Cooper, Susan: (02) The Dark Is Rising

Another Christmas season, another book in Susan Cooper’s Dark Is Rising series, this time the book the series is named after. (So, I should be finished the re-read in . . . 2011. No problem.)

What I remembered about this book is the wonderfully tangible atmosphere and sense of pervasive sadness, which I found present again here. What I’d forgotten is how cold and merciless the Light is in the book. I spent most of the late part of the book muttering, “Some pity? Mercy? Forgiveness? Or, heck, just remembering that you said, not that long ago, that you were wrong too?”

Chad, who re-read at the same time I did, has since gone on to the next book, Greenwitch, and reminds me that this tendency of the Light becomes an issue there, in which case this may be a purposeful establishing-of-context. I’ll be interested to see if the relevant characters gain insight as a result, or if the lesson is confined to the readers.

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  1. I seem to remember this tendency of the Light showing up in all of the books after the first, the most notable being (at least in my memory) a conversation between John Rowlands and Will in The Grey King.
    I think part of the point is that you want to think of the Light as happy loving merciful… humans, but even though they are on the side of “good” they’re actually really just as alien as the Dark.

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