Saturday, August 17, 2019

55. Silver on the Tree by Susan Cooper

Whew, I finally made it through the entire Dark Is Rising sequence.  This was the fifth book and unfortunately, other than a few bright spots, I found my critique to be the same here as it was of the previous books.  The setting is well done and probably the best part of the book, with vivid descriptions of Wales in present and in the past.  There is some neat historical moments as well that though not totally my bag I do recognize as being quite compelling for people who enjoy the notion of a character finding themselves in key moments in Arthurian history.  Finally, there is one scene at the beginning, in the present day, when the hero kids encounter some bullies picking on an immigrant kid.  Later, the bullies' dad comes up to speak to the kids dad, revealing his racism (and that he is part of man that the Dark can influence).  It is disturbing and filled with the same hateful bullshit that is becoming so prevalent again today. 

Unfortunately, nothing is made of this and the rest of the book is again the children being given arbitrary quests where they have little agency beyond remembering some clue from the previous arbitrary quest.  Furthermore, there is not much character development nor interaction between the children.  You never get a sense of why they are chosen and what is in them that helps them along in their journey.  It was all a bit of a slog for me by the end.  I am disappointed.  It is possible that it is just me and where I am in my age that this kind of fantasy doesn't appeal to me, so please be your own judge.

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