The Grey King (The Dark Is Rising, #4) by Susan Cooper

The Grey King (The Dark Is Rising, #4)

"Fire on the Mountain Shall Find the Harp of Gold Played to Wake the Sleepers, Oldest of the Old..." With the final battle between the Light and the Dark soon approaching, Will sets out on a quest to call for aid. Hidden within the Welsh hills is a magical harp that he must use to wake the Sleepers - six noble riders who have slept for centuries. But an illness has robbed Will of nearly all his knowledge of the Old Ones, and he is left only wit...


Details The Grey King (The Dark Is Rising, #4)

TitleThe Grey King (The Dark Is Rising, #4)
ISBN9781416949671
Author
Release DateMay 8th, 2007
PublisherMargaret K. McElderry Books
LanguageEnglish
GenreFantasy, Young Adult, Fiction, Childrens
Rating

Reviews The Grey King (The Dark Is Rising, #4)

  • mark monday
    2017-12-18
    boy meets boy; antics ensue.boy with Old soul meets boy with dog with old soul; old king wishes they never met.sick boy with too many siblings meets sickly boy with some serious father issues.little weirdo meets his match in another little weirdo; the latter teaches the former how to pronounce Welsh words.super-powered boy meets albino boy with golden eyes; the former teaches the latter the meaning of friendship, power, and why old kings are bad ...
  • Nikki
    2013-12-24
    Normally, The Grey King would be my favourite of the five books that make up this sequence. Something about the setting in Wales, and Bran's loneliness and arrogance, and of course the tie-in with Arthuriana, and the way that it begins to bring in some more moral ambiguity when John Rowlands questions the coldness at the heart of the Light. Somehow, I didn't love it as much as usual this time -- possibly because I'd just spent a lot of time debat...
  • Maggie Stiefvater
    2009-12-15
    *Happy sigh* I just finished rereading this one again last night. With the exception of the first book in the Dark is Rising series, I love all of them -- atmospheric, dreamy, and creepy, the lot of them. And steeped in old folklore and told in lovely prose so that they feel like they grew out of the ground instead of being written by a modern author. I cannot recommend them highly enough . . . but do read them in order.
  • Nikki
    2015-12-20
    I somewhat put off reviewing The Grey King after finishing reading it, because I’m not sure what there is to say about it anymore. I’ve rhapsodised about it at length: the use of mythology, the casual use of the Welsh language, the home-ness of the landscape and the people… The shades of grey and the adult touches when it comes to Owen Davies and John Rowlands, and Will Stanton’s interactions with them. There’s some beautiful passages, ...
  • Nikki
    2012-12-31
    It's pretty much a tradition for me now to reread this series at this time of year, so I wanted to get it done before we move into 2013. The 2012 reread of The Dark is Rising sees me struggling with anxiety and depression issues, and I nearly didn't get round to reading this, this year. But it is my comfort reading, so it was a good idea that I just planted myself firmly down with the book in hand today -- the same old battered copy as always, of...
  • Lexish
    2007-06-04
    This is one of the most well-written young adult books I've ever read. They don't write 'em like this anymore! There's a reason Susan Cooper won the Newbery Medal for this. Her incredible, melodic descriptive language and her ability to interweave history, mythology, legend, and good old-fashioned fiction bring this book far beyond a traditional "boy with special powers" book. If you appreciate the English language and if you have an interest in ...
  • Ben Babcock
    2013-10-21
    I’ve been making a slow tour through Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising sequence for a few months now. It’s undeniably an important series in the fantasy canon, but my personal reaction to it has been more ambivalent. I have been rather disappointed with the novels as stories. They’re brilliant examples of methodical mythological remixing. Yet in adjusting the tone of the books to aim them to her younger audience, Cooper also seems to feel...
  • Lightreads
    2008-12-28
    The really upsetting one. I'd been calling it that in my head all along, but I didn't realize I didn't actually remember why. It turns out this upset me so much as a child that I literally blanked out the relevant details; I remembered about two pages before it happened, in the same horrible swooping lurch that Will experiences as he realizes something bad is about to happen. Animal harm, man, that shit fucks you up. /profound.Anyway. I found thi...
  • Nikki
    2012-01-29
    This one is probably my favourite book of the series. It always makes me feel hiraeth. One day, I need to visit the parts of Wales these books are set in, really. And get someone to coach me on how to pronounce them: the section where Bran teaches Will is quite helpful, but not as good as hearing someone say the place names. Alas, I speak very little Welsh.I think Bran is my favourite character of the series. Barney's cute, but Bran has more dept...
