Parent reviews for The Dark Is Rising

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Common Sense says

age 9+

Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 10+

Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 11+

Based on 20 reviews

age 10+

Great book

I read this book at university when studying children's literature. Just loved all the celtic mythology. I recommended it to a ten year old I knew just recently (quite a good reader) and he is loving it also.
age 9+

Darkness is rising

on page 50 pretty terrible have to keep on reading for school.Do not read if young cause its trash. Abosulete nightmare dont buy or bother.
age 10+

A childhood favourite

My mum bought this book for me when I was about 8 or 9 (but I was an advanced reader). I'd already read the Narnia series, Lloyd Alexander's Prydain books, but it was really The Dark is Rising which cemented Fantasy as my favourite genre, along with the Earthsea books and Lord of the Rings which I read at about 9 or 10. The story was scary at times, and I was totally immersed - I read the entire book that first day, literally couldn't put it down. The next day I went to the library, and got out the next in the series. It was scary at times (but not too scary) and I was so excited to see where the series would go next. Rereading as an adult every few years, I still love this series and Earthsea, whereas Narnia and Prydain have aged less well and don't bear re-reading. I'm giving it to my 9 year old daughter to read this Christmas - she's on her 3rd reading of the entire Harry Potter series, I hope she'll enjoy it.
age 11+

E xcellent series

I loved these books when I was young and can't wait for my kids to read them. Arthurian themes, evocative landscapes and cosy villages, interesting characters and plenty of magic. I wouldn't be surprised if J.K. Rowling read these and they inspired her. (In The Dark is Rising, Will's world of magic opens up to him when he turns 11, just like Harry Potter, plus there is a powerful, almost omnipresent, wise wizard , and other similarities.) Some people are saying on here that it is too violent, with behavioural issues. Really? When kids of 11+ are reading The Seven Signs, Skulduggery, etc. Plus many are watching films, TV shows and computer games with much more graphic content, lazy language and disrespectful attitudes. (Sadly I don't agree with this, but it's like fighting Goliath sometimes. and I can't be everywhere to protect my kids from inappropriate books/games/movies/language. ) I do not remember being disturbed by anything violent in these books - it was scary at times, but exciting too. And it certainly didn't change my behaviour in a negative way. Overall, I came away with a sense of wonder, my imagination fired up and a deeper appreciation of fighting for good. To me, that is the sign of a great kids' writer and the best in children's fantasy fiction.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 11+

Rich food for the imagination

I read this book first when I was 11, and just reread it, considering whether it's a good book for our nine year old. For him, I will wait. For me, I was again delighted by it. The prose is solid, it has weight without being dense. The portrayal of light and dark, good and evil, as bigger than any normal human is a strong brew. It is presented viscerally, and without explicit moralizing. For me, the power of the story arises for the sense of familiarity I have with the commonplace scenes of a British family at Christmas time, and their juxtaposition to the scenes of fantasy and imagination. (If I did not have that sense of affinity with the everyday life of the characters, I doubt I would be as moved by the story.) It is not slick entertainment, it may not appeal to everyone, but it leaves me more attuned and appreciative of the good, true and beautiful in my life, and inspired to be watchful against the encroaching darkness that would distract me or obscure those things. If you like fantasy, and have the imagination to bring story to life in your mind's eye, this book is first rate. If you just want to be entertained, and have an attention span accustom to 21st century pacing, you may find this one does not move fast enough.

This title has:

Great messages
age 10+

I love this book!

I read this series as a 5th grader at age 10, and the books were some of my all-time favorites. Such an exciting, interesting story, and wonderfully written. I couldn't put these books down until I read the whole series. I think the series is very empowering to kids, and I also love the mythology / history in the books (King Arthur, the dark ages, etc.) I recently came across the series again as an adult and decided to reread it. I am now reading it with my 9-year-old, who thinks it's great. If you're a fan of Harry Potter, give this one a try.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 8+

Hope. Light. Honour.

You can make a difference. You can stand up and say ' NO MORE' to those ruining the things we should all treasure. To those that say its not suitable for 9 year olds - it just shows how far standards have shrunk in the ipod iwant era. First of five books - read them all - treasure them all.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
age 9+

Altogether amazing!

My daughter and I love this book! It's a very cool, but a little violent. I love the fantasy and the war between the Dark and the Light is very complex. My favorite Thing of Power is the sword, Eirias, as I think the story behind it is amazing, and Addison loves the Midsummer Tree. It combines fantasy, a bit of reality, complexity and simplicity in one amazing series, and it will forever be one of my favorite books. I don't exactly know how or why, but it's so enchanting! A real pageturner!

This title has:

Too much violence
Great role models
age 11+

Newbery Honor Award Winner, worthwhile

The main character, a boy who has just turned eleven, is beginning to aquire some magical talents. A great read for readers of the Harry Potter or Eragon fantasy series which was awarded the 1974 Newbery Honor Award, though the story is still contemporary today.

This title has:

Great messages
age 12+
On his eleventh birthday, a young boy discovers that he belongs to an ancient group of powerful beings. He is instructed in magical arts, and gets caught up in the struggle between forces of good and evil. Sound familiar? The pros of this book and series. The Dark is Rising sequence is wonderfully well-written. Some of the younger readers have complained about the story being difficult to understand, but older readers will enjoy the complex and well-planned story. Will is a positive character who loves his family, accepts responsibility, and learns from his mistakes. The cons: the story is infused with British paganism. Though it's interesting to read a fantasy based on the English mytho-historical traditions, the series presents these myths and practices as valid beliefs that just fell out of vogue. Though the series isn't blatantly anti-Christian, occultism is sometimes mentioned positively, and there is a pervasive sense that the ancient beliefs are somehow superior to the Christian faith, and servants of the Dark often hide behind a religious guise.