A few weeks ago Marshmallow reviewed Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper. Today she is talking with Sprinkles about The Dark Is Rising, Susan Cooper’s next book in The Dark Is Rising series, the book that gave the series its name and received a Newberry honor in 1974.
Sprinkles: Marshmallow let us start with you telling us what this book is about.
Marshmallow: This book is about a boy named Will. On his eleventh birthday, he discovers that he is one of the Old Ones. That means he has some special kind of magic powers.
S: Hmm, that reminds me of another eleven-year old boy who discovers he has magic powers…
M: Yes, Harry Potter also learns about his magic powers when he turns eleven.
S: Why do you think these two authors took this age to be the time for these boys to discover their hidden powers?
M: Probably because that is the average age of the readers they are targeting.
S: That is a very good reason Marshmallow. Can you think of any others?
M: I guess that is when children go to a new school, like finishing primary school?
S: I think that might be related. Eleven is also the age when many children start going through puberty. So it is naturally a time of change and discovery.
M: I guess that makes sense.
S: So now tell me what these Old Ones are about.
M: They are godlike, powerful beings, with magical powers. I think they might be immortal. They are on the side of the Light, which is always fighting the Dark.
S: Hmm, tell me more. What is the Light? Is the Dark the dark that is rising in the title of the book?
M: The Light stands for good and the Dark is evil.
S: So if the Light is represented or protected by immortal beings, are the protectors and defenders of the Dark also immortal?
M: Not sure. I think so. The Dark seems to find helpers at any era though, and the story of the book is about the twentieth century when a new battle is being fought.
S: Is this related to any of the wars of the twentieth century?
M: I think they might be related, but the fight between the Light and the Dark Will is pulled into involves him finding the Six Signs.
S: Hmm, what are the Six Signs?
M: They are six symbols made of wood, bronze, iron, water, fire, and stone. The fire and water ones are not really made of fire or water of course. But they represent them.
S: So Will is supposed to find these objects to help the Light, right?
S: So this book is supposed to be in a five-book series that started with Over Sea, Under Stone. How are the two books related? Will was not in that first book, nor have we heard about the signs in that one.
M: True. Will was not in that book. And this book seems pretty unrelated to that book. But there is a character in this one that we know from the first book: Merriman Lyon in this book is Uncle Merry from the first book. And the events of the first book are mentioned in passing in this one.
S: That is interesting. And it seems from the description of the third book in the series that Barney, Simon and Jane, the three children from that first book, will meet Will eventually.
M: Oh, that’s intriguing!
S: We are going to have to read that third book soon then, I suppose.
M: Yes, I guess so.
S: Then did you enjoy reading this one?
M: Yes, I liked it! I rate it 1o0%.
S: Cool! Let us wrap up this review then. You always want to end our chats the way Caramel ends his reviews. Right? So go ahead!
M: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!