• njpoulton

Classic 70s and 80s Fantasy Book Covers - The Grey King

Updated: Jan 15, 2021

Ah now, one of my personal favourites.

In Susan Cooper's magnificent sequence of novels, The Dark is Rising, two books stand out for me. The Dark is Rising itself (number 2 of 5), and The Grey King (number 4). I have always struggled to choose which of them is my favourite, but on balance I would turn to The Dark is Rising. I find its snowy Christmas setting hard to beat.

The Grey King is, without doubt, the most beautiful of the series, with one of my favourite closing paragraphs in all literature; the story pulls at my heartstrings every time I re-read it. But the impact of Will's first adventure just wins it for me.

However, on the subject of book covers (all five were illustrated by Michael Heslop), I find The Grey King the most evocative. It's full of personal nostalgia, reminding me that this was the book (purchased from a school library clearance) that first introduced me to Will Stanton, and my joy at discovering it was just one of five stories in the sequence.

Pure magic.

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