Silver on the Tree by Susan Cooper (last in a series of 5)

Great stuff, this series.
Loving Husband tells me that JRR Tolkein, like many Englishmen, hated the French. He so disliked them that he personally resented the Norman Conquest in 1066. That's powerful. I bring this up because good ol' JRR and Susan Cooper have that much in common. There is implication in all the books of dislike of other countries--all these important, world-changing events happen in jolly old GB, for one thing--but in Silver she specifically calls out each of the successive invasions of the British Isles as waves of the Dark. Interesting, that, particularly since there's a scene early on in which some of the Stanton children stand up for a little boy from India who's being picked on. We are treated to a dialogue between the bully's dad and Mr. Stanton in which the bully's dad is clearly ignorant, mean, conservative, and wrong and Mr. Stanton is patient, kind, expansive, and liberal. Conservative, liberal, we know these words are malleable. I'm just saying the book's conflicted.