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'Any great gift of power or talent is a burden, and this more than any'
It is the night before Will Stanton's eleventh birthday – Midwinter's Eve – and it looks as if his wish for a heavy fall of snow will come true. But as night closes in, Will has a sense of foreboding: a stranger is watching him; the farm animals are disturbed. Even friendly Farmer Dawson is acting oddly – he hands Will a strange iron symbol, warning him that 'The Walker is abroad ... this night will be bad'. Soon, Will is gripped by cold fear. When he wakes the next morning, he discovers that everything has changed. On the threshold of adolescence, Will, the seventh son of a seventh son, has received the double-edged gift of magic. Aided by the Old Ones – the men and women of the Light, and most importantly Merriman Lyon – Will is ultimately led into a confrontation with the Dark.
The second book in the eponymous series, The Dark is Rising is Susan Cooper's most famous work, a coming-of-age story and fantasy that deftly weaves in elements of the myths and legends at the heart of British culture. For this edition, Cooper has written a new preface in which she describes how moving to the United States helped her to write with greater clarity and sensitivity about the beauty of rural England. Most formative, though, was her time at Oxford University, studying under J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis, who ensured 'that we were soaked in the earliest fantasies of all’ – from Beowulf to The Faerie Queene. Illustrated by the award-winning artist Laura Carlin, this is a beautiful edition of a compelling, gripping story.
Read more about the life and work of Susan Cooper
Review by PAULALOUD on 2nd Mar 2013
"The Folio Society edition of The Dark is Rising is beautifully illustrated and author Susan Cooper's writing is captivating. This is one of the best written children's books I have ever read and it p..." [read more]
Review by mfujdala on 6th Sep 2012
"I didn't think that Folio could top their edition of "Under Sea Over Stone", but they have. The illustrations by Laura Carlin are even more beautiful and evocative than those she made for Under Sea. ..." [read more]