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Over Sea, Under Stone: 08/25/09

The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper is one of my husband's favorite fantasy series. I completely missed it as a child and only recently started reading her books (and this series). Although Over Sea, Under Stone launched the series in 1965, it's actually the third book for me in the series I've read so far. I still have Greenwitch and Silver on the Tree.

Simon, Jane and Barney Drew go on holiday to Cornwall with their parents. They meet old Uncle Merry who turns out to be more than just an old Uncle. In their time in Cornwall they learn about the King Arthur legend and its ties to where they are staying.

As many of the reviews point out, Over Sea, Under Stone is more mystery than fantasy. The fantasy elements come to play in the later volumes. Here the book introduces themes, characters and gets things into motion. The book is like a young adult Da Vinci Code.

The three books I've read have all been very different even though they dance around the same legends. That being said, my favorite by a hair remains The Grey King followed closely by Over Sea, Under Stone with The Dark is Rising coming in third.

Comments (8)

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Comment #1: Tuesday, August, 25, 2009 at 13:00:37


These are some of my favourite books. I enjoyed "The Grey King" the most, as well. To the point that I know I will at some point own a dog named Cafall!

Comment #2: Thursday, August 27, 2009 at 20:05:24


The Grey King was my first introduction to the series and it has stuck with me.

Comment #3: Tuesday, August, 25, 2009 at 14:15:46


Much as I love Over Sea, Under Stone, the Dark is Rising Series as a whole could stand on its own without this volume. It's almost as if Susan Cooper wrote this book seperately from the series and then decided to tie them together.

My favorite in the series is Greenwitch, but I think I am in the minority in that opinion. :)

Comment #4: Thursday, August 27, 2009 at 22:08:15


Since Over Sea, Under Stone comes first I can only guess that the process of writing the book sparked the ideas that became the other books.

I haven't read Greenwitch yet but it's my favorite cover of the series.

Comment #5: Tuesday, August, 25, 2009 at 14:47:38


My introduction to the series was The Grey King. It took me a while to realize it was actually third in the sequence and then I read them all again, in order or the storyline.

Comment #6: Thursday, August 27, 2009 at 22:13:02


I knew going in that I was reading them out of order but I've read them as I've been able to get my hands on them. I like that they stand alone fairly well.

Comment #7: Tuesday, August, 25, 2009 at 15:30:31


I like all the books in the series, but would have to put Dark is Rising first, then Greenwitch (I hope you enjoy that one! I love it), then Grey King...

I've tried hard to like Susan Cooper's other books, but they just don't compare.

Comment #8: Thursday, August 27, 2009 at 22:16:24


I hope to read Greenwitch soon. It's near the top of my TBR pile. My husband puts Dark is Rising as his favorite too but I liked the caper aspect to Over Sea, Under Stone.

One Cooper book not part of the series I really enjoyed is King of Shadows.

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