Greenwitch (The Dark Is Rising, Book 3)

by Susan Cooper

Ebook, 2010



Local notes

PB Coo


Margaret K. McElderry Books (2010), 163 pages, $7.99


Jane's invitation to witness the making of the Greenwitch begins a series of sinister events in which she and her two brothers help the Old Ones recover the grail stolen by the Dark.


Original publication date






User reviews

LibraryThing member sirfurboy
Third in "The Dark is Rising" series, this book sees the meeting up of the three children from "Over Sea and Under Stone" with Will Stanton from "The Dark is Rising".

The grail that the children found in a cave in Trewissick, South Cornwall, has been stolen by an agent of the Dark, and Merriman enlists the help of the Drew children once again. Only this time the children are surprised and shocked when Merriman arrives with another boy - Will Stanton. That is surely going to be a problem, they think.

Susan Cooper writes this so well. The line between super human Old One and 11 year old boy is so perfectly walked. Each character develops nicely in this book, but especially Jane.

I loved this book as a child. The interactions between families and friends, and the stumbling move from antipathy to friendship between the Drew children and Will Stanton all stand out, along with flashes of humour and an exciting and mysterious tale, cunningly written.

As an adult reader this remains an important and enjoyable book in probably my all time favourite series. Definitely strongly recommended.
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LibraryThing member RebeccaAnn
When the grail the Drew children found is stolen by the Dark, Simon, Jane, and Barney team up with their Uncle Merry and Will Stanton to get it back. But what is this mysterious Greenwitch ceremony and the magical creature, smelling of hawthorne and the sea, that begins to haunt Jane's dreams?

This is by far my favorite book of the series so far. I'm not a huge fan of Will Stanton but I love the Drew children and in this book, the interaction between Will and the Drews made Will's character very bearable for me. I think he's a much better character when he's not the sole focus of the narrative. Cooper also did a marvelous job of making him both an Old One and a young boy. There were instances when he was just charming and fun to read about and of course, the sibling interactions between Simon, Jane and Barney are never dull. Cooper's ability to develop relationships between her characters is really astounding in these books.

My only real beef with the series in general is that in so many scenes, there could have been much more description, and many could have been extended. However, one must remember that she was in fact writing this for the young adult audience and, though some may disagree with me, young teenagers and older tweens do tend to have shorter attention spans. I enjoy these books for what they are: good juvenile escapist fiction.

Highly recommended.
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LibraryThing member bookworm12
read, 2010 100 book challenge, young adult, November
LibraryThing member SandyAMcPherson
A mystical story that focuses on Jane more than the her brothers or Will Stanton. Invokes the ancient beliefs of the Cornish Greenwitch, which is a deliciously feminist entity. This is my favourite book in the series.
LibraryThing member MusicMom41
This short book, The 3rd entry in "The Dark Is Rising" series, features both the Drew children and Will Stanton as they endeavor to redeem the scroll that in the first book Barney threw into the sea to avoid the Dark getting it. The scroll is needed to decipher the message on the grail. Another plot twist is that the grail has been stolen from the museum that was guarding it—while it was on display. (You would think that the Old Ones could think of a safer way to keep it until they need it! –one of many plot holes in this series. If my son who gave me this set of books was unhappy with the “plot holes” he found in the Harry Potter series I think he had better avoid this series altogether.) The story was interesting but again, the Drew children sometimes detracted from the story. Also, Cooper does not seem concerned with developing the characters of the children so they seem to be more deus ex machine to move the plot along rather than real characters. However, again I found the story interesting and the Greenwitch story somewhat moving. My other son, who read the series last year, says that this book is a bridge to the last two. This is now a series I would recommend to middle school children who are good readers and interested in fantasy.… (more)
LibraryThing member StormRaven
Greenwitch is the third book in Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising sequence. It is an odd book in some ways, and is both the shortest, and in my opinion, the weakest book in the series. The book is so short, in some ways, that it feels like it should have just been part of one of the other four books in the series. The book takes place between The Dark Is Rising and The Grey King, bringing Will Stanton and the Drew children together for the first time. The story revolves around a local folk festival in Cornwall, and the decisions made by Jane Drew.

