The Grey King - Susan Cooper There's a part of each of these books that stays with me, and in The Grey King, it's Bran and Cafall that I've never forgotten through the years. A boy and his dog.... What greater combination could there be? Some rival it, but only because they too have the same feeling of "Alone in this world, I have you by my side."

Ah, but this was a turn for things, this book! There was not as much magic, and more relationships, more lore, more learning, I feel. The story was set in Wales, which is unusual for one, but wonderful for another. The culture came through as it did in all the books, gently and with renown, pushing the story forward, rather than distracting us with potential denseness like in some tales. And in this book, we take a turn for the different. We only have Will here, and it starts off on a slightly startling end, and leaves a lot of loose ends at its closing--much more than the other three books previously.

But Will isn't alone for very long as we run into the strangest and most immediately intimate character yet--in my opinion. His name is Bran, and he's unlike anyone you've met so far. There's a lot to him, and he has the seeds for great potential, and a lot of character development. You can't help but want to see how he'll grow, based on everything you can see he's grown up around, his origins, and then what happens throughout the course of the book. He's a character made to stir the waters, and to me... he's got a place very close to my heart. Him, and Cafall... his wonderful dog.

Maybe I'm sentimental, and maybe this strangely swift story seems a little haphazard, like it always does when Will's on his own without the Drew kids there to balance out his abruptness and goal-oriented mindset. But nonetheless, this book calls to me, because for all that Bran is not normal, he's the humanizing part of this book, very much.

Overall, it's a normal continuation. The next, and last book in the series, is Silver on the Tree. For those of you reading along, I'll see you there.