My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Greenwitch is part of my first ever read of the entire The Dark Is Rising, and my slight “a series, a series, oh how I love a series” attitude, meant that I came to it hungrily and devoured it swiftly.
I am pleased that I came to it in sequence, for it is a book that builds quite thickly on the events of Over Sea, Under Stone and the sequel to that The Dark Is Rising itself. I fear if you weren’t acquainted with the series, at least thematically or conceptually, you’d struggle, for I know I would step away from a book as this, dense and sporadically impenetrable with thick, thick layers of meaning, were I not already invested in the series. But note, though, that if you are familiar with Cooper’s wild, ferocious prose, you are caught in this book yet again.
Greenwitch sees the Drew children meet Will Stanton through the connective force of Merriman. The two families holiday together in the familiar surroundings of Trewissick, the scene of the events of Over Sea, Under Stone, and take part in the next phase of their quest.
It’s particularly intriguing in this book to see Jane Drew come to the forefront. She plays an increasingly pivotal role in these events which have roles for everyone that they are (pre?)destined to play. As a result of this, and as a result of the Greenwitch and the Greenwitch ceremony itself, this book echoes of women throughout. There are moment when Jane is, well, wet (no pun intended) but others where she is vivid and moving and somehow rather intensely appealing. I like Jane. I am Team Jane.
I remain struck by Cooper’s ferocity in her writing, the way she can distil such intense, pure rage in some sentences and yet throw others out like birds riding a current of hot air, lilting and romantic and moving in their elegant simplicity.
And the way she throws in tiny, beautiful moments without signposting them in the text, the way she makes people just do things that are magical, and crazy, and mystical, and maddening, and they just do it because that is what they do. The most practical sorts of magic and magery.