Read Greenwitch by Susan Cooper Online


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 -- 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 haSimon, 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 -- 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 distubing, sometimes dangerous events that, at their climax, bring forth a gift that, for a time at least, will keep the Dark from rising....

Title : Greenwitch
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780689840340
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 192 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Greenwitch Reviews

  • mark monday
    2019-02-09 19:56

    Synopsis: Children shouldn't play with dead things, wild things, or green things; but if they do, they shouldn't stint on the compliments. A little empathy goes a long way!This middle volume of Cooper's wonderful series is the second and last to center on the Drew siblings, "the three from the track". Three cheerful, curious, and often very excitable kids who never wore out their welcome. Yay for the Drews! See you all again in book five.I really liked watching eerie series protagonist Will Stanton through their eyes. All of the little moments when they catch him acting like he's much older than his actual age or hiding his powers were fun and also, well, eerie. Especially that surprising moment when he just up and runs off of a cliff. Odd kid, that Will.Cooper's focus on a Wild Green Magic that exists outside of the Light and the Dark was thoughtful and compelling. She gives the pre-Christian pagan forces of nature their proper due and I loved how she made those forces indomitable, beyond the control of either the legions of good or ill. Neither good nor bad intentions matter to Nature. Nature will do Nature, and that's that, thanks for playing. Women are also centralized in a way that I don't recall seeing much of in the other books (besides the final moments of the last book); in the pagan ritual that creates the Greenwitch of course, but also in how Jane Drew proves herself to be the true hero of the story - simply by being her brave, kind self. Her normal self is her best self; a wonderful way to be.I particularly enjoyed the portrait of Greenwitch as a petulant and very dangerous elemental being subject to its own seething, unpredictable nature. A kind of child, but one that cannot be bullied - only swayed, with kindness. The confrontation between Greenwitch and a rogue agent of the Dark was riveting. Some people really shouldn't sass the Green, let alone try to boss them around. They might find themselves trapped and tormented on a ghost ship until the end of time. Oops, spoiler alert!Overall, one of the lesser volumes in the series, but still a fascinating and resonant experience.

  • Lightreads
    2019-02-23 17:50

    The eerie one, as opposed to the intensely disturbing one, which for me will always be The Grey King.I remembered this as a slight, inconsequential book. The weird-shaped one in the middle where the kids meet each other on vacation before we get really serious. I didn't remember -- or likely didn't understand -- just how serious this little book is.Here's where it crystallized for me. Simon and Jane have a brief run-in with Will's American aunt, who is delighted with all the 'natives and their quaint customs' (Simon's phrase) of Cornwall. And Jane points out to Simon that it's not like he's a native, they're from London."But I'm not so much outside it all as she is. Not her fault. She just comes from such a long way away, she isn't plugged in. Like all those people who go to the museum and look at the grail and say, oh, how wonderful, without the least idea of what it really is."And the whole thing came together, and surprised the heck out of me. This book is not at all what I expected from the woman who wrote the end of Silver on the Tree, with the thing. You know the thing. I have been surprised all along by how obvious and inevitable that end seems now, not just because I know what's coming, but also because these books have been arguing about it all along. As a child the end came out of nowhere and utterly enraged me; it still does, but I think I mischaracterized it in anger. I thought it was about the fragility of humans in the face of the larger powers. But that's nonsense. No one who could write this book could also write a story about that.Because Simon and Jane (and to a lesser degree Barney), they're the tourists in this book. As holidaymakers in Cornwall, but also as mortals in Will and Merriman's quest, in the work of the Old Ones. They're only ever given a tiny slice of truth, just enough for a good pantomime. They're carefully coached to turn away from anything too magical, and when they're hit in the face with magic -- well. There's an awful lot of foreshadowing here. It's not just the Light, either -- there's that absurd incident of dognapping. Dognapping! because the forces of evil, that's totally their go-to strategy right there. And it becomes clear later that the Dark was merely putting on a show, calibrating their whole global evil thing down to fit Barney's young sensibilities because it's not like he'd understand the true scope of the Dark anyway, doncha know.Except it doesn't work. This book is all about the magic of mortals. Barney's small gift of sight, of course, which is treated perhaps as a symptom of his larger gift for art. And then the Greenwitch, who is the wildest of magic, so wild that Merriman and Will are frightened of it and have to appease greater powers to even think of approaching it. That Greenwitch. Made by mortal women over one long night of companionship and tradition and casual use of old, old power. Mortals make the Greenwitch without knowing what they're doing, most of them. The Light and the Dark do not have a monopoly on power. And the central argument of this book is carried by Jane, quiet little Jane. The Light and the Dark bring terrifying powers down on Trewissick, they have a fucking opera out there by the sea. But it all comes down to Jane, who has no magic at all unless you count a little compassion.Yeah. I was not expecting that. It's an ego check for power, and for the Light in particular. And considering what's to come, it's really, really interesting.Other random thoughts -- I remembered that the Greenwitch was not feminine. That apparently made a huge impression on me as a child. This is why I like Cooper's paganism: she commits to it, there isn't any surprise Christian fundamentalism lurking back there. And it's not just candles and chanting and vagina-shaving parties. It's women raising ungendered wild magic out of the night and the sea and the wood and the fire.

