“The Dark Is Rising” by Susan Cooper

A classic quest and the battle between good and evil, this exciting tale set at Christmas time was a great festive read.

A young boy who suddenly discovers he has been born with the power of Old Ones and is embarks on a quest to obtain the signs that will help defeat the Dark. He is thrust into a new world of magic and has to quickly learn of his heritage while at the same time facing the threats to his own family by the Dark.

Exciting, fast-paced action with a thrilling tale, this is the second in The Dark Is Rising series of five books. The books were originally published between 1965 and 1977, but I must admit I’d never heard of them. The Dark Is Rising was one of the books in the Seasons Reading in the Guardian Books section this year, and my friend told me he’d read it as a child and it was one of his favourite series, so I decided to try it myself. I had a complete sense of nostalgia while reading the book, as it felt exactly like the books I remember from my childhood. There’s a certain style and feel to books from that era, and this ranks up there with any book I read as a child, without feeling dated or old-fashioned.

Although this is the second book in a series, you don’t need to have read the first book in order to read this one, but I guarantee I will be reading the other books in the series next year!

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