Here was a book about a boy who was turning 11 years old, Will Stanton, but I sensed this was a book for all ages, for all time. Susan Cooper manages to take the largest issues, Dark versus Light, Evil versus Good, and wrap them inside a story that can be appreciated by everyone. It’s “show don’t tell” at its very best. Will Stanton, Merriman Lyon, Miss Greythorne, Farmer Dawson, the Walker, the Rider, Mr. Mitothin, Hawkin … they are characters straight out of mythology who live next door or on the neighboring farm. Yet Will Stanton discovers he is the Sign-Seeker, the one who will help the Light hold back the Dark.
“When the Dark comes rising, six shall turn it back,
Three from the circle, three from the track;
Wood, bronze, iron; water, fire, stone;
Five will return, and one go alone.”
Along with C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, Susan Cooper can write a breathtaking adventure, filled with danger and love, that helps every reader understand the importance of keeping the Dark at bay.
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