The Grey King, which is the fourth book in Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising Sequence, won the Newbery Medal in 1976. I have been listening to the audiobook versions of the Sequence, and am enjoying this Arthurian fantasy.
This book had a different narrator than the others books in the series. I couldn’t understand why that would happen until I started listening, and then I understood — this part of the story takes place in Wales, and there’s a small section of the book where Susan Cooper, through her characters, explains Welsh pronunciation. That was fun!
The Grey King, like The Dark is Rising (book two), is darker in tone and more complex than Over Sea, Under Stone (book one), or Greenwitch (book three). The main character, once again is 12-year-old, Will Stanton, but a new, and very important character to the overall story is introduced in this volume. I love Susan Cooper’s settings and wonderful descriptions of place and mood. In this book, the Arthurian myths are finally brought more to the forefront. The series is building to a final confrontation between the light and the dark. All the characters are in place and ready for that final battle. And in this book, the dark is indeed rising … most ominously.