This was my least favourite of the series for one reason; it seemed to end right when it was starting to get good. The kids finally get the grail and then wham, that’s the end. They get a piddly little amount of money from the museum and Uncle Merry’s real identity is just hinted at. When I picked up the next book I was hoping that Jane, Simon and Barney would get to make an appearance again. I remember being disappointed that they didn’t – at least not right away and I actually put off reading through The Dark is Rising for quite some time. When I got back to it though, I was in for a lovely surprise The tone is different and less Swallows and Amazons-ish. Don’t get me wrong, I loved that about the first one, which is probably why I had some trouble getting into the next one. The Dark is Rising is the start of the epic fantasy part of the series.
A friend of mine started a readathon to commemorate Susan Cooper’s World Fantasy Award for life achievement. You can find the site for it here.
I remember reading this series as a kid, and I must say I am excited about the reread since the actual story has become foggy in my mind. I just remember the feeling it invoked and is probably one of the influences of my own desire to write. I get a similar feeling when I read Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons. (I guess there’s something about English kids?) I loved the descriptions of the countryside in the beginning that drew you in, and its Arthurian references was one of the things that got me started on my first obsession. King Arthur and the surrounding legends and the histories if England have been a particular interest to me ever since.
I am starting my readathon today with the first in the Sequence: Over Sea, Under Stone.
“Once upon a time… a long time ago… things that happened once perhaps but have been talked about for so long that nobody really knows. And underneath all the bits that people have added the magic swords and lamps they’re all about one thing – the good hero fighting the giant or the witch or the wicked uncle. Good against bad. Good against evil.”
listening to: Emancipator – First Snow
Drinking: Stash Earl Grey Tea
Reading: Over Sea, Under Stone – Susan Cooper
Words: 5024 words