Summary from Goodreads:
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 had an odd sense of déja vu when I picked up this book. I sat there staring at the cover until finally I realized this book had sat on my shelf when I was a kid. Immediately I wondered if I had ever read it when I was younger, and set to ferociously. Unfortunately no memories swam to the surface, and I’m forced to reconcile that the boxed set must have sat there forlornly on my bookshelf for years until I moved out for college. Poor unloved books.
Over Sea, Under Stone is aimed for a younger audience than I normally enjoy reading, but Goodreads insisted that I would love it and gave it to me as a recommendation again and again. It read quickly, being short and simply written, and would probably work well to read aloud. I love Arthurian legend and I had no idea that was where the book was headed when it started, but the whole mystery and chase fell flat for me. I have major issues with the Disney way of telling kids stories – the kids are forced to figure out the mystery or magic by themselves, adults never believe them, and often stand in their way. The evil forces were so evil with no reason to be. I find it extremely frustrating and untrue to reality, but I guess it makes drama. Just not the type I want to read.
Honestly the Arthurian bit of the story was completely forgettable, and this is coming from someone who loves anything Arthur. I wouldn’t recommend this book unless it is nostalgic or you have a younger reader who finished The Chronicles of Narnia and wants something else along the same lines. Having said that however, I have heard that this first book is the weakest of the series, so I will be begrudgingly trying the next one.