  • Nikki
    2019-02-01 14:57

    Greenwitch is the shortest book of the sequence, and yet that doesn’t mean that little happens. It’s perhaps the most densely packed with symbolism and meaning and mythology that you just can’t get a handle on: the drowned man, the ship going inland, Roger Toms, the Wild Magic… This book, to me, emphasises the aspects of this sequence which are otherworldly and quite beyond the human characters, even while the humanity of those characters plays a huge part. It is Jane’s human kindness which wins the day, in the end. But she’s meeting a world which is wild and amoral and strange to her, with rules that make no sense to her.It’s also, once again, great on human interaction: the pettiness of Barney and Simon toward the intruder, Will, and Jane’s attempts to bridge the two worlds. More out of a sense that that’s the girl’s job, perhaps, than because she has any genuine interest in Will for himself. Jane is the most reluctant of the Six — right now I’m wondering a little if that’s because she’s the only female character. I hope not, but there are so many scenes where she’s timid, more afraid than the boys… But at the same time, she also has a different understanding of the world, and a deeper view on things. She’s the one who can see the Greenwitch for the lonely creature it is, the one who can see Will for the strange being he has become. Which might, again, be rooted in gender, but I don’t think it’s any kind of simple binary. Which is a relief.The writing is, as with the other books, very fine: there are some excellent set-pieces, for example when Will and Merriman travel beneath the sea to meet Tethys, or Jane looking out over the harbour — even the descriptions of the caravan.I’m probably way ahead of the TDiR Readathon now. Always happens! And it means you still have the opportunity to join in…Originally posted here.

  • Cassandra
    2019-01-31 17:55

    Re-read June 2013I'm noticing this time around how clever Cooper is to show these events through the Drews' eyes, rather than Will's. The second book was of Will discovering and growing into his power; now we see him fully grown, as it were, relaxed and confident in his role as Old One, and the Drew children's outside perspective on him is invaluable. When he coolly deflects Simon's boyish attempts to quarrel, the way he treats Merriman as a peer--in the previous book, from Will's own point of view, these would seem perfectly natural. But when we see them through a normal human child's eyes, we are reminded of how alien, and how remarkable, he is.There is a similar sense of second-hand witness to many of the supernatural elements of the story--rather than a straightforward confrontation, we get the children's puzzled perception of events as they peep at them from around a corner. Even the scene which concerns them directly--the scrying--is not narrated as it happens; we, like Barney and the others, must wait for Simon's story to find out what really happened in that caravan. I love how Cooper uses this delayed or relayed satisfaction to increase the mystery and awe. The ghostly ship is so much more chilling when seen incredulously from Jane's bedroom window, rather than impassively from some windswept cliff where horrors are to be expected.Note on the sound recording: narrator is ok--not the best, but not distracting from the story--but he apparently can't decide what part of America the Stantons are supposed to be from; their accent wanders obnoxiously over the map. Fortunately they don't do much talking. I can't speak to the Cornish accent, but he does differentiate well between Simon and Barney's voices, which is helpful.______________________________________Beautiful, haunting, and gloriously inventive. Some have complained of the plotting or pacing in this book, but my only complaint is that it didn't last longer. Despite the brevity, however, it doesn't feel rushed--Susan Cooper ends it on exactly the right note, a sigh of relief mingled with just a touch of melancholy and a final surprising burst of wonder. When it comes to spectacle and sheer blessed creativity, this one far overpasses anything Cooper had done before. Sure, there may not be as much action-adventure as the previous books--but ohmygollygracious, that scrying scene! painting spells! Tethys! the haunting! Reading this, there was hardly a moment when my toes weren't curling and my eyes bugging with delight. And then, of course, there's the eponymous Greenwitch. I'm not sure what I was expecting it to be--given the cover art on my copy, I think I was expecting something like Treebeard. Certainly I couldn't have imagined this wild, changeful, childish hurricane of a being--and not to spoil the effect for new readers, that's all I'll say--but I absolutely adored it, and the Tolkien-esque infusion of sadness Cooper managed to give it. A gorgous, spellbinding addition to the cycle, which seems to be getting better and better with each book. I look forward eagerly to diving into the next one.