As the book focuses on Jane Drew, and a folk festival that only women can participate in, this is the only book in the series that is told primarily from the perspective of a female character. Consequently, the fact that the folk festival is so obscure, and the book is so short is somewhat disappointing. Whereas the other books in the series are full of references to the myths and legends of the British Isles and have interesting storylines, this book seems to be very thin in comparison. The central myth dealt with in the book is, when you really look at it, quite small, especially since it is surrounded by the key elements of Arthurian, English, and Welsh national mythology. Even though the story is short, it doesn't feel rushed, just short, like there just wasn't much to say, and Jane just didn't have anything more to offer as a character.

Of all the books in the series, this one left me feeling the most disappointed. I felt like Cooper should have been able to give a more extensive story, but just couldn't come up anything more than a brief, linear tale to fill the gap. Though the writing is good, the plot is somewhat predictable and not really all that interesting. Fortunately, it is short, and as a bridge between the first half of the series and the second, it serves decently.
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LibraryThing member danbarrett
Part of what is probably my favorite YA series of all time, and, in my opinion, one of the best fantasy series of all time. I can't even tell you how much I loved these books. That said, this was probably the one I enjoyed the least, simply because I was more attached to the other sets of characters than I was the siblings dealt with here. Still, better than most other books.… (more)
LibraryThing member seph
I don't know how I've missed The Dark Is Rising sequence all these years, but these books are very enjoyable and suspenseful reads, especially for someone like me who likes Arthurian and mystical fantasy. Much like Jane, I felt a compassionate and loving awe for the Greenwitch. And again, as in the other books, this story is filled with nail-biting suspense and vivid imagery that is both compelling and delightfully scary.… (more)
LibraryThing member Yoshikawa
I found that Greenwitch targeted the female audience, but it was still a good read.
LibraryThing member reannon
3rd book in the Dark is Rising series. Goodk, but not as good as the 2nd, the Dark is Rising.
LibraryThing member stubbyfingers
While many of the young adult fantasy series out there (Harry Potter, His Dark Materials, etc.) are perfectly readable and enjoyable for adults, this series is probably not one of them. It tends to be a bit too simplistic with the problems too easily solved. This is the third book in "The Dark is Rising" sequence and brings together characters from the first two books. One of the characters is clearly in control of the situation, not needing to work it solving the problems at all and the other three are just stumbling around blindly, never understanding what's happening at all. The climax comes and goes before you know it--very simplistic. I wouldn't recommend this as a serious read for adults.… (more)
LibraryThing member booksandwine
This book had more Jane, the Drew children and Will Stanton finally meet, and the Drew boys don't really like Will. All in all this was an okay read. I probably would have devoured it faster if I was 11 or 12, but I'm 21.
LibraryThing member kraaivrouw
In the third book of the series, the Drew kids and Will Stanton team up (not always happily) to find the stolen grail and figure out what's going wrong with the Greenwitch.

This book is in many ways Jane Drew's story. It is her participation in the Greenwitch ceremony and her wish for the Greenwitch's happiness that inform the events that transpire.

