Title: Silver on the Tree (Dark is Rising sequence bk. 5)
Author: Susan Cooper
Length: 274 pages
Plot Basics: Will Stanton, Bran Davies, Merriman Lyon, and Simon, Jane and Barney Drew are on their last quest to help the powers of the Light triumph over the rising Dark. They must retrieve the crystal sword and be ready to stand against the Dark in a final battle. Will and Bran travel out of Time to get the sword in a daring race against the Riders of the Dark. Then, all Six -- who were chosen in prophesies beforehand -- have the final confrontation with the Dark and must make some difficult decisions.
Banter Points: Cooper again crafts magical descriptions of the places the characters visit and weaves enchantments with her very words. Will and Bran are highly compelling characters for being so young. Also, several of the old creepier enemies from the first two books (Mr. Hastings and the Riders) show up again which is nice that the group has more tangible enemies for this last volume.
Bummer Points: The end happens all in a rush, but that's how all of Cooper's other books in this series have been so it's not surprising it's like that in this one too. It's such high energy at the end, it would be nice to have it drawn out and keep the excitement going longer.
Word Nerd Recommendation: Word Nerd knows she's trumpeted the reading of these books in the recommendations for the other four titles in the series, but really, they are good and worth reading. Older kids can read these on their own, or they would be good read-aloud books for slightly younger kids. And adults... if you like fantasy, don't pass these by.