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‘The grail may not leave this land, but must wait the Pendragon, till the day comes. So therefore, I trust it to this land, over sea and under stone, and I mark here the signs ...’
Simon, Jane and Barney Drew know that their holiday in Cornwall will be a wonderful one. The seaside village of Trewissick is filled with fishermen to chat to, and the house they are staying in has secret passages, stairways and even a hidden attic to explore. Best of all, they have their mysterious, enthralling Great-Uncle Merry all to themselves for four whole weeks. When they discover an ancient manuscript hidden in the house, it seems a harmless excitement, but first a burglary, and then a frightening moonlit encounter among the standing stones on the headland reveal that the children are not the only ones interested in the parchment. All at once Trewissick seems to wear a different face: the friendly fishermen, helpful vicar and motherly housekeeper may not be all they seem. It may be that not even Great-Uncle Merry can protect the children from the terrifying figures of the Dark.
The first book in the award-winning The Dark is Rising sequence, Over Sea, Under Stone also stands alone as a thrilling mixture of adventure and fantasy. Its theme is the eternal battle between the Light and the Dark, which Merry tells the children ‘goes on all round us all the time, like two armies fighting’. Susan Cooper has contributed a new preface to this edition, in which she explains that the original impetus for this story was a literary competition (a catalyst that soon vanished as the novel took on its own life). She has also been involved in choosing the illustrator: Laura Carlin’s unerring sense of colour and eye for the uncanny have created memorable, evocative images of both the characters and landscape.
Read more about the life and work of Susan Cooper
Review by mfujdala on 14th Mar 2012
"I can't overstate how much I have enjoyed the new Folio Society edition of "Over Sea, Under Stone". The choice of illustrator was truly inspired. But I must say my favorite aspect is the typeface! A b..." [read more]