 

The story here is a much more cohesive, well plotted and enjoyable read than the previous two volumes, and when I say much I really do mean much.  The others were an OK way to while away a lazy afternoon but I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

I'm not quite sure why poor Will wasn't allowed to confide in the other 3 about his true nature and so had to endure their ill manners but from the making of the Witch through the travels to the other realm and the battle with the agent of the Dark and the angry Witch I was hooked.

The narrative moved at an easy lope and there was no padding that I noticed.  The improvement / growth in Cooper's writing from the first to this is immense and the confidence she shows in playing with her world is a joy. I am genuinely excited to read the next two books.

Buy it here: Greenwitch (The Dark Is Rising)

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