New adventure about time travelOver Sea, Under Stone

by Susan Cooper

Ages 8-up
243 pages

Come search the old Cornwall home with the Drew children, Simon, Jane and Barney in this Arthurian tale that kicks off the five book series: The Dark Is Rising. While summering in Cornwall, the children accidently find an old map that involves them in a centuries old intrique made even more mysterious by their Great-Uncle Merry who had a great talent for disappearing.

In the beginning, the story seems innocuous, three siblings scrambling about an old house, trying to come up with things to do. There is the typically vulnerable youngest, sensible middle, and brave, over-confident oldest. Then they find the map, and the tension starts to rise, fed by the plot, strange events, and even the weather.

That's Cooper's gift in this series, her control of the tension. The book and series is not so much for the youngest readers, being built quite firmly on rich, sophisticated descriptions. But if a young reader were determined, Over Sea, Under Stone, and The Greenwitch are the two books best for them. My favorite, though, is The Grey King, whereby the forces of evil are so disguised you don't see them until they are breath-takingly upon you..

Together, the series is rich and satisfying, and a keeper..

Review by D.

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