  • Nikki
    2008-12-12
    The Grey King is possibly my favourite book of this sequence -- and I swear that's not only because it's set in my home country. It's a lovely, lovely book. This is the most layered of the books, I think -- by which I mean this is the book that has the most to offer for people of all ages. There are the more open and obvious emotions of Bran -- grief, pride, arrogance -- and the more complex grief and guilt of Owen Davies, which I'm not sure a yo...
  • Magill
    2009-11-11
    Another slim book, at a YA length, which I think hurts the arc of this story to some extent, comprising the harp AND the sleepers. While the author's writing never feels hurried in description or tone, it seems that more time could have benefited the details and the character development of the story.Things happen quickly, even if described leisurely-ly; whys or why-nots are left unanswered (why Will's memory loss, when it came back so easily; wh...
  • Ben De Bono
    2016-02-14
    I'm beginning to think that this series would be better titled The Dark is Stumbling Around Awkwardly Without Ever Accomplishing Much. In this volume our heroes take on the Grey King, a villain who we're reminded every other paragraph is more powerful and evil than any other encountered so far.Despite this impressive reputation, the most evil things he manages to accomplish are (a) killing a few sheep and (b) making one small patch of ground brie...
  • Pam Baddeley
    2018-02-06
    This is book 4 of the sequence and we are back with Will and with out and out fantasy after the previous blend of adventure story with fantasy and the Drew children's return.Will is sent to Wales to recuperate after a serious illness which not only weakens him physically, but makes him forget that he is an Old One, last of that mysterious group who serve the Light and oppose the rising of the Dark. At first he is unaware that he has to perform a ...
  • Tim
    2016-07-06
    So, I've been reading Cooper's Dark is Rising series, which I somehow never got to as a kid despite hearing so much about it, and knowing it won a ton of awards. This one, for instance, won the Newbery, one of the biggest American awards for young adult fiction. And the overwhelming sense I've come away with so far is: why?Don't get me wrong, there are moments of good description, and good story-telling. But it is hung on a framework that doesn't...
  • ☽ LPG ☾
    2017-02-18
    Okay the series has turned enjoyable again! It's funny, I think Cooper realised she'd made Will close to infallible in the previous book, so she's whacked him with a memory loss inducing illness at the start of this one. A bit ham handed but I'm just so thankful she realised the corner she'd written herself into!The illness is also an excellent excuse to move the whole story to Wales (Cause dontcha know? When you're recovering from a life threate...
  • David
    2010-04-05
    July 2013 rereadThis fourth book is where the Dark is Rising sequence begins to pick up its pace and become more epic, weaving the final battle of the Dark vs. the Light into a retold Arthurian mythos. Rereading it as an adult, I began to feel again a little bit of the magic that so entranced me as a child when this was my favorite series ever.In The Grey King, Will Stanton, last of the Old Ones, has been sent to stay with an uncle in Wales to re...
  • Nikki
    2011-03-09
    The Grey King is possibly my favourite book of the sequence, and definitely one of my favourite books of all time. The things I noticed in this read through -- my full review, more of an overview of all the times I've read it, is here -- were mostly about the Welshness of it, and about the complexities of Will's relationship with the Light and humanity, and how exactly Bran is related to the Light.John Rowlands' little speech about the coldness a...
  • Steven Bell
    2015-12-12
    This book wasn't quite as good as "Greenwitch" but on the whole it was still a huge step up over "The Dark is Rising". For the first time Will actually feels a bit like a proper character. We get a sense that he actually has personal interests and we get to see him make actual choices that have consequences.This also benefits from the decision to keep Merry/Merriman on the sidelines so that Will can't just be walked through everything. That was s...
  • Stephen Polidore
    2017-11-25
    So far my least favorite of the series, it did have a good ending though. It was able to tug more at my emotions but lacked a certain amount of structure which left it less satisfying. Hopefully the final book picks back up.
  • Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
    2016-06-26
