"So the Dark did a simple thing. They showed the maker of the sword his own uncertainty and fear. Fear of having done the wrong thing—fear that having done this one great thing, he would never again be able to accomplish anything of great worth—fear of age, of insufficiency, of unmet promise. All such great fears, that are the doom of people given the gift of making, and lie always somewhere in their minds."
— from The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
also available in the same series: The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford