On holiday in Cornwall, the three Drew children discover an ancient manuscript hidden somewhere in the attic of the house that they are staying in. They know immediately that it is special. It is even more than that -- the key to finding a grail, a source of power to fight the forces of evil known as the Dark. As the Drew children and their "mentor", Uncle Merry, they do realise how much their life is in jeopardy, because there are other people trying to find this manuscript, and may end up killing them for it. This is the first volume of Susan Cooper's brilliant and intriguing fantasy sequence known as The Darks Rising.