Post by Mark T. Locker.
The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper.
On Midwinter’s Day, on his eleventh birthday, Will Stanton, seventh son of a seventh son, will awaken. His true calling will be made known to him, as the last of the Old Ones, those destined to fight the forces of the Dark, to keep the balance intact.
What a fantastical mystical premise for a series! The Dark is Rising is technically the second book in a series of five, but you can really skip the first one, Over Sea and Under Stone and not lose the thread of the story. The real story picks up as Will Stanton approaches his eleventh birthday. Until then, he was just another boy, the youngest of seven children in a happy home in England. But on the morn of his eleventh birthday, he awakes to find himself out of time in a place that is his village and yet not his village. Here he meets Merriman, one of the Old Ones, whose task is to guide Will, the newly awakened and last of the Old Ones, on his quest to collect the six signs, circles quartered with a cross, each of a different element: iron; bronze; wood; fire; water; stone.
Will must learn how to be an Old One, with all the knowledge and power that has been unlocked within him, and still be a young boy. How do you celebrate Christmas when time may stop at any moment, when danger may come in any form? How do you stand up to evil in front of your parents, who think the terrible Rider is a friendly colleague? It’s not easy being a kid. And it’s not easy being an Old One.
This series of books is a wonderful adventure and magical quest as Will and his allies strive to defeat the Dark once and for all. Great for kids, especially disturbingly mature eleven-year-olds.