|Plot Summary of The Grey King|
|"Will Stanton has had hepatitis, and in the course of his illness, he forgot that he was the youngest of the Old Ones, one of the Light sworn to fight against the Dark during their rising. When Will is sent to Wales to recuperate, his memories begin to come back, and with them comes the awareness that he has another task; he must gather the final artifact of power for the Light. To help him in his quest, he has his new friend Bran, a boy of mysterious parentage and past, and Bran's dog Cafall. Arrayed against him are all the forces of the Dark - and the Grey King, an entity of enormous power that is on the side of neither Light nor Dark."
Ivy, Resident Scholar
|"In this book, Will has had hepititus, which made him forget that he is an Old One, one of the servants of the Light. He is sent to an aunt's in Wales so he can recover. There, he meets a strange albino boy and a dog with silver eyes, and his memory returns. He remembers now what he is and what he was sent there to do: find the golden harp. The boy, whose name is Bran Davies, and the dog, whose name is Cafall, are destined to help him in this lone quest. The harp is needed to waken the Sleepers, the last warriors that the Light need to vanquish the Dark. The Sleepers are guarded by the Brenin Llwyd-the Grey King. Will and Bran must evade the Grey King and his grey foxes to open "...the door of the birds, where the breeze breaks." If they can get past the High Magic, a force more powerful than either Dark or Light, yet sides with neither, then,"...the Light shall have the harp of gold.""
Danielle, Resident Scholar
|"Wales has much to commend it, and the Arthurian legend is one of them. In this story eleven year old Will Stanton, who is last in a line of wizards known as the Old Ones, is sent on a quest to recover a talisman of power - a golden Welsh harp that will awaken the six riders who lie sleeping, waiting to be released to ride into battle with the rising tide of darkness in the land. Susan Cooper is an original talent in her own right, and there are interesting parallels to be drawn with way both Alan Garner and Tolkien handle the same themes.
The Welsh people, the country roads, their ancient language, and the gentle hills and lakes are captured accurately and beautifully in this haunting legend, which is also a legend of a haunting. The story is simply told but has real depths and some very well drawn characters, "proper Welsh bach!", as we Welsh say. The grey ghost foxes at first merely kill a few sheep, seemingly no powerful enemy, but they are very cunning and strong in their home territory, and they do the bidding of the Grey King, the great and terrible Power who lives under the mountain Cader Idris. Will Stanton must use every ounce of his powers and every fibre of courage to survive."
Michael JR Jose, Resident Scholar
|"Eleven-year-old Will Stanton, the last of the Old Ones and defender of the Light, has been sent to Wales to recuperate from sickness and his last adventure. He is also on a mission to locate the magic golden harp, which is hidden somewhere in the Welsh mountains.
Will receives assistance from Bran, a strange albino boy with white hair, and John Rowlands, a solid farmer who guesses his true identity. They are up against the Grey King, who rules from the mountain Cader Idris, as well as the much smaller but pesky threat of Caradog Prichard, a grouchy Welsh farmer who repeatedly accuses the local dogs of killing his sheep and is inclined to shoot to kill.
Will and Bran will have to descend into the mountain for the harp, and face the giant grey ghost fox who is really killing the sheep."
David Loftus, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of The Grey King|
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Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Composition of Book
Descript. of chases or violence - 15%
planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives - 27.5%
Feelings, relationships, character bio/development - 32.5%
Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places - 25%
FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?
- fantasy story on current Earth
- magical artifact
Mental/magical powers focus
- clash between evenly matched magical power(s) (fantasy)
Is this an adult or child's book?
- Kid's book (ages 7-14)
- a kid
Has magical/special powers?
Magical/mental powers of main character:
- can cast many different spells
How sensitive is this character?
- sensitive to others' feelings
Sense of humor
- Mostly serious with occasional humor
- Smarter than most other characters
- average physique
Has magical powers?
Magical/mental powers of main antagonist:
- fire/thunder/weather cntrl
- can cast all sorts of spells
How much of work is main antagonist actually present in:
- a moderate amount
How sensitive is this character?
- hard edged
- 20th century
Takes place on Earth?
- mostly 3rd
Accounts of torture and death?
- generic/vague references to death/punishment
How much dialogue?
- roughly even amounts of descript and dialog