The Dark Is Rising (Dark is Rising, Bk 2)
The Dark Is Rising - Dark is Rising, Bk 2 Author:Susan Cooper On the Midwinter Day that is his eleventh birthday, Will Stanton discovers a special gift -- that he is the last of the Old Ones, immortals dedicated to keeping the world from domination by the forces of evil, the Dark. At once, he is plunged into a quest for the six magical signs that will one day aid the Old Ones in the final battle between th... more »e Dark and the Light. And for the twelve days of Christmas, while the Dark is rising, life for Will is full of wonder, terror, and delight.« less
This is the very first fantasy I read--some 25 years ago. As a teenager I thoroughly enjoyed it and it hooked me on fantasy. As an adult, I still pull out my old copy of this book on occasion. It is a classic story of good vs. evil with imagery, history and a british feel. Besides Tolkien's books, The Dark is Rising series is the best there is in fantasy. Check out http://www.thelostland.com/darkbook.htm
Cooper's young adult novels are fun, if a bit dated. A lot of it doesn't feel very exciting because the children involved are always kept extremely safe and rarely in any kind of immediate and really threatening danger - which is markedly different from today's Harry Potter or A Series of Unfortunate Events works. There are still a lot of interesting concepts and the story itself is timeless.