A wonderful exploration of the Greenwitch mythos seamlessly woven into the story of the battle of Light and Dark that Cooper is telling. This book both builds on the other two and makes you want to know what happens next.
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LibraryThing member Othemts
Everyone comes together for the third of the “Dark is Rising” books, the Drews, Will Stanton, and Merriman. Once again they seek the grail, stolen by the Dark, and the manuscript that helps interpret the grail’s lettering. Will has changed in this book, less of a boy, and more set in his ways as an Old One. This is particularly noticeable when Will and Merriman with little consultation leap off the cliff together, an action so shocking that Captain Toms has to make the Drews lose their memories of it. But more interesting in this book is the central role played by Jane, an ordinary girl, who does extraordinary things. It is her sympathy for the Greenwitch that saves Light, although the way she gets the manuscript in a dream and wakes up with seaweed in the bed is rather cheesy. Still it all plays into my admiration of intelligent female characters (see Hermione Granger). I also really like the tradition of the Greenwitch as detailed in the book and the way folk traditions “come to life.”… (more)
LibraryThing member br13kasl
I recently just finished a book called Greenwitch by Susan Cooper. This is the third book in the series and the second book I have read in the series. I had recently just finished The Dark Is Rising, the second book in the series. Simon, Jane, and Barney, enlisted by their mysterious great-uncle, arrive in a small coastal town to recover a priceless golden grail stolen by the forces of evil, the Dark. They are not at first aware of the strange powers of another boy brought to help, Will Stanton, nor of the sinister significance of the Greenwitch, an image of leaves and branches that for centuries has been cast into the sea for good luck in fishing and harvest. Their search for the grail sets into motion a series of disturbing, sometimes dangerous events that, at their climax, bring forth a gift that, for a time at least, will keep the Dark from rising. This book, to me, was a quick read. It was a bit more faster than the second book in the series, writing wise. I do think the writing could have been a bit better than what it was though. It did not entertain me and i was not excited to pick up the book every day,and read it. The story itself needed more detail, excitement, and a better plot. It could have been longer or have more to it then the two major scenes that happened in it. Overall, it was a good enough book, but for those of you out there, I do not recommend wasting your time with it.… (more)
LibraryThing member riverwillow
The third book in the sequence and the one that finally unites the main protagonists of the first two books, the Drewe siblings and the last of the old ones, Will Stanton, as they work with Merriman Lyon try to recover the Grail which has been stolen from the British Museum. The relationship between the 4 children is at the heart of the book. I love the relationship between the Drewe siblings, which feels very real, and the resentment and mistrust that Simon and Barney feel towards Will as an interloper. It's particularly lovely that Jane is the focus of the plot as she develops a bond with the Greenwitch and slowly becomes close to Will. In The Dark is Rising Will's journey was to understand and achieve his potential as an Old One and now we really get and understanding just what it means for him to be the last of the Old Ones as well as an 11 year old boy when Jane asks him 'You aren't quite like the rest of us, are you?'. Wonderful and I'm really looking forward to the next book in the sequence.… (more)
LibraryThing member t1bclasslibrary
In the third book in the Sequence, Simon, Jane, and Barney meet up with Will, and of course the mysterious Merry in order to recover the piece that fell from the grail as well as the grail itself. The four of them must work together with the siblings not trusting Will, and the Greenwitch playing a role. In the end it is an act of Jane's that makes the difference.… (more)
LibraryThing member overthemoon
The Drew children, who found an inscribed golden cup they refer to as the grail in Over Sea, Under Stone, meet Will Stanton from The Dark is Rising, thanks to their mutual connection Uncle Merry. They all spend a holiday together in a cottage in Trewissick, southern, Cornwall, at the time of a special ceremony where a large female figure of branches, made during the night by the village women, is thrown into the sea the next morning by the men. Endowed with unsuspected supernatural powers, the Greenwitch is instrumental (thanks to a wish made by the Drew girl, Jane) in retrieving the parchment that was lost in the deeps in OS,US. This parchment is essential in deciphering the message on the grail, which, at the beginning of the story, was stolen from the museum where it was kept. All very adventuresome and fast-moving, like the other stories, but somewhat shorter, more mystical, pagan and at times unsettling. This edition has an introduction by the author and is sensitively illustrated with paintings that demand a lot of inspection as they contain more than meets the eye.… (more)
LibraryThing member bell7
The grail has been stolen. Simon, Jane, and Barney Drew, who found the grail in the first place, know it must have something to do with the Dark. Their Great Uncle Merry confirms this for them, and says that they will need to help, but he can't tell them much more like that. Meanwhile, Will Stanton's uncle visits from America and offers to take him with him to Cornwall. The three Drews are a little leery of sharing their vacation, and their great-uncle, with Will, but all four children are going to have to find a way to work together to keep the grail out of the hands of the Dark.

