"The long shadow of the candle lay over wall and floor, motionless, undancing. Its stillness, Will realised, was the stillness of the High Magic, a power beyond Light and Dark or any allegiance - the strongest and most remote force in the universe, which soon in this place he and Bran must face.
Will Stanton is recovering from an illness and has been sent to his uncle's farm in Wales to recuperate and unknowingly, to continue his quest to hold back the rising Dark forces. Surrounded by swirling memories of old hatreds and injustices, Will sets out into the hills. He can sense the presence of the Grey King, an enormous force on the side of the Dark and he watches in confusion as roads shift and sheep lose their lives to unknown entities. But Will is not alone in his quest. Early on he meets a boy, Bran Davies, accompanied by his loyal dog, Cafall and is stunned to hear Bran recognizes him instantly as being "not properly human but one of the Old Ones of the Light put here to hold back the terrible power of the Dark....And I have been waiting for you."
The two can see what others do not see and will go in search of the harp at great personal cost. This is a story that reaches deeply into the most primal knowledge of any reader no matter what the age. The basic knowledge that both good and evil lurk and that the struggle persists will resonate with readers from age 9 to 99. Susan Cooper writes like a great musician pulling the strings on a harp. It's beautiful and it resonates and you want to hear more.
This is Book Four in one of the best fantasy series for children. The battle against the forces of the Dark continue. See Over Sea, Under Stone for a description.