Published By Puffin Books
I have spoken before about how much I loved this series when I was a child. Whilst I had always read a lot, this was the first book which totally entranced me, and I read under the duvet at night with a torch (Sorry Mum!). Don’t judge these books by the appalling film, it was so far away from the amazing adventure that Cooper created to be utterly insulting.
The sequence is made up of five books: Over Sea Under Stone, The Dark Is Rising, Greenwitch, The Grey King and Silver On The Tree.
The books follow five children, starting with the Simon, Jane and Barny Drew who go on holiday in Cornwall with their Great Uncle Merry. They become embroiled in a fight between the Light and the Dark who are searching for a grail. The Old Ones represent the Light and are fighting for the freedom of mankind whilst the Dark long to bring chaos to the world. It transpires that their Uncle is an Old One and protects them from the Dark. In the later books we meet Will Stanton, a seventh son of a seventh son and the last of the Old Ones. He must join the fight and fulfil his destiny in the war with the Dark. The final child is Bran, a Welsh albino boy and his dog. Tied into ancient Welsh legend he joins the others in the fight, but has a mysterious past.
The characters are well drawn and the atmosphere that Cooper creates is exhilarating and frightening at the same time. Whilst they are not strictly Christmas reads, the first book being set in the summer in Cornwall, the mystical way that Cooper mixes the real world with the mythology of Cornwall and Wales is so wonderful it begs to be read at this time of year.