Cover image for The Grey King
The Grey King
Cooper, Susan, 1935- , author.
Publication Information:
New York : Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2013, copyright 2003.
Physical Description:
198 pages ; 20 cm.
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.
The Golden Harp -- The Oldest Hills -- Cadfan's Way -- The Raven Boy -- Grey Fox -- Fire on the Mountain -- Bird Rock -- Eyes That See the Wind -- The Sleepers -- The Girl from the Mountain -- The Grey King -- The Pleasant Lake -- The Warestone -- The Cottage on the Moor -- The Waking.
Reading Level:
Ages: 8-12.

930 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 6.2 9.0 33.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 5.5 12 Quiz: 04827 Guided reading level: X.
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
J FICTION Juvenile Mass Market Paperback Open Shelf

On Order



There is a Welsh legend about a harp of gold, hidden within a certain hill, that will be found by a boy and a white dog with silver eyes -- a dog that can see the wind. Will Stanton knew nothing of this when he came to Wales to recover from a severe illness. But when he met Bran, a strange boy who owned a white dog, he began to remember. For Will is the last-born of the Old Ones, immortals dedicated to saving the world from the forces of evil, the Dark. And it is Will's task to wake-with the golden harp -- the six who must be roused from their long slumber in the Welsh hills to prepare for the last battle between the Dark and the Light.

Author Notes

Susan Cooper was born in Buckinghamshire, England in May of 1935. She attended Slough Grammar School, and then went on to Somerville College and Oxford. She was the first woman to ever edit the University Magazine, the Cherwell. She graduated from Oxford with an MA in English and went to work for London's The Sunday Times as a reporter on the Atticus Column for Ian Flemming. She evenutally made it to features writer, during which time she wrote her first book, "Mandrake," a science fiction story for adults.

Soon after the publication of "Mandrake," Cooper wrote the children's story "Over Sea, Under Stone" for a publishing house competition. It would later become the first of a five book series she would become famous for. She left England in 1963 to marry an American professor. Once there, she wrote two more books for adults, "Behind the Golden Gate" a study of America, and "Portrait of an Author" the biography of J. B. Priestley. In 1970, Cooper published "Dawn of Fear" an almost entirely autobiographical book about growing up as a child during the war. Even though Cooper wrote "Over Sea, Under Stone" as a entry for a publishing house competittion, she did not know at the time that it would be the first of her most famous copilation, "The Dark is Rising Series." In 1973 she wrote the second in the five book series, entitled "The Dark is Rising," published more than ten years after the first. In1974, Cooper published Greenwitch, book three, and book four, "The Grey King" a year later. "The Grey King" won the Newberry Medal in 1976. "Silver on the Tree" was the fifth and last book published, completing the series in 1977.

After completing the "Dark is Rising" series, Cooper turned to writing for the theater, learning the style from Urjo Kareda at Tarragon Theatres in Toronto. She wrote for Jack Langstaff's "Revels." Her first major play was called "Foxfire," which was written in coolaboration with Hume Cronyn. The play eventually went to Broadway in 1983 and starred Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy, who won a Tony for her performance. Cooper then began working on "Seaward," but was interrupted by Jane Fonda, who wanted her to write the screenplay for Harriet Arnow's "The Dollmaker." She wrote the adaptation with Cronyn and won a Humanitas Award for it, while Jane Fonda won the Best Actress Emmy for her role. Cooper also got an Emmy nomination for her adaptation of "Foxfire" for television. "To Dance with the White Dog," a made for tv movie, was the last collaboration of Cooper, Cronyn and Tandy, Tandy having died in '94.

IN the '80's and '90's, Cooper wrote the text for many children's picture books such as, "Jethro and the Jumbie" and "Danny and the Kings." 1993 marked her return to the Children's Book List with "The Boggart" and int's follow up "The Boggart and the Monster" in 1997. In 1996, Cooper published a collection of essays on children's literature entitled, "Dreams and Wishes." Over the course of her career, Cooper has written for newspapers, books for children and adults, screen[plays for television and cinema, and a Broadwat play. Today, she lectures on children's literture and continues to write.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-9-In Cooper's sweeping epic of the struggle between forces of good and evil, the background of Arthurian legend is prominent. When the Dark comes rising, Will Stanton, the youngest of the Old Ones, is guided in his quest to save the world by his mentor Merriman (Merlin), who also involves the three Drew siblings and a strange Welsh boy, Bran. © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Prologuep. 1
Part 1 The Golden Harp
The Oldest Hillsp. 5
Cadfan's Wayp. 11
The Raven Boyp. 25
Grey Foxp. 36
Fire on the Mountainp. 51
Bird Rockp. 63
Eyes That See The Windp. 78
Part 2 The Sleepers
The Girl from the Mountainsp. 91
The Grey Kingp. 101
The Pleasant Lakep. 112
The Warestonep. 125
The Cottage on the Moorp. 137
The Wakingp. 151