'It looked, Jane thought, like a single representative of a fearful unknown species, from another planet, or from some unthinkably distant part of our past'
Simon, Jane and Barney Drew are once more on holiday in Trewissick in Cornwall with their Great-Uncle Merry. Jane is allowed to witness an old local ritual, in which the women of the village create a giant figure woven of hawthorn branches as an offering for the sea goddess. This figure – the Greenwitch – is both eerie and menacing, yet Jane also senses its melancholy loneliness. She makes a wish that it might be happy – a wish that will have a fateful effect on the battle between the Old Ones and the Dark.
In the third book of the sequence, the children from the first book, Over Sea, Under Stone, encounter Will Stanton, the hero of The Dark is Rising. They share the same mission: to recover the grail that was stolen from the British Museum, and to prevent the powers of the Dark from making it their own. In a new preface, Susan Cooper describes the genesis of the book, and her childhood visits to Megavissey, the Cornish village on which Trewissick is based. ‘Thinking back to it, I can almost smell the sea, and the haunting scent of the hawthorn blossoms.’ Laura Carlin’s evocative illustrations mingle the salt air of a seaside adventure with the thrill of age-old magic. The sequence is notable for being honoured twice by the Newbery Awards - America’s most prestigious prize for children’s literature.
Read more about the life and work of Susan Cooper