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Greenwitch (The Dark is Rising, Book 3)

(Book #3 in the The Dark Is Rising Series)

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

The Drew siblings must face a powerful creature from the ocean depths to reclaim the golden grail in this third installment of Susan Cooper's epic and award-winning The Dark Is Rising Sequence, now... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

On Greenwitch time

Let's carefully examine the fantasy series books that are considered classical literature appropriate for adults as well. You have your "Lord of the Rings" and your "His Dark Materials" series by Philip Pullman. And between these two greats we have sandwiched in the center the "Dark Is Rising" books by Susan Cooper. Dark is the right word for them too. Belying their ridiculous Aladdin Paperback covers (The paperback of "Greenwitch" shows a kindly, albeit green, old grandmother rather than an untamed featureless product of Wild Magic) the books cull Celtic tradition, English myth, and Gaelic and Welsh influences to produce a series that is so fully original and intelligent that it is all a person can do not to force it into the hands of every fantasy-luvin Harry Potterite. "Greenwitch", the third in the series, brings together characters we've met in separate novels and does so with dexterous skill. When Simon, Jane, and Barney found the Trewissick Grail in, "Over Sea, Under Stone", they never expected it to disappear so quickly. But disappear it has and from a national museum no less. Of course, without the lead case that translates the words on the Grail, the object in and of itself is of little use. Now their great-uncle Merriman has decided to take them back to Trewissick in search of the item, and with them comes a new addition. Young Will Stanton appears to the other kids to be a likable but slightly stupid young addition to their crew. Unbeknownst of them, of course, he's an Old One like Merriman and has powers far beyond their understanding. Together, these stalwart five will do battle with an emissary of the Dark, utter prophecies, and meet representatives of the Wild Magic. And none are quite so wild as the impressive Greenwitch herself. When I was a kid there was nothing I hated more than to read the first book in a series (such as "The Wizard of Oz") then move on to the second book and find that characters I loved in the first (like Dorothy) were nowhere to be seen. Yet I didn't really dislike this fact when it came to "The Dark Is Rising". In the first book "Over Sea, Under Stone" we meet the Drew children, Simon, Jane, and Barney. We also meet their mysterious great-uncle Merriman. In the second book "The Dark Is Rising" the Drews are nowhere to be seen but Merriman's back and so is our hero Will Stanton. So when all four kids meet up in "Greenwitch" it feels especially satisfying. Like you're in for the extra special treat of watching the normal children (who take an instant disliking to Will) interact with a fellow who is without age. I particularly loved the moments when it was clear that Will was a kind of superhero at times. Jane's the only one who picks up on this at the beginning, but Simon and Barney definitely have it knocked into their skulls by the end. Interestingly, the book mostly takes the point of view of the Drews. In "The Dark Is Rising" we were privy to Will's thoughts and feelings. Now h


The middle book of the "Dark is Rising" sequence suffers a little from the middle-book syndrome, and a few items in it feel slightly strained. However, these are quickly swamped under by an unusual, well-written story and great character growth. When a golden chalice (first found by the Drews in "Under Sea Over Stone") is stolen from its museum, the mysterious Old One Merriman enlists their help and the help of the youngest Old One, Will Stanton. At first, the kids don't really get along; things seem fairly uneventful, except for Jane participating in an ancient ritual in which the women of the village get together and weave a vaguely humanoid figure, the Greenwitch. The Greenwitch is then thrown into the sea, after people touch it and make a wish. Jane, followed by strange impressions of the Greenwitch, makes a very unusual wish indeed.But then her brothers and Will bump into someone else -- a strange painter who steals a picture of Barney's, and then lures the Drew boys into his home. He's a member of the Dark, and he forces Barney to scry out a message about the Grail for him. Then a strange, wild chaos strikes the town, with a ghost ship and the angry Greenwitch herself...While this book is not the best of the series (the second takes that honor), it nevertheless is an excellent piece of work, as fantasy and as a study of the characters. The first chapter was a little weak; it felt too much like a part of "Over Sea Under Stone." However, this ceases as soon as Will comes on to the scene. The book then takes on a tone that seems, somehow, to balance out between "Dark is Rising" and "Over Sea Under Stone."The Drews are better fleshed out and individualized in this book. Jane proves that Cooper is one of the few fantasy writers who can create genuinely strong female characters; this is, in a sense, her book. Barney's abilities aside from his siblings are explored, giving them all a sense of being separate people. Will is clearly more comfortable with his role as an Old One, as he is more knowledgeable and smoother at handling situations with the Dark. At the same time, he's also able to shift into being a preteen boy, tapping Morse code to the Drew kids through the wall. (I think that I would have a crush on Will if he weren't about nine years too young)The writing in this book is versatile, becoming dreamy, stark, magical, frightening, or ordinary as the scene requires. The underwater scene with Tethys was one of the best written fantasy scenes I've ever read, while we are also given a horrific nightmare (Jane's) and the chilling pirate ship attacking a modern-day town when reality goes out of whack. Though the Greenwitch ceremony is women-only, Cooper doesn't bash the reader with any ideas; the Greenwitch herself is intriguingly written, childlike and possessive and kind of needy. This is a nice part of an amazing series, and definitely worth the read.

Will Stanton meets the Drews

When the Trewissick Grail is stolen, Simon, Jane and Barney know that the Dark must be responsible. The three of them arrive in a small coastal town to assist their mysterious Uncle Merry in retrieving the item. While there, they are annoyed to have to share their adventure with a strange boy that Uncle Merry brings with him-- one Will Stanton.I have to admit to liking the Will Stanton focused books (Grey King, Dark is Rising) a little bit better than I like those with the Drews, they seem a written to a slightly older level than the others. All the same, Greenwitch is a classic of children's literature, exemplary of the moral fantasy at which Cooper excels. The whole series is a good gift for children *and* grown-ups.

Wonderful, bridges the worlds of the two earlier books

This book brings the Drew children and Will Stanton together, in an at first uneasy coalition, and serves as a bridge between the two earlier books. The everyday world is here, as in the first book, but the world of myth is very close to the surface. I was fascinated by the myth of the Greenwitch. Susan Cooper has a truly unique take on Arthurian legend here. It is worth reading what ever age you are!

Power from the Greenwitch, lost beneath the sea . . .

Simon, Jane and Barney are horrified when they learn that the Grail they tried so hard to find a year ago has now been stolen by the powers of the Dark. They are even more horrified to learn that the Dark may use the Grail to discover the manuscript needed to understand the message vital to the Light which is etched on the side of the Grail. They decide that, along with their Great-Uncle Merry, they must return to Cornwall, exactly where they went a year before, and stop the Dark from succeeding. But when they get there, they are annoyed by the fact that Will Stanton is there as well, seemingly getting in the way and stopping them. But what they don't realise is that Will and Merriman(their Great-Uncle) are Old Ones, here to stop the Dark just as much as they are. But now the Dark has angered the Greenwitch and her mother Tethys, and where is Great-Uncle Merry, and why has Jane seen Will wearing a cloak and, with her Great-Uncle, challenging the Dark. . .?This book concentrates much more on Jane than the first book, and shows that sometimes all you need is a little bit of love and caring to win over someones' heart - as shown in Jane's immortal words: 'I wish you could be happy.'Don't we all.
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