Book #3 in The Dark is Rising series, I always loved Greenwitch. In this one, the Drew siblings (Barney, Jane, and Simon) are on holiday in Cornwall with their Great-Uncle Merry, who also happens to be Merriman Lyon, Will Stanton’s mentor from Book 2. Will shows up in Cornwall as well, much to the dismay of the Drews, and it’s soon clear that Will and Merry are on another quest for a Thing of Power to protect the world from the Dark–this time it’s a Grail that the Drews had found in the first book in the series, and had thrown into the sea to protect it from the Dark.
Greenwitch is different than the other books in the series that feature Will Stanton, because he’s not really the protagonist in this book. Most of the book is from the viewpoint of either Simon or Jane, which is kind of fun as we are witnessing the magic of the Dark and the Light from an outsider’s perspective for once. It’s also easy, as a reader, to identify with Jane–much easier than I ever felt it was to identify with Will, since in addition to being an 11-year-old boy he’s also an Old One, and therefore kind of hard to pin down. Sometimes he’s a typical 11-year-old, but mostly he’s this extremely powerful magical figure. Jane and Simon, on the other hand, are just regular kids, and Jane is extremely likable, with easily understandable motivations. She has a special role in this book, as the only outsider who’s allowed to witness the village’s traditional Greenwitch ceremony, where the women of the village create a “witch” out of branches and flowers. The witch is then thrown into the sea as a sort of offering. Jane’s reaction to the Greenwitch, and her interactions with it, are an important piece to the group being able to retrieve the Grail in the end.
Greenwitch is short, and this makes the story seem sort of less important than the others in the series, but I’ve always found it a lot of fun to read, and probably my favorite in the series after Book #4.