  • Moonlight Reader
    2019-02-09 18:02

    I needed a book to fill a hideous cover bingo square. This one fit the bill. Good book, ugly ass cover.

  • Nikki
    2019-02-22 19:09

    I'm probably becoming repetitive with my reviews of this sequence. Parts of this book, especially the descriptions, are just glorious and perfect. I think of it as the book that focuses more on Jane, too, which is always interesting as she's the only real key female character. It also contains one of my favourite scenes/images from the sequence: Barney scrying. There are some very interesting newer concepts introduced in this book. We've already met the Wild Magic, in a sense, in the form of Herne the Hunter, but the Greenwitch really personifies it. We also get to see Will growing into his power a lot more. He's still a boy, in some ways, but we get a more outside perspective of him so we see the part of him that is more than that shining through his boyishness. It's really interesting to see him through the eyes of the Drews.It's also interesting to see the Drews drawn further into the deeper parts of the plot. It's always strange to me to realise how little they know. The characterisation of them is brilliant -- they're such ordinary kids, so resentful of another kid "interfering".My only real complaint about Greenwitch is how short it is. I want more. There really isn't much action in this book and while I like it a lot, it feels somewhat lacking in climax.Reread in December 2009. Struck most, this time, by the description of the haunting of Trewissick. I wanted to know so much more about it -- who the drowned man was, what the ship was doing...

  • Karen Witzler
    2019-02-05 22:09

    Haunting little book in the middle of Cooper's "The Dark is Rising" sequence. A young girl is swept up in ritual and myth as she watches Cornish village women construct and cast into the sea a "greenwitch"; a propitiatory straw and seashell sculpture. Very neo-pagan and steeped in British folkloric custom; I felt a strong desire to reread this after watching an episode of "Poldark" where the Cornishwomen are awaiting the annual running of the pilchard, but alas my copy has been lost to downsizing.

  • Nikki
    2019-01-25 19:50

    Greenwitch isn't really my favourite book of the series, though it is the one with the most mystery -- I wonder a lot about the background mythology, the legends of Cornwall that the Greenwitch brings to life and what lies behind each glimpse of part of a story. It occurred to me last night while reading that maybe Susan Cooper has come closer than Tolkien to a "mythology for England". Granted, he's closer if you're looking at England as "the land under the rule of the Anglo-Saxons", but Cooper has touched on the legends of the land, the real stories that matter, rather than inventing a quest and a ring. Her quests come organically out of the mythology she's using, and the places where she joins on her own are pretty seamless.(Tolkien has created a world of his own, I think, and people often put too much emphasis on the "mythology for England" stuff. I don't mean to do that: whether or not he meant to achieve that, what he achieved in the end was great. I just think the idea of a mythology for England is maybe actually achieved by Cooper.)Greenwitch also features one of the things I love most about this series -- the characters. They're people. Simon and Barney are good-hearted boys who get jealous and possessive when another boy of a similar age seems to encroach on their time and their friends. Captain Toms, an Old One of the Light, gets laid low by gout. And I liked that the Dark is personified in a single character, this one time -- not as the tide of the Dark, but as a single man of the Dark. We see hints of individuality there; his bitterness when he says "I have no friends", his genuine artistic talent. It's another of those moments where I think the black/white Dark/Light dichotomy cracks a little.There are also some gorgeous passages in this book about the beauty and danger of the sea, the amoral and uncaring world of the Wild magic (and then, again, that hint of the Greenwitch as a child, as a lonely creation in need of something to hold on to, of kindness).

