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Over Sea, Under Stone (The Dark is Rising Sequence)

(Part of the The Dark Is Rising (#1) Series and The Dark is Rising (#2) Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

On holiday in Cornwall, the three Drew children discover an ancient map 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... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A compelling start to the series

By one of those strange coincidences, I read this book shortly after the new "Ulysses Moore - The Door to Time", and a comparison of the two will reveal many similarities. This story was copyrighted by Susan Cooper in 1965, and tells the tale of three children who discover an old map in the house where they are vacationing. Three children (two boys and a girl) begin exploring an old house on the coast of England, and find a hidden door behind a wardrobe. Later they come across an ancient map, and find themselves in a great and dangerous adventure solving the cryptic clues on the way to locating the hidden treasure. This plot summary can be used for either book. "Over Sea, Under Stone" however, is a much more entertaining read, as the treasure is a grail from the legend of King Arthur, and there are forces of Light and Dark battling for possession. The children face many physical challenges on their quest, and soon discover that some of their acquaintances cannot be trusted. With their Great-Uncle Merry as their confidante and guardian angel, the three siblings experience the adventure of a lifetime, one I strongly recommend for ages 9-12, and the young at heart. Amanda Richards, January 22, 2006


Few stories are more popular among readers than the age old battle between good and evil, which is exemplified in the legend of King Arthur. Susan Cooper gives that scenario an imaginative twist with "Over Sea, Under Stone." It's a narrative sure to pique the imaginations of young ones, especially as read by popular British actor Alex Jennings. When, during a vacation in today's Cornwall, the Drew children discover an old manuscript in the attic of their rented house, they suddenly find themselves involved in an exciting and dangerous quest. Their very lives are jeopardized as they search for the grail, the one antidote to the power of evil called the Dark. Their Great Uncle Merry is on their side, but much of what he knows he isn't telling. Ms. Cooper's prose is both concise and thrilling; Mr. Jennings's reading is superb.

Fantasy in the real world

My brother didn't particularly like this book, because the real-world setting rendered it too far-fetched for him. I took it from his bookshelf anyway for a quick read (one chapter = one study break) and was surprised at his judgment, for to me, it is precisely the real-world setting that makes this book magical. On vacation in Trewissick, Simon, Jane and Barney Drew find a map and soon get caught up in an adventure which is bigger than themselves. The Cornish setting is very accurately described and never do the fantastical, legendary elements seem out of place; in fact, this book magnificently conveys the sense of nothing but a thin veneer of drab reality separating us from the mysteries of history and long-forgotten lore. Ghosts from the past and creatures of today blend wonderfully to make Trewissick a magical place despite the ordinariness of the village. English country roads become scary, animals seem to awaken to sudden memories of the past, and last but not least the story of the interminable struggle between good and evil in which the evil will often win but the certainty of the final victory of good prevails fleshes out the plot and makes it universal: I am twenty-three, but I identified with the three youngsters half my age. This story will grip you too.

Changed me as a child, I carry it still in my heart

Over Sea, Under Stone is the first book in my favorite series of all time. I first read it repeatedly when I was ten years old, again in Ireland at age 18, and once more this year at the age of 28. The lore (as it refers to the wisdom of a people) and imagination of the series is profound, the characters both ordinary and extraordinary enough that they quickly work their way into a reader's heart. These books withstand the test of time, and will live well beyond the 20th century.

An amazing novel

Simon, Jane and Barney expected nothing more than a pleasant holiday when they arrived in Cornwall with their parents and their enigmatic Great-Uncle Merry. But then they find the map in the attic . . . All of a sudden, everybody seems very interested in them. The strange Mr and Miss Withers, their manservant Bill, the dark-looking Mr Hastings. And above all of this, why is their Great-Uncle protecting them? What "danger" are they in? They are willing to try to help Great-Uncle Merry find the grail - but are they willing to sacrifice themselves . . .?This book is a wonderful introduction to a thrilling series. People are often quite hard on the book - especially if they've also read the second in the series, The Dark is Rising. But what people have to understand is that they are two completely different stories. This book is not essentially about the battle between the Light and the Dark, it is just about three children who must get the Grail. We must assume that Susan Cooper had no idea this was going to develop into a sequence, and therefore saw no need to add the elements of Magic which are seen in later books. This book whisks me away to Cornwall, and I found myself sharing the feelings of Simon, Jane and Barney all the way through. Ms. Cooper, you have done yourself proud with this series.

Over Sea, Under Stone Mentions in Our Blog

Over Sea, Under Stone in All About Cassandra Clare
All About Cassandra Clare
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • January 24, 2023

Cassandra Clare's celebrated YA Shadowhunter Chronicles have generated a devoted fan base. Her newest book, Chain of Thorns, comes out on Jan. 31 and we're offering a free book credit to customers who preorder their copy before the release date. Read on to learn more about the author and get in on the deal.

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