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Greenwitch (The Dark is Rising) Hardcover – 18 Oct 1984
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|Hardcover, 18 Oct 1984||
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The third haunting, magical book in the classic The Dark is Rising sequence. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Susan Cooper is the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for Lifetime Achievement. Her classic five-book fantasy sequence The Dark Is Rising won the Newbery Medal and a Newbery Honor. She is also the author of Victory, a Booklist Top Ten Historical Fiction for Youth book and a Washington Post Top Ten for Children novel; King of Shadows, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor book; The Boggart; Seaward; Ghost Hawk; and many other acclaimed novels for young readers and listeners. She lives in Massachusetts, and you can visit her online at TheLostLand.com. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
When a golden chalice (first found by the Drews in "Under Sea Over Stone") is stolen from its museum, the mysterious Old One Merriman enlists their help and the help of the youngest Old One, Will Stanton. At first, the kids don't really get along; things seem fairly uneventful, except for Jane participating in an ancient ritual in which the women of the village get together and weave a vaguely humanoid figure, the Greenwitch. The Greenwitch is then thrown into the sea, after people touch it and make a wish. Jane, followed by strange impressions of the Greenwitch, makes a very unusual wish.
But then her brothers and Will bump into someone else -- a strange painter who steals a picture of Barney's, and then lures the Drew boys into his home. He's a member of the Dark, and he forces Barney to scry out a message about the Grail for him. Then a strange, wild chaos strikes the town, with a ghost ship and the angry Greenwitch herself...
While this book is not the best of the series (the second takes that honor), it nevertheless is an excellent piece of work, as fantasy and as a study of the characters. The first chapter was a little weak; it felt too much like a part of "Over Sea Under Stone." However, this ceases as soon as Will comes on to the scene. The book then takes on a tone that seems, somehow, to balance out between the cheery children-on-holiday writing, and the chilling fantasy epic.
The Drews are better fleshed out and individualized in this book. Jane proves that Cooper is one of the few fantasy writers who can create genuinely strong female characters; this is, in a sense, her book, with her thoughts and motives as the key to the whole Greenwitch debacle. Consider it a moral message, though not a hamhanded one.
One of the more fascinating character is Will. He is clearly more comfortable with his role as an Old One, as he is more knowledgeable and smoother at handling situations with the Dark. At the same time, he's also able to shift into being a preteen boy, tapping Morse code to the Drew kids through the wall.
The writing in this book is versatile, becoming dreamy, stark, magical, frightening, or ordinary as the scene requires. Cooper takes readers under the sea, into nightmares and under a pirate attack when reality goes out of whack. Cooper's versions of magic tend to be deep, ancient and sometimes very unpredictable.
While "Greenwitch" has a slightly twee beginning, the "middle child" fantasy soon establishes itself as a chilling, enchanting fantasy. Cooper did well.
The grail that the children found in a cave in Trewissick, South Cornwall, has been stolen by an agent of the Dark, and Merriman enlists the help of the Drew children once again. Only this time the children are surprised and shocked when Merriman arrives with another boy - Will Stanton. That is surely going to be a problem, they think.
Susan Cooper writes this so well. The line between super human Old One and 11 year old boy is so perfectly walked. Each character develops nicely in this book, but especially Jane.
I loved this book as a child. The interactions between families and friends, and the stumbling move from antipathy to friendship between the Drew children and Will Stanton all stand out, along with flashes of humour and an exciting and mysterious tale, cunningly written.
As an adult reader this remains an important and enjoyable book in probably my all time favourite series. Definitely strongly recommended.
The characters are entirely believable and the plots move along at a spanking pace. I am always enthralled by Cooper's range and imagination. It is a wonderful set of books for literate young teens and adults alike and I heartily recommend it for all lovers of mythic fiction.
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