The Grey King

The Grey King

Book - 1999
Average Rating:
Rate this:
In this volume of The Dark Is Rising sequence, Will Stanton, visiting in Wales, is swept into a desperate quest to find the golden harp and to awaken the ancient Sleepers.
A strange boy and dog remind Will Stanton that he is an immortal, whose quest is to find the golden harp which will rouse others from a long slumber in the Welsh hills so they may prepare for the ultimate battle of Light versus Dark.
Publisher: New York : Aladdin Paperbacks, 1999
Edition: Rev. cover ed
ISBN: 9780689500299
Branch Call Number: J F COO
Characteristics: 165 p. ; 18 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
FindingJane Jun 25, 2016

In this installment of “The Dark is Rising” series, young Will is given his most formidable test yet. Bereft of the ever-present Merriman Lyon, he’s forced to battle an ancient, formless evil. There are no other Old Ones to help him, which emphasizes the peril he faces.

Will becomes less and less like a child or human being with every passing book. An unnatural maturity shines out of his eyes, so much so that other normal people are beginning to pick up on it. A certain coldness is growing in his nature as well, that kind that will sacrifice individuals for the greater good.

But it’s his command of magic that truly bothers me. He gained knowledge of it all at once, by merely sitting down and reading a book, and now it seems that he can command it to suit almost any occasion. Time and again, he steps back and uses words in the Old Speech to battle his foes. He’s not entirely invincible; his enemies have powers of their own. But his abilities just leap forth with little or no reason at every occasion.

However, he’s not omnipotent. As if to compensate for his awesome gifts, the author hits him with an illness that lays him low, weakens his body and temporarily scatters his memory. He hasn’t entirely convalesced from this sickness and it drags him down at inconvenient moments throughout the book. As such, it seems like a mere contrivance, a neon sign the author has hung over his head that reads “See? He’s only human, after all.”

As a human foil, Will is saddled with Bran, an albino incongruously referred to as the “raven boy”, who also has a destiny to fulfill. While he’s initially hard to figure out, you sense that his distance is more mocking and deliberate, a veil to hide loneliness, than signs that he’s otherworldly. His personal drama becomes more compelling than Will’s quest, precisely because it is personal, rather than some high-minded goal. Even as he helps Will, his own desires and painful wants bring the much-needed touch of human warmth the book is lacking elsewhere.

“The Grey King” is building up to a powerful climax. But it must struggle to maintain humanity if readers are to remain interested in the outcome.

Kereesa Aug 04, 2015

Definitely a favorite of the series. I even liked Will :D

May 24, 2010



Add Age Suitability
Jun 09, 2015

lia_clark thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Aug 18, 2014

black_wolf_2180 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 99


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at DPL

To Top