  • Nikki
    2019-02-14 18:00

    Not my favourite book of this sequence, but fun nonetheless -- mostly because of the clash of characters. Barney and Simon's outrage at another boy intruding into their special relationship with Merriman, and their special quest, is just so human and believable. And there's nothing that demonstrates Will's strangeness as well as his refusal to quarrel with them, his adult and distant attitude.I think the other great thing about this one is the atmosphere. Once the Greenwitch enters the equation, you do start to get a sense of oppressiveness and fear. And I like that Cooper doesn't explain everything: the drowned man remains mysterious, the old hauntings of Cornwall/Trewissick aren't fully explained.There's also some marvellous prose, like in the section where Will and Merriman dive down to speak to Tethys.

  • Ben Babcock
    2019-02-01 17:15

    Greenwitch is the third in Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising series. It unites the protagonists of the previous two books. Will Stanton meets Barney, Simon, and Jane. Together, they foil the latest plot of the Dark, which involves stealing a secret artifact from the Greenwitch. This entity is a construct of twigs and leaves built by the women of Trewissick in an elaborate, night-long ceremony. They assemble the Greenwitch, then the men of the village cast it over the cliff and into the sea below. This is supposed to bring renewal for the fisherman. But the Greenwitch has the secret that will decipher the Grail, and things are more complicated.My critiques of this book are quite similar to how I felt about the previous books. Cooper writes well considering her audience; I can understand how children would be captivated by the types of danger that Simon, Barney, and Jane face. (Will still kind of bores me.) Nevertheless, the level of conflict and sense of peril remains steady for most of the book. We never learn what the terrible consequences might be if the Dark retrieves the secret. As with previous books, the Gandalf-like figure of Merriman haunts the outskirts of the pages, dispensing vague advice, like “Beware the Greenwitch”. It’s up to the children to muddle through as best they can, skirmishing here and there with an ancient of the Dark.I’m confused by Will’s presence. It seems like he’s only there to receive the message deciphered from the Grail at the end of the book—I can’t think of anything else he does that is instrumental or that any of the Drews could not do themselves. If that’s his only reason for being there, it’s not a very good one. This character was good enough to shoulder the burden of sole protagonist during the previous book in the series, but here he fades into the background, because Cooper doesn’t give him that much to do.The Drews aren’t that much better off, mind you. Though they have a little more in the way of an "adventure", there is less time dedicated towards showcasing their prodigious problem-solving skills. In general, Greenwitch seems rushed. It’s a short book, so if Cooper had paced it more slowly and given the plot more bulk, I don’t think it would have suffered for length.Nothing about Greenwitch grabs me and makes me want to think about it in more depth or ruminate on the adventures these children have. Though technically well-crafted, it just lacks that spark that makes it noteworthy compared to all the other novels of its ilk out there. It’s a good example that it’s not enough to be able to write a good story; there need to be elements that stand out.My reviews of theDark is Rising sequence:←The Dark is Rising | The Grey King →

  • Mathew
    2019-02-01 15:04

    Far shorter than I thought it was yet no worse for it, the third in the Dark is Rising sequence sees Cooper balance a fine line between the narrative of Over Sea Under Stone and The Dark is Rising which, I had claimed, felt like they had been written by two different people. I think she does a good job here and actually enjoyed the fact that it was mainly still down to the children, especially Jane, to guide us through the story. I found the connection between the Greenwitch, Jane and the women of Trewissick utterly fascinating and thought that it could lead to so much investigation around ancient rituals that may have lost or forgotten through time within one's own locality. Without giving too much away, I also loved the interaction between both these characters and the Greenwitch as a character too - she was far more wild and ferocious, in some ways, than Herne in The Dark is Rising. The chapters are relatively short and the switch between narrative perspectives alongside the handling of time are all very well done by Cooper, I thought. She stands away somewhat from Will and Merriman and this may be right considering the wealth of their knowledge and how tricky this might be to write for the child reader.

  • Nikki
    2019-02-20 21:51

    And belatedly continuing my rereads of these books before the New Year... Greenwitch is definitely not my favourite of the books, but I rank it a bit ahead of Over Sea, Under Stone, because it's just that little bit more mature, and some of the events are so mysterious that I can't help but be intrigued. The haunting of Trewissick, everything to do with Tethys, the weirdness with the caravan... Susan Cooper doesn't bother too greatly about giving a ton of explanations, and I actually like that, it preserves an air of magic that would probably dissipate if Merriman gave a lecture on the origin of the mysterious dripping figure and the boat and all of that.Plus, it has a victory through compassion, which is nice to read, especially since it doesn't dissipate the tension -- the tension spins out to the last couple of pages.