It's been a few years since I read Over Sea, Under Stone and The Dark is Rising, but I remembered enough about the stories and the characters to follow along in this one. Greenwitch has some interesting elements, but it's a fairly straightforward story with little surprises for a well-seasoned fantasy reader. As the middle book in the series, it doesn't stand on its own well - it brings together characters from the first two books, and sets up the next one. Perhaps because I'm coming to these books for the first time as an adult, I'm simply not falling in love with it. I will continue reading - I'm especially interested in reading the Newbery Medal winner, The Grey King - but at this point, I wouldn't plan on rereading any of the titles.
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LibraryThing member briannad84
One of my favorite book series!
LibraryThing member Crowyhead
Not my favorite in the sequence, but notable as it focuses more on Jane, rather than Will or her brothers.
LibraryThing member tjsjohanna
This story brings together the characters from the first and second books, united to recover the grail and continue their fight against the dark. The conflict between the boys was interesting, particularly how it seemed to resolve itself in the tension of their battle. I liked the character of the Greenwitch quite a lot!
LibraryThing member readafew
This book brings the Drew kids and Will Stanton all together. The grail has been stolen and they need to try and get it back. This all happens at a little sea side village where they are celebrating spring and making a Greenwich to through into the sea for good luck.

This is a neat set of books for young adults/Middle school kids. I read them when I was in Middle school and found them a little spooky, having reread them as an adult I found them an easy read and definitely written for younger readers. Great books to get younger readers interested in reading.… (more)
LibraryThing member PhoebeReading
Probably the weakest of the Dark is Rising Sequence so far. Cooper's prose remains lovely and strong, and it's nice to see some character development--and a little less focus on the boys--in Jane's storyline. However, the marriage between the Drews' story and Will's is, so far, an awkward one. The characterization of Merrimen as both lovable "Gumerry" and an Old One just feels . . . weird, and like the Drews boys, I found Will's solemn, somewhat flat presence grating, especially in contrast to the more faceted and boisterous Drews children. His strength in The Dark Is Rising was his realistic doubt and uncertainty, and here he's a cipher--frustrating! This is undoubtedly a key stepping stone in the series, but it wouldn't stand well on its own.… (more)
LibraryThing member Mary_Overton
At the vernal equinox, women in a Cornish fishing village pass the night on an ancient tradition, the creation of the Greenwitch. As Will explains: "'They make a leaf image and chuck it into the sea. Sometimes they call it the Greenwitch and sometimes King Mark's Bride. Old custom.'" (18)

Jane is invited to join the secret, female festivities:
"... the women set to working, in a curiously ordered way in small groups. Some would take up a branch, strip it of leaves and twigs, and test it for flexibility; others then would take the branch, and in some swift practised way weave it together with others into what began very slowly to emerge as a kind of frame.
"After a while the frame began to show signs of becoming a great cylinder. The cleaning and bending and tying went on for a long time...." (27)
"'Hazel for the framework,' the woman said. 'Rowen for the head. Then the body is of hawthorn boughs, and hawthorn blossoms. With the stones within, for the sinking. And those who are crossed, or barren, or who would make any wish, must touch the Greenwitch then before she be put to cliff.'" (28)

"When [Jane] turned back again towards the sea, the Greenwitch was finished. The women had drawn away from the great figure; they sat by the fire, eating sandwiches, and laughing, and drinking tea. As Jane looked at the huge image that they had made, out of leaves and branches, she could not understand their lightness. For she knew suddenly, out there in the cold dawn, that this silent image somehow held within it more power than she had ever sensed before in any creature or thing. Thunder and storms and earthquakes were there, and all the force of the earth and sea. It was outside Time, boundless, ageless, beyond any line drawn between good and evil. Jane stared at it, horrified, and from its sightless head the Greenwitch stared back. It would not move, or seem to come alive, she knew that. Her horror came not from fear, but from the awareness she suddenly felt from the image of an appalling, endless loneliness. Great power was held only in great isolation. Looking at the Greenwitch, she felt a terrible awe, and a kind of pity as well." (29-30)

"... As [Jane] came close to the Greenwitch she felt again the unimaginable force it seemed to represent, but again the great loneliness too. Melancholy seemed to hover about it like a mist. She put out her hand to grasp a hawthorn bough, and paused. 'Oh, dear," she said impulsively, 'I wish you could be happy.'" (31)
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