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Over Sea, Under Stone (The Dark Is Rising Sequence) Paperback – May 8, 2007

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Series: The Dark Is Rising Sequence
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books; Reprint edition (May 8, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 141694964X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416949640
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (157 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,188 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 5-7-The charming beginning to Susan Cooper's series of five books, which comprise The Dark Is Rising, belie a series of sinister adventures. The Drew children Simon, Jane, and Barney find an old map in a hidden room while summering at the Grey House in Cornwall. Along with their Great-Uncle Merry, they become embroiled in a web of intrigue that surrounds an Arthurian legend. True to the original story (Harcourt, 1965), this audio version adds a dynamic vocal element from narrator, Alex Jennings. In the beginning the story seems a bit slow and tedious as the plot and setting are given their due, and the voices may be difficult to distinguish. After the first side of tape 1, they become more well defined. Jennings gives each child a distinct voice, yet keeps each connected to one another. Barney has the youthful vulnerability of the youngest sibling, Jane, the sensible and soft-spoken middle child, and Simon speaks with the assurance and bravado of the "older" brother. The rising tension created between the fight of good and evil gives strength and vitality to each character's voice. Listeners understand Mr. Hasting's loathing and fear of Great-Uncle Merry when hearing the deep tone and resonance of every utterance. Jennings' ability is outstanding as he slips in and out of the numerous voices with the rapid dialogue as it approaches the climax. His training and experience as a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre give this story a vitality. This is an outstanding reading of a classic tale that all young listeners and adults will thoroughly enjoy.

Tina Hudak, St. Bernard's School, Riverdale, MD

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Beautifully told...superbly written." -- New York Times on The Dark Is Rising Sequence

Customer Reviews

Highly recommended for those who like young adult fantasy novels.
It was a great read, I had not idea where it was going, then I couldn't wait to see what happened next.
Love this book, have been reading and rereading, this series for years now.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 6, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Richards HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on January 22, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 16, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Arthurian secrets, dark magic, the eternal clash of good versus evil, and a bunch of E. Nesbittian kids on an adventure.

While Susan Cooper's "Over Sea Under Stone" is perhaps the weakest of the "Dark is Rising" books, it's a solid little fantasy story on its own. It's a sprightly, fast-moving little story without much complexity, but the depiction of the genuinely spooky villains and the ancient treasure-hunt are pretty gripping little subplots -- and of course, it sets the stage for the brilliant sequels.

Simon, Jane and Barney Drew have arrived at their great-uncle Merriman's seaside house for a vacation -- and rapidly become quite bored. But when exploring the attic, they unearth a very, very old map that is somehow connected with the legendary King Arthur. As anyone else would do, the kids begin the search to find a golden grail.

But they soon find that they are not the only ones who want the map. A seemingly genial pair of vacationers are being slightly too inquisitive, and someone breaks into Merriman's house in search of the map. And Merriman reveals the origins of the map -- and an ages-old conflict between good and evil that hinges on who finds the grail first.

Taken alone, "Over Sea Under Stone" is a solid, even excellent fantasy story; as part of a series, a little out of sync with the other books. However it sets excellent groundwork, has an intriguing storyline and a good mix of folklore and Arthuriana, and offers us one of the most mysterious and likable "magic mentors," Merriman Lyon. Say "Merry Lyon" really fast and see what you get.

It starts off with every kid's fantasy -- treasure maps and ancient kings -- and rapidly blossoms into something that hints at an endless, epic clash between the Dark and the Light.
Read more ›
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 25, 2001
Format: Audio Cassette
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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews

More About the Author

Susan Cooper is best known for her acclaimed five-book fantasy sequence "The Dark is Rising," which won a Newbery Medal, a Newbery Honor Award, and two Carnegie Honor Awards. Born in England in 1935, she became a reporter and feature writer for the London Sunday Times--her first boss was James Bond creator Ian Fleming--before moving to the United States in 1963. Her first novels were "Mandrake" and the autobiographical "Dawn of Fear," followed by the complete Dark is Rising sequence (Over Sea, Under Stone; The Dark is Rising; Greenwitch; The Grey King; Silver on the Tree). The sequence, deeply rooted in the rich heritage of Arthurian legend and Celtic mythology, is a classic work of children's literature, still in print after 40 years. Cooper went on to write other well-received children's novels, including "Seaward," "The Boggart" and its sequel "The Boggart and the Monster," "Green Boy," "King of Shadows," and "Victory," as well as several picture books for young readers with illustrators such as Ashley Bryan and Warwick Hutton. She has also written books for adults, as well as plays and Emmy-nominated screenplays (some in collaboration with her second husband, the actor Hume Cronyn). Recent books include the collaborative project "The Exquisite Corpse Adventure" and her biography of Jack Langstaff titled "The Magic Maker." Her latest young adult novel is "Ghost Hawk." Ms. Cooper lives in Marshfield MA. Visit her on Facebook or on her website at www.thelostland.com.

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