Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper

Over Sea, Under StoneOver Sea, Under Stone
by Susan Cooper
Rating: ★★★★
Series: The Dark is Rising #1
Publication Date: November 1, 1965
Genre: fantasy, YA
Pages: 286
ReRead?: Yes
Project: a century of women, Mt. TBR 2022

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.


I pulled this off of the TBR cart as my first book of 2022. I have paperback copies of the whole series, and plan to read the whole cycle this year.

This is somewhere between Middle Grade & Young Adult – more MG than YA, I would say. Cooper wrote the series between 1965 and 1977, so this book is just slightly older than I am (I was born in 1966). I didn’t read it as a young reader, though, somehow, although I think it would have been right up my alley.

I am a fan of books that have Arthurian themes, and Susan Cooper is definitely in that wheelhouse, with this book as a quest for the holy grail. It’s a pretty classic British adventure story, with a trio of siblings blessed with busy, benignly neglectful parents and an acquaintanceship with a mentor who is more than he seems to be.

The second book, The Dark is Rising, was a Newbery nominee, and the fourth book, The Grey King, won the Newbery in 1976. I read the first three back in 2016, but never completed the series, and decided to start at the beginning this year.


    1. They do seem to fit with the midwinter vibe! I plan to pick up the second book very soon – and if I knock out all five, that will be a great start to my Mt. TBR challenge for 2022!

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