Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Greenwitch

I rarely read a series of books straight off without a break and Susan Cooper's 'Dark is Rising' sequence is a typical example: I've been reading it for about a year now. Greenwitch is book three in the series and I've just read it for Carl's Once Upon a Time challenge. I find challenges like this one perfect for making me get a move on with various series that I'm dragging my feet on!



The grail cup that children, Simon, Jane and Barney found in Cornwall and which they gave to a museum to look after, has been stolen. Great Uncle Merriman visits and suggests they spend the last week of their Easter holidays back in Trewissick to see if they can recover it. He joins them and with him comes Will Stanton from book two, unbeknown to the children, the last of The Old Ones and there to assist Merriman in the quest.

Simon, Jane and Barney don't take to Will at first and make life difficult for him... much to Merriman's annoyance. Then Barney is assaulted by a strange dark haired man while sketching the harbour, and his picture stolen. Why? Jane, being the only girl, is invited to the night-long ceremony of the Greenwitch where an effigy is built and thrown into the sea. It's a very odd night indeed, culminating in her making a wish...

There's a storm coming, literally and figuratively, and the dark haired stranger is at the centre and maybe even the cause of it. That night will be one of the most frightening Jane will ever experience. The children join forces at last to defeat this representative of the dark and, hopefully, recover the grail.

This is the book that brings together the three children from book one and Will Stanton from book two. It was nice to have them back in Cornwall (I've decided that Trewissick is probably Mevagissey) but I didn't find this book to be quite as good as the first two. It seemed to lack the same detail and atmosphere and felt slightly rushed to me. Nevertheless it was still entertaining and full of action and I'm looking forward to their continued adventures, this time in Wales I believe, in book four, The Grey King.

This was book four for Carl's Once Upon a Time challenge. One more book to go... although I will almost certainly read more than the five books required. I'm quite pleased with myself that I'm actually reading the books in my pool for once and thus taking a few books off the tbr mountain. That is until the two new Temeraire books by Naomi Novik arrive, and I've also added The Snow Spider trilogy by Jenny Nimmo. So perhaps I should stop patting myself on the back quite so enthusiastically!

~~~oOo~~~

9 comments:

Jeane said...

I thought it was really interesting to have the characters from the first two books meet together in this one, but the storyline didn't appeal to me as much.

verity said...

Ooh, one set in Cornwall! I haven't read any of the sequence so perhaps I should...

Val said...

Very useful review Cath and I'd love to hear what you think of the Jenny Nimmo's too
Thanks :0)

Cath said...

Jeane: I enjoyed the setting and the characters but I thought the plot was a bit weak... not as strong as the previous two books.

Verity: The very first book, Over Sea, Under Stone, is set in Cornwall and is absolutely delightful. Book two is not, but is also very good. Book three is again set in Cornwall but I'm assuming the final two are not. Altogether though it's a good series of children's books that can easily be enjoyed by adults. Book one was very nostalgic for me.

Val: I'll certainly report back on the Jenny Nimmo trilogy. She's most famous for Charlie Bean I think, a series that my grandaughter enjoys.

Shelley said...

I'm thinking maybe there's a conspiracy going on in the book blogging world because I keep seeing reviews for this wonderful series and it's making me want to reread them! Need. More. Time.

Nymeth said...

I liked this better than the first book, but not quite as much as the second (which remains my favourite). The Grey King is absolutely fantastic! Looking forward to your thoughts on it.

Cath said...

Shelley: LOL! Doesn't it just work like that sometimes? And then you have to give in and read or reread the books just shut your own head up. ;-)

Nymeth: It's so funny how everyone I speak to about this series has different favourites. Once I've finished the whole series I'll be able to judge the thing as a whole and it'll be interesting to see which I like best.

GeraniumCat said...

Just found your post on Greenwitch - I did like it as much as the others, but that was partly because I liked the subject matter. I also enjoyed the Jenny Nimmo series, and think you will like it - I've been thinking that I might re-read it soon.

Cath said...

GeraniumCat: I'm looking forward to reading the Jenny Nimmo trilogy, hoping to include it in my books for the Once Upon a Time challenge.