I feel as if I have been living under a rock to have not discovered Susan Cooper’s “Dark Is Rising” sequence until now. Well, okay, I only read The Dark Is Rising so far, but that was enough to convince me that she is a brilliant writer. The short blurb on the back of my copy that compared Susan Cooper to writers such as Tolkien and C.S. Lewis made me shy away and be a bit apprehensive. Oh, how my mind was changed, my friends.
The Dark Is Rising is a story of a young boy who discovers, on his eleventh birthday, that he has a special gift that is tied to legends and people born way before his time. Will is given tasks and introduced to new friends and enemies, all while trying to grasp hold of this seemingly fantasy world that he cannot escape, as well as just be a kid. Similarly to Tolkien and Lewis, the novel is tied in with simple morality and the fight of good and evil. Speaking of which. . .
The best thing ever happened while I was reading this novel. I was enjoying a cup of coffee in my favorite coffee shop when the pastor of my church approached me and asked me what I was reading. Figuring he was just trying to be kind, I bumbled around and the only words that were probably coherent to him were “fantasy” “children” and “I know I’m weird.” But nonetheless, he caught on and asked if I thought the book would be appropriate for his 10-year-old son, as “he just loves that stuff.” Fantasy stuff, that is. Can I remind you that I’m talking about my pastor here? Okay, moving on. So I told him that it absolutely was appropriate and yes, in fact, the library had multiple copies of the book if he wanted to check it out. Later that day, I emailed him and his wife a list of books (thanks to Ashley) that I thought his son might be interested in. He went to the library and promptly checked out the entire series. This, my friends, is the best possible day a book blogger can have.
The Dark Is Rising
by Susan Cooper
Originally published in 1973