  • Pam Baddeley
    2019-02-20 17:59

    The middle volume of the series and this time one I had not read before. I must admit, after the all-out fantasy of the second book, the one which gives the series its name, I had expected more of the same so when I realised we were heading back to Cornwall with the three Drew children from the adventure story initial book, it was a case of 'those pesky kids'. But there were some differences.Firstly, we have the split perception between the original adventure story vibe and what is really going on. The three Drew children are there to help great uncle Merry as they know him, get back the grail - which they helped find in book 1 - from the unknown thief who has taken it from the British Museum where they donated it. But the reader knows much more than they do, because Merriman Lyon - an ancient and powerful Old One - has engineered things so that Will Stanton is also invited. And any reader of book 2 knows that Will is the youngest of the Old Ones, who last Christmas completed a quest to gain the six signs which will help the Light defeat the ancient enemy, the Dark. Secondly, magic - sometimes overt magic - is used in front of the children but they are then made to forget, and not always by the Dark. Thirdly, part of the book switches to the supernatural adventures that Will and Merriman are experiencing.The Greenwitch of the title is an elemental being, part of the Wild Magic, which is apart from either Light or Dark, but which the Dark is seeking to subdue in this instance. But strangely enough the Greenwitch is reborn each year as a huge woven contraption - reminiscent of the Wicker Man from the famous film - which is thrown into the sea as an offering in return for good harvests and good fish catches. And it is made by ordinary human beings who, for the most part, view its making and the ceremony as a bit of a laugh and excuse for a get-together. So that is the paradox of its existence. Unfortunately the Greenwitch has taken something to itself which was lost in the sea in book 1 and is needed by both Light and Dark in order to recover other objects of power - and the Greenwitch is inhuman and petulant and does not want to comply.I found some elements of the story rather odd and wanted more explanation - drowned man, ghostly ship. These did relate to the past history of the village but it was still a bit perfunctory. The evocation of the undersea world was beautifully done when the two Old Ones seek an interview with a being of the Wild Magic. And it was nice to see Jane, the only female character of any importance, this time taking a pivotal role and being the person who wins the day - no 'poor Jane' references unlike book 1. Ultimately though I find the book suffers rather from falling between two stools, being neither the enjoyable adventure romp or the all out fantasy, and also has rather a short arc with a slight story, so for me it can rate only 3 stars.

  • Stephen Polidore
    2019-02-22 21:57

    The shortest book on the series, it manages to pack in some excitement and a good story while being a quick read.

  • Wendy Bousfield
    2019-01-24 17:57

    In GREENWITCH (book 3 of Cooper’s DARK IS RISING series), Simon, Jane, and Barney Drew (protagonists of book 1, OVER SEA, UNDER STONE) meet Will Stanton (book, 2, THE DARK IS RISING). However, the “muggles” (to borrow from HARRY POTTER) resent Will’s bond with their Great Uncle Merry, not realizing that both are immortal “Old Ones.” By the end of the book, the Drews and Will achieve a tentative collaboration.GREENWICH begins with the theft of an ancient Arthurian grail. In OVER SEA, Simon, Jane, and Barney Drew had found the grail in a cave in the seaside town of Truwissick in Cornwall and given it to the British Museum. Agents of Dark, who covet this magical object, repeatedly threatened the siblings. Though the Drews gained possession of the grail, they were forced to throw into the sea the (presumably waterproof) container with the manuscript that decodes its cryptic inscription. In GREENWICH, the Drews, Will, and Merriman (mentor to all the child heroes) converge on Trewissick. Also seeking the grail and accompanying manuscript is the villain, allied with the Dark, a violently angry painter of creepy, glowing pictures. Unfortunately, in GREENWITCH, Will is a far less sympathetic figure than he was in THE DARK. In that book, and in the final books (THE GREY KING and SILVER ON THE TREE), Will, poignantly, struggles to come to terms with his discovery that he is Old One, possessed with formidable knowledge and powers. On his eleventh birthday, Will finds that he can travel in time and that he can cause “muggles” to forget what they have heard or witnessed. In GREENWICH, rather jarringly, Will is a self-possessed superman. At one point, Will and Merriman jump off a cliff and, without needing to breathe, swim for many miles through the ocean to confer with Tethys, Goddess of the Sea. I liked Will better as a vulnerable child, and I preferred Merriman to take a less active role in the struggle between Dark and Light. In the other books, he is a loving mentor to Will and the Drews, but in times of crisis, steps back and forces the children to exercise their strength and intellects. The Drews, stereotyped child detectives in OVER SEA, have, however, matured. By far the book’s most interesting character is Jane, who, at the threshold of womanhood, is learning to trust her intuition. In GREENWITCH, she is initiated into female magic. Jane joins the women of Trewissick in a yearly ritual: construction of the Green Witch, a giant female figure of hawthorne, hazel, and rowan branches, which, the women believe, will grant wishes before being cast into the sea. Jane, sensing the creature’s sadness, impulsively wishes that she be happy. The bond formed between the Green Witch and Jane is decisive to the victory of the Light at the end of the book.In GREENWITCH, Barney, the youngest, discovers that he has inherited his artist mother’s talent and passion for drawing. Recognizing that Barney’s art has magical properties, the demonic artist steals Barney’s drawing of Trewissick harbor. Unfortunately, Barney’s artistic talent is forgotten in future books. GREENWICH is a far more satisfying book than OVER SEA, but inferior to THE DARK IS RISING, THE GREY KING, or SILVER ON THE TREE.

