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The Dark Is Rising

The Dark is Rising - Susan Cooper 12/24/2010 ** I read this every year around Christmas. The story begins on 12/20 and continues to Twelfth Night (1/6). Though the story is about Will Stanton, the sign-seeker and his quest as the last Old One to gather the Six Signs through which Good can vanquish Evil, it's imbued with the the Victorian Christmas traditions that Will's rural English family still maintain...the Yule Log, decorating the tree on Christmas Eve, family Christmas caroling, etc. I tend to feel that Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without my annual reading of this classic fantasy novel.

All that being said, I must be honing my editorial and flawed-logic-spotting senses as I work with Michael on his manuscripts. I found two problems in this re-reading that I've never noticed before. Early in the book Will reflects that he didn't know much about Miss Greythorne and the Manor, while later interactions between her and the family seem to belie that. Likewise, when Cooper first describes the room where Will reads the Book of Gramarye she refers to one armchair, but Hawkin lights the candles by 'one of the armchairs,' and then Will sits in 'the only armchair.' I know that these are very minor quibbles, but I did find it interesting that I'd never noticed them before, despite having read the book (literally) countless times in the past thirty years.

I still give this book very high marks and recommend it for any fantasy reader.