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1001 Stories Collection

The Dark is Rising

1001 The Dark Is Rising
Added on 05th August 2020

Author Susan Cooper
First published 1965
Publisher Jonathan Cape, London

A sequence of five fantasy novels in which children, both ordinary and immortal, find themselves part of an ancient battle between Light and Dark.


Both ordinary and immortal children are caught up in an ancient battle between the forces of the Light and the Dark. They must learn about their powers, solve riddles and find mythical artifacts to help them overcome the agents of the Dark and eventually, face the Lord of the Dark himself.

The five novels are Over Sea, Under Stone, The Dark is Rising, Greenwitch, The Grey King and Silver on the Tree.

Why we chose it

A modern fantasy classic that has inspired many more recent authors of children’s fantasy.

Where it came from

Susan Cooper studied English in Oxford at the time when J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis were lecturing here. She later became a journalist and moved to the USA. Her homesickness played a big role in her choice of settings for the book series: the Thames Valley where she grew up, at the Cornish coast of her childhood holidays, and the Welsh countryside where her mother’s family is from. Almost all of the places mentioned in the series are real.

Where it went next

The books received numerous awards. Over Sea, Under Stone was written some time before the other five and is aimed at slightly younger readers.

The second book The Dark is Rising is probably the best known and was a Newbery Honor book in 1774. In 2007 was made into a film, The Seeker: The Dark is Rising, though it wasn’t well received by critics or by fans of the book for the changes it made to characters and plot. The Grey King won the Newbery Medal in 1976.

Associated stories

Susan Cooper's other novels for children include Dawn of Fear, set in World War 2, King of Shadows, a timeslip story about Shakespearean England and Victory, inspired by the Battle of Trafalgar.

Added on 05th August 2020

Author Susan Cooper
First published 1965
Publisher Jonathan Cape, London