  • Andres
    2019-02-05 17:51

    The first book in this series was a treasure hunt plot with hints of magic. The second book in this series was all about the magic with little actual plot. This book, the third in the series, combines the two, with magic AND a plot. The results are... okay.My main problem with the series so far is that not a lot of details are given about this ongoing battle between the Light and the Dark. Through two books we've been told of this ancient battle, and we've sort of seen some fights, but though the effort to make them epic is there, the pay off has been rather anemic. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to the magic being used, and it usually comes down to "magnet magic": if one side is more powerful than the other, the other will be repelled. And the Light is always more powerful. That's it. No actual physical fighting, no swishing of arms or wands or beards or hands or sticks or anything. It's the Old Ones standing there, doing something not exactly visible, staring down the enemy and the enemy fleeing. Not very riveting.(There is more action in this book than in TDIR, but even that was a letdown---the climactic "battle" was interesting but didn't seem to fit very well---like a lot of what happens in these books, showy but not very convincing.)Another of my problems is with capitalizing things to make them more significant---here we have the White Lady, Wild Magic, the Lady of the Sea, the Law, High Magic, and Cold Spells. They're mentioned but nothing is really explained. What exactly is this Law we're hearing about for the first time? Why would using Cold Spells cause the evil painter to be detected? Does that mean there are Hot Spells and Warm Spells and Lukewarm Spells? What's the difference between them? What's the difference between Wild and High Magic? Does that mean there is a Middle or Medium or Intermediary Magic? No answers here.A really annoying part involves talk or mention of "the spell of Mana and the spell of Reck and the spell of Lir." Whenever they are mentioned, they are ALL mentioned. They don't say "the spells of Mana, Reck, and Lir." No, they say "the spell of Mana and the spell of Reck and the spell of Lir." Are the spells explained at all? Nope. Are we told who are Mana, Reck or Lir? Nope. This book at least had forward momentum, but the ins and outs of this magical world are still as enigmatic as they were at the beginning. The Old Ones can't be hurt, so there's no sense of danger there. The Dark can't directly hurt any mortals, so there's no danger there since no mortals have even been indirectly harassed.I'm sensing that lots of myths and legends are being alluded to lightly or heavily, but since I'm not familiar with them they're lost on me. And if knowing them would make these books much more enjoyable, then that's quite a huge flaw for these books to have. They should work just as well on their own, without this prior knowledge. So far, they're lacking.I'm sure I'll have more to complain about in the next one, but the next one is the only book to win a Newbury Medal, so who knows?

