Wednesday, 10 January 2018

The Dark is Rising Sequence

This isn't a review.

The Dark is Rising sequence is one of my favourite series, and has been since I was about ... 11, I think. When my mother and I would go to the public library, this series was one of my go-tos to borrow and read.

Many years later I bought my own copies and I've read them twice now as an adult.

For me, the series holds up really well. My favourite of the series remains Greenwitch, and I still feel a little desolate and heartbroken by the last few pages of Silver on the Tree.

What got me reading it again recently, was a readalong on twitter - search the hashtag #TheDarkisReading, and you will see what I mean. The idea of the readalong was to time the chapters of the second book - The Dark is Rising - with the 12 days of midwinter, starting with the winter solstice.

I started with the first book, Over  Sea Under Stone, because I'm a completionist, and also because ... it's summer here, so no atmospheric midwinter to go with the reading of it.

I did, however, greatly enjoy participating in the readalong. (I participated on my "other" twitter, janesgravity, which is my fannish space where I get loud and annoying about things, and where I saw the hashtag first, so I followed along from there).

The readalong - hosted by twitter users @RobGMacfarlane and @juliamarybird, it - for me - showed the best of what twitter CAN be. In this case, a community of readers brought together by the love of a book series. There was also an art related hashtag - #theartisirising, where very, very talented people shared their artwork inspired by the series and the readalong.

The series itself is steeped in Arthurian legends and follows the adventures of a group of children - though they don't all come together in the same space until the last book - as they battle against the last rising of the Dark that threatens to take over the world.

I loved it as an 11-year-old, sitting on the shores of Lake Wakatipu at Kingston, imagining myself adventuring with Will and Bran and the rest, and I love it just as much now, as an adult.

Sharing the reading experience made it all that much richer, and I hope there will be more readalongs to come.

And - funnily enough - I can still remember the opening stanza of the predictive poem that frames The Dark is Rising:

"When the Dark comes rising, six shall turn it back.
Three from the circle, and three from the track.
Wood, bronze, iron, water, fire, stone.
Five will return, and one go alone."


  1. I have...never heard of this. Shame. It's so awesome that a series from your childhood holds up so well now you're an adult though, that is rare (in my experience!) The readalong sounds like good fun too :)

  2. Never heard of it so the perfect reason to go ad check it out NOW :) Thanks for sharing Maree :)