“And you were a very young eleven,” Mrs Stanton said, chewing reflectively.
“Huh!” said Mary. “And I suppose Will isn’t?”
For a moment everyone looked at Will. He blinked in alarm at the ring of contemplating faces, and scowled down into his plate so that nothing of him was visible except a thick slanting curtain of brown hair. It was most disturbing to be looked at by so many people all at once, or at any rate by more people than one could look at in return. He felt almost as if he were being attacked. And he was suddenly convinced that it could in some way be dangerous to have so many people thinking about him, all at the same time. As if someone unfriendly might hear…
“Will,” Gwen said at length, “is rather an old eleven.”
This book makes me homesick for bustling farm life in England, a village and family that have never been mine. It’s the 1970s, so music comes from the kitchen radio and no one’s into Hello Kitty or iPhones or Burberry plaid. With no more than a sudden silence, The Dark toggles between Will’s cozy little life and a perfectly overlapping world where time slips to and fro and the very roads throb with power. My favorite part is when Will’s family goes carolling for Christmas, and time swings open mid-solo.
The conflicts in this epic struggle between light and dark are mysteriously small. Like Harry Potter, Will is simply Chosen. I should be offended at this miraculous inevitability, but I’m not. It’s…tantric storytelling? Anyway, I’m happy to just follow behind Will as he uncovers the old magic of the land.
P.S. Walden Media teamed up with Fox to produce a movie version last year. From the plot summary, it looks as wretched as a movie where Walden Media teams up with Fox. Will’s 14, American, and has a secret twin. Srsly.
When the Dark comes rising, six shall turn it back;
Three from the circle, three from the track;
Wood, bronze, iron; water, fire, stone;
Five will return, and one go alone.
Iron for the birthday, bronze carried long;
Wood from the burning, stone out of song;
Fire in the candle-ring, water from the thaw;
Six Signs the circle, and the grail gone before.
Fire on the mountain shall find the harp of gold
Played to wake the Sleepers, oldest of the old;
Power from the greenwitch, lost beneath the sea;
All shall find the light at last, silver on the tree.