  • Kristina
    2019-02-17 15:09

    Greenwitch by Susan Cooper is the second in the Dark is Rising series. I disagree with making Over Sea, Under Stone the first in the series. It's really more of a standalone. I'd call it a prequel except it was written before the other four. The events of OSUS relate to this book so it's helpful to read it, but not necessary. Like the others in the series, I've read this book many times before. It's a slim book with a smaller plot, but I've always found it to be a bit creepier than the others. I think this has to do with the overwhelming presence of folklore and witchcraft and hauntings. I've done some cursory research and I don't know if the making of the Greenwitch, as described in this novel, is entirely fictional or based on Cornish mythology. More than likely a bit of both. The Drew children (Simon, Jane and Barney) are spending their spring break in Trewissick, Cornwall with their Great-Uncle Merry. This is the site of their earlier adventures in OSUS where they found the missing grail. The grail has since been stolen by the Dark, and the Drew children, along with their Great-Uncle Merry (who is Merriman Lyon of the Old Ones) must find it. By coincidence, Will Stanton is also spending his school break in Cornwall with the Drews. Although Simon, Jane and Barney don't know it, they are all working together to recover the lost grail and the secret held by the Greenwitch. I love the location of this book: a fictitious fishing village on the coast of Cornwall. Cooper describes the village so well I can hear the seagulls and smell the fishing boats. I'll be traveling to Cornwall next year and the primary reason for my going (other than to see Cornwall, an area of exceptional natural beauty) is because of this book. My initial interest in England (and the greater UK) can be attributed to my first readings of this series. Jane is the focal point of this book. Merriman and Will are there, fighting the good fight for the Light, but the success of their quest centers on Jane. She, of course, does not know this. Which I like. The fate of the Light depends on one thing, and that's the kindness and empathy of a young girl. Not on how brainy she is or how well she knows her magical potions, but just common kindness. It's this simplicity that again charms me. Convoluted fantasy plots with lots of magical utterings are always fun, but what does it usually come down to? The choices characters make based on who they are despite all their magical know-how. Greenwitch, the second (or third) book in this series, is a gem. It's a little spooky, very atmospheric, and always a delightful read.

  • LPG
    2019-02-19 15:15

    Oooh. This one I did not enjoy. The original kids are back which was lovely, but they're largely relegated to unimportant background stuff. You get the distinct feeling that Merry and Will could have handled this one without them (convenient wish and that lil bit of scrying aside).I don't know. This book is 99% what I don't like about Coopers writing. She tells and doesn't show. Or she uses a passive narrator. She did the same thing at the end of the previous book, which I thought was a bit of a cop out, but I figured it was just because the had a tonne of info dumping to do there. I also don't like what she's doing with Will's character. He has become this all-knowing grown up after reading that book in DiR, and it's turned him into quite a dull unconflicted boy. I think this Merlin-esque persona suits Merriman but Will just reads like he's 12 going on 80. He's not really scared & he knows how to handle everything.The worst part is the basic story is less interesting now too. I mean the whole grail finding business feels like it should be the start of a mystery not the entire content. There's still some excellent visuals (the ceremony of the green witch, the caravan at the ruined farmhouse, the painter in the storm) but I'm overall I'm pretty disappointed.

  • Nicole
    2019-01-24 22:07

    This is the midpoint of the series and the shortest book. Greenwitch brings together the Drew children from the first book and Will from The Dark is Rising in Trewissick after the grail the Drew children found is stolen. My husband said this was the book he liked the least as a child, and I can see how it might be a bit "over the head" for some. This is one of those books where, even as short as it is, it would have been nice to have a little character sheet with some background for the more mythical entities in this round. I'll admit I wasn't entirely sure what was going on from time to time. Despite this, the plot arc is tight and the primary characters engaging as usual. Not my favorite of the series, but not a bad book by any means.

  • Rachel (Kalanadi)
    2019-02-24 22:58

    More aptly 3.5 stars. I liked Greenwitch much more upon rereading. When I first read this as a kid, it really scared me - something creepy about the building and drowning of the Greenwitch itself. (There's something about the brevity and simplicity and broad implications of these books that really lets a kid's imagination go wild and fill in the unspoken bits.) But now I like it more, and Jane's more active role.

  • Mary
    2019-02-09 16:58

    "Greenwitch" is the middle book in the Dark Is Rising Sequence. It is the shortest, and the slightest in story, but is an essential link in the series. The first book, "Over Sea, Under Stone", featured the three Drew siblings in Cornwall and their search for a mysterious grail. The second book, "The Dark Is Rising", is a midwinter tale in which Will Stanton, just turned eleven, discovers that he is an Old One in the struggle between the Dark and the Light. "Greenwitch" brings the two strands together.Simon, Jane, and Barney Drew are invited to Cornwall by their great-uncle Merriman. Unfortunately their spring holiday will be shared with a strange boy, Will Stanton. Jane is invited to observe an annual ritual performed by the women of the village--the forming of the Greenwitch, a contraption of branches and leaves that is offered to the sea for good luck. But there is more going on in the seaside village than quaint rituals. The Dark is trying to obtain an object of great power. The children and Merriman are able to stop this with the reluctant help of the Greenwitch.The Dark Is Rising Sequence draws upon Arthurian legends of the Grail to retell the story for a modern-day audience. As with the other books in the series, "Greenwitch" is both mystical and magical. It is suitable for kids and adults who have enjoyed the Harry Potter books.

