The Dark is Rising

Citation metadata

Author: D. Keith Mano
Editor: Gerard J. Senick
Date: 1982
Publisher: Gale
Document Type: Critical essay
Length: 574 words

Document controls

Main content

Article Preview :

This is a muscular fantasy. Characters bounce through time, transcendental yo-yos. “The Dark Is Rising” houses a mail order gift catalogue of magical equipment: six secret signs that must be collected (circles quartered, looking, I judge, like so many jeweled hot cross buns); rings, doorways without walls, grotesque carnival heads; a Manichean world conflict between the dark and the light. The book will thrill children. It thrilled me—and I presume that speaks more for Susan Cooper's craft than for my somewhat arrested development.

It is a book particularly for children second-bested by their families: those children to whom parental affection comes divided or diluted. Susan Cooper strip mines a dependable emotion: child power. An 11-year-old, youngest of many, learns that he is an Ancient One with immense authority. All children imagine at some time that they are protectors, not dependents. A father to...

Source Citation

Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|H1420001884