'The Dark is Rising' starts on a very ordinary Midwinter's Eve with an ordinary enough, if very large, family. Tomorrow the youngest boy, Will, turns eleven and the family is preparing both for his birthday and for Christmas. But when Will wakes up the next morning, he finds that he can do magic. Out of this discovery erupts the story of an epic struggle between the two opposing forces of the Light and the Dark. The Dark wants control of the world for its own use, but the Light wants to keep that control firmly in the hands of ordinary men and women. Against this background, Will finds himself racing both to find the lost symbols of power and to learn the full extent of his own abilities before the Dark takes over so much of the world that it can never be dislodged. From the Wild Hunt to Merlin himself, Viking ship burials to Victorian parties, fire, flood, and blizzard, magic and time-travel, deepest betrayal and steadfast loyalty fill the book, all interleaved with the ordinary delights of a modern family Christmas. Even simple acts like opening presents and singing carols are given an extra significance, for at any and every moment the threat of the Dark is there, waiting for Will to make that one wrong move they can exploit to the full.