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Silver on the Tree
Book 5 - The Dark is Rising Sequence
By Susan Cooper

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Silver on the Tree
Book 5 - The Dark is Rising Sequence
By Susan Cooper
Thorndike Press - Large Print (2002)
ISBN: 0-7862-2921-7
Genre: Young Adult - Fantasy

Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - August 19, 2002

Silver on the Tree is the fifth, and last book in Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising Sequence, and it is the only book in which all the major elements from the first four books are brought together. It is also the book when the long awaited battle between the forces of Light and the forces of Dark finally takes place. But, before that can happen, there is one more quest that must be undertaken. On this final quest, Will Stanton and Bran Davies must journey to the Lost Land to find Eirias, the crystal sword made, in day's of yore, for the Pendragon. Their journey is not without some very real risks, the least of which being that if they fail, they will be stuck forever in the Lost Lands! As the dark forces pursue Will and Bran in the lost lands, they also haunt Simon, Barney, and Jane Drew who have been drawn to Wales, seemingly by fate, to join up with Will and Bran as the final battle approaches.

As the conclusion draws near, Barney is kidnaped by the dark forces and taken back into time where he is almost hung as a spy. And John Rowlands, who has had a role in this epic battle from the very beginning, although he did not know it, finds that his ideal life and his happiness has been an illusion manufactured by the Dark. As the final battle looms, John must choose which side of the battle line he stands, and his decision could easily give the victory to the Dark forces.

The climatic battle that ends the eternal conflict between good and evil is over in a few short pages, and Cooper quickly brings the series to satisfactory ending, although it is a bitter sweet ending. Personally, I would have ended the story on a slightly different footing. Unfortunately I cannot tell you how I would have liked it to end without telling you the ending, so I will leave you to guess what small part I would have changed. That said, you have got to read this series! It will fascinate readers who are young, and young at heart! Violence, such as it is, is minimal, yet you explicitly understand that if the forces of Light should lose this final battle, mankind is also lost, as evil would have ascendancy over the Earth.

These books are all well plotted, and they offer many 'life' lessons, such as the value of friendship, in a non-moralistic manner that educate without preaching. Furthermore, Cooper has a fine knack for weaving together Arthurian Legends with the mythology of the British Isles. From this mix she has created a poetic epic that has a mythical quality all of its own, which will delight readers for years, and years to come.

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