The Grey King

Book 4, The Dark is Rising Sequence
by Susan Cooper, published 1975

“The music of the golden harp,” said the blue-robed lord, “has a power that may not be broken either by the Dark or by the Light. It has the High Magic in it.”

The Grey King- Children's BookI am personally not a fan of fantasy, but try my best to overcome my personal preferences, so that this website can offer more variety. Because I am sensitive and easily frightened, I hesitated to dive into the children’s book series called The Dark is Rising. As the name implies, it’s an edgy theme. What does it mean if the Dark rises? Will the Dark win?

When I read the book by that title, the second in the series, I felt somewhat re-assured, as the Old Ones were so good, and certainly going to overcome the dark. Reading this, the fourth book, I was better prepared, and came away again somewhat relieved. The forces of good are so good. The forces of evil are so evil. There’s something okay about it all. And, it’s still a bit intense for me. But perhaps not for others.

Susan Cooper is a fabulous writer. She doesn’t ever let it get over the top with bad stuff. The settings are magical, and some of the characters are larger than life. So, despite everything, I have to give this book a thumbs up. If you know children who are emotionally strong, and love fantasy, this children’s book works well. It does take focus…things are not spelled out in black and white, and that is what makes it quite intriguing to read. I would reserve it for 12 and over.

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