  • Grace
    2019-01-27 16:47

    This is the last sort of chill, small-scale book in the series, before things start to really ramp up to the final confrontation. The gang goes on holiday to Tresswick for a week to mop up a minor problem with the grail, and confront a rogue agent of the Dark. In doing so, they uncover the FINAL FORM of the PROPHECY POEM. I love the prophecy poem. It gives me chills.I also SURE DO LOVE THAT OUTSIDER POV when the Drews meet Will. Simon: How annoying. A dumb normie who knows nothing about our magic quest. We'll have to find some way to ditch him.Merriman: :)Will: :)Me: :)SURE DO LOVE THAT. I also enjoy how Jane gets to be the hero of this one, since it seems like Jane usually gets a little bit shafted by the narrative.It is kind of uncomfortable how often people are erasing the poor Drews' memories, though. Even the Old Ones. If anyone erased my memory even once even for a very good reason, I would consider them dead to me. I guess this an example of "good is not nice," and how Merriman said in The Dark Is Rising that the Light can be cruel.

  • Nick Swarbrick
    2019-02-14 15:47

    Some genuinely creepy moments, and interestingly ambiguous set of relationships between the children from the previous two stories, Over Sea, Under Stone and The Dark is Rising. It is (perhaps) marred slightly by an ending that points to further into the sequence rather than reaching a resolution, but again Cooper manages landscape, family, folklore and danger and quite a difficult set of questions around how children identify whose side this adult or that might be on with her customary sureness.

  • Ivy
    2019-02-14 22:12

    Another great tale inspired by Arthur, the Grail, and Celtic lore. Although these books are written for children, there was something haunting, or maybe a better word is sublime, about this particular book. The Greenwitch isn't anything at all like the Wicked Witch of the West...she the power of nature incarnate in its awe and fury.

  • Lucy Barnhouse
    2019-02-11 23:11

    Simultaneously chilling and lovely, a dreamy look at landscapes, histories, and the wild power of magic. In the latter, I particularly appreciated that the dualist tendencies of the first two books were further destabilized.

  • Jacob
    2019-01-27 17:13

    3.5 stars. Good story, though not quite as compelling as the previous book in the series. However, I did really like the author's introduction of something that didn't quite fit into the paradigm of the light vs. the dark -- a sort of wild, elemental force.

  • Kaitlyn Dunnett
    2019-02-09 16:47

    As remembered, a good one. Perhaps, in part, because the girl had a bigger role to play in this one.

  • Cody F.
    2019-02-22 19:57

    I am going to write about a book review on greenwitch . Greenwitch is about where someone has stolen an object that has power . Where A person has A quest to reclaim the grail . The grail has A vital secret . But he will need some help on the way . They will also have to work together to get it.

  • Muireann
    2019-02-05 18:01

    I had forgotten much of this one, but this reread puts it well ahead of the first two. Still lots of foreboding but Merry is less annoying, Simon keeps his mouth shut and we get a centering of the female pov that is very welcome. The women of Trewissick's age-old ritual, the Greenwitch and White Lady, and most of all Jane saving the day just by her own everyday kindness and empathy. Lovely.

  • A
    2019-02-20 19:55

    There are sequences in Greenwitch that defy explanation, which are utterly haunting. In a way it feels wilder, femaler and darker than the other books (darker in a more organic way, not in the sense of good old-fashioned human/Dark malignance, which is dealt out more in the next book). I'd forgotten how much I loved this series as a kid. Diving back into it on an escapist binge recently, I was struck by how epic and unearthly the writing is - probably considered unsuitable for kids nowadays, but it must've shaped the same sensibility that led me as a grownup to love things like Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell and the first season of Stranger Things. It's different from them, but has the same sense of eerie beauty on a scale beyond the everyday.