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I was dismayed to realise last weekend that this is in fact the second book of Cooper's famous Dark Is Rising sequence, not the first; but the majority of my friends on LiveJournal, Facebook and Twitter reassured me that if anything it's better to start here rather than with the first volume, Over Sea Under Stone.

Well, it turned out to be pretty appropriate to be reading a novel set around Christmas time with unprecedentedly heavy snowfall. Eleven-year-old Will, the seventh son of a seventh son, discovers that he bears ancient powers, and is one of the Old Ones who are trying to prevent the Dark from, er, Rising. I think it's a great exposition of the desire that most children (and many adults) have of being the secret hero, tying in the magical otherworld with Will's family life (which is itself disrupted by events). I liked it a lot and will now look out for the other volumes. (And will see if my own eleven-year-old can be persuaded to take an interest.)

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
bellinghman
Dec. 24th, 2010 01:52 pm (UTC)
Do not be tempted to go see the film, though.
cairmen
Dec. 24th, 2010 05:43 pm (UTC)
No, no, no, no, no, under no circumstances, no.

Professional probity be damned, if I ever meet the guy who directed it (which is moderately likely given my career) I may well end up giving him a detailed critique of his work. At high volume.
cairmen
Dec. 24th, 2010 05:44 pm (UTC)
Greenwich (Book 3) is pretty decent. The Grey King (Book 4) is astonishing, largely responsible for my love of Welsh mountains, and one of the finer books in its genre period. Over Sea Under Stone (Book 5) maybe overreaches a bit, but at its best is hallucinatory and wonderful.

IMO, of course!
cairmen
Dec. 24th, 2010 05:45 pm (UTC)
Gah. I mean Silver On The Tree. Over Sea Under Stone is of course book 1.
Neil Walton
Dec. 24th, 2010 10:56 pm (UTC)
Film bad - books good
The film is not a good interpretation of the Dark is Rising book. It makes it too American and has an awful ending. The whole series of books is crying out to be made into a set of TV minis. Two or three 2 hour episodes could cover each book in the right amount of detail.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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