    I remember devouring this book when it first came out and loving it. It was my favourite of the series, partly because of the Welsh setting, partly because I was King Arthur-mad, and partly because, hey--I was fifteen or so. I've remembered it fondly all these years, and after the disappointment of Greenwitch, I told myself "Never mind, The Grey King is next, you love that one!"Well, I did--forty years ago. Now, not so much. I can't condemn the b...
  • Kristina
    2010-09-10
    2018 ReviewThe Grey King by Susan Cooper is the third (or fourth) book in her Dark is Rising series. Will Stanton must continue his quest to find the Things of Power to help the Light in their power against the Dark. A serious illness sends him to an uncle's sheep farm in Wales to recuperate. There he meets Bran, a very strange boy, and his faithful canine companion Cafall. They both are important to Will’s quest. Even though I like this book, ...
  • Sylvie
    2016-03-04
    Meh. It gets 3 rather than 2 stars mostly because I finished it, and it wasn't a terrrible read. Good parts: I liked the Welsh setting and the bits and pieces of Will being taught Welsh, or at least how not to totally mangle the pronunciation. I liked the sheepdogs. I liked that it's perfectly readable without having read the rest of the books in the series. I liked that it was an easy read - I got through it easily in a couple of hours. (Which m...
  • Marsha
    2016-06-23
    In this installment of The Dark is Rising series, young Will is given his most formidable test yet. Bereft of the ever-present Merriman Lyon, he’s forced to battle an ancient, formless evil. There are no other Old Ones to help him, which emphasizes the peril he faces.Will becomes less and less like a child or human being with every passing book. An unnatural maturity shines out of his eyes, so much so that other normal people are beginning to p...
  • Chris
    2013-01-29
    Cooper ditches her winning formula from Greenwitch, letting go of the three children from the first and third books of the series, and settling in with Will Stanton. Unfortunately this means we're back to the magical Will, the last of the Old Ones, essentially watching as various mystical events happen around him. He's a bit more active in this book than in The Dark Is Rising (the last book that focused solely on him), but the result is almost as...
  • LH Johnson
    2013-10-27
    It is interesting to me that the first book to halt me in my headlong and gleeful devouring of the series was this book set in Wales, the fourth book in the series, set in the thin grey rain of Snowdonia. It is not the Wales-ness of this book that stopped me (though partially, yes, it is, the dense nature of those mythological references that when they meant nothing to me, they very much meant nothing), but rather the way that this book did not s...
  • Lynn
    2013-01-30
    All my opinions about this book might not be helpful since I didn't read any of the other books in this series. I am one of those people trying to read all the Newbery medal winners, and The Grey King was on my list. Fantasy novels are not an automatic win for me. But they aren't set up for failure either. But this book just didn't work for me. Mainly for the following two reasons: 1. They kill a dog. I really hate when dogs die in books. But I e...
  • Neula
    2013-08-01
    This was my favourite of The Dark is Rising series as a child and some of the images and characters within the book have stayed with me over the years. Re-visiting this book as an adult I can see why. Cooper's prose is beautifully crafted, the Welsh countryside is a place of latent magic where everyday things - a pebble, a sheepdog, an overgrown pathway - are transformed into powerful symbols, weapons in the fight between the Light and the Dark. ...
  • Wendy Wagner
    2009-09-22
    A brief jewel of a book. Here Cooper blends Arthurian legend with rural adventure, using young Will Stanton as a voice for the high level fight between Good and Evil. In this book, Will gets a deeper sense of the value of his fight, but also begins to understand how the battle removes him from the human world, which he discovers is full of petty viciousness--and wonderful goodness, all of it outside the concerns of legend and lore. There is wisdo...
  • Jessica
    2007-09-27
    I know it's not a commonly held opinion among fans of The Dark is Rising sequence, but I actually have preferred the books with the Drews, rather than just Will Stanton, but this was still a great read. I'm grateful for the little Welsh pronunciation lesson Bran gave Will, otherwise I would have been way off the mark with the names. My only complaint is not enough Merriman, but overall it was really exciting and I'm anxious to start the final vol...
  • Rachel Joy
    2016-09-22
    This was really a 3.5 for me.This is the continuing story of Will Stanton in his quests to acquire the Things of Power in order to defeat the Dark, and save the world.It's well written but I found myself wishing that the lengthy descriptions of the scenery and the various magical happenings weren't quite so . . . well . . . long.