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  • Writer's pictureBrandi Prater

Over Sea, Under Stone

Updated: Nov 28, 2022


Cooper, S. (2004). Over Sea, Under Stone (The Dark is Rising, #1). Aladdin Paperbacks.

ISBN: 9780689840357.


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 key to finding a grail, a source of power to fight the forces of evil

known as the Dark. And in searching for it themselves, the Drews put their very lives in

peril. This is the first volume of Susan Cooper's brilliant and absorbing fantasy sequence known as The Dark Is Rising.


This is a classic high fantasy novel that includes a morality tale with a struggle between the forces of good and evil. As Simon, Jane, and Barney, the Drew siblings, explore Cornwall during a summer holiday, they discover an aged manuscript that is an honest-to-goodness treasure map. Of course, their perilous quest is not the idyllic vacation their parents had planned for them as the story quickly shifts from light-hearted into something dark and desperate. This story is like an old familiar coat with comparisons to some fan favorites like Narnia, The Lord of the Rings, and a bit of The Goonies. The story starts slowly but becomes more compelling with the familiar elements of secret rooms, an eccentric uncle that promises to protect them, and supernatural powers that threaten to destroy them. The backdrop for this novel is more obviously a children’s book, but anyone that enjoys classic high fantasy will love this series.


In Cooper's sweeping epic of the struggle between forces of good and evil, the

background of Arthurian legend is prominent. When the Dark comes rising, Will

Stanton, the youngest of the Old Ones, is guided in his quest to save the world by his

mentor Merriman (Merlin), who also involves the three Drew siblings and a strange

Welsh boy, Bran.

School Library Journal (January 1, 2017)


• Horn Book Honor List Citation, 2011


Similar Items You May Enjoy:

Ingo, by Helen Dunmore

• The Wolves of Willoughby, by Joan Aiken

• The Wreckers, by Iain Lawrence

• Artemis Fowl, by Eoin Colfer

Classroom Applications

• Trace the main characters' personal growth

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