October 08, 2011

The Grey King by Susan Cooper

The Grey King is the 4th book in the Dark is Rising series. If you have not read the first three books, I highly recommend you do or you will be somewhat lost with this book. For those not familiar with the series (and this could be considered a spoiler) it involves an age old battle of the Light vs the Dark. There are great objects of power that both sides want and Will Stanton (youngest of the Old Ones of the light) has been busy collecting them as he is the sign seeker.

This time, Will has a new quest. After a dreadful sickness causes him to lose a lot of his strength, he is sent to family in Wales to recover. There he starts to regain his memories as a Old One and meets a new friend in Bran. Bran is a unique boy, he was born albino and his best friend is a dog as unusual as him. As he remembers, Will realizes that he must find a golden harp and wake the sleepers (whoever they may be) and he'll need Bran's help along the way. But he is weak, and the dark is always looming.

Bran is a very unique character for this book. But his dog is even more fantastic. There is a mysterious sense surrounding both and Bran has a lot of interesting history. Will played a fairly prominent role in this book as he is probably my favorite character in all of the series. Surprisingly, Merriman was barely in this one and I found I missed his character. There were a few side characters, but they weren't developed as much as they could have been.

This one had a fairly exciting plot but it was a bit more on the serious side and some of it was pretty dark material for a children's book. That being said, it wasn't offensive, just upsetting at parts. There was a lot of adventure and I think the bad guys were definitely more menacing in this book which made for a good read. This book can move slow at parts and doesn't describe some of the background for those not familiar with Arthurian legend. But despite that, its still a pretty good read.

I do love this series and all the books are well worth reading in the series. I highly recommend it for anyone.

The Grey King
Copyright 1975
208 pages

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