Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Secret Country

The Secret Country (The Secret Country Trilogy, Vol. 1)

Pamela Dean

Date: 2005-07-21 17:07:36   —   $6.99   —   Book

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Fiction, Fantasy, Juvenile

Pamela Dean is the product of a classically liberal education. Her work is filled with quotations from such notables as Shakespeare, Webster, Marlowe, Pope, Keats, the Bible, Madeline L'Engle, and classicists everywhere. She also does not make you work for them; while it is obvious in most cases that something is a quotation, it is not necessary to the plot to understand where something came from.

The Secret Country is a game that siblings Ted and Laura play with their cousins Patrick, Ruth, and Ellen. They are the princes and princesses of this land, and they work through a story of war and betrayal every summer. So when Patrick, Ruth, and Ellen move to Australia, the summer looks as though it will be irretrievably boring— until Ted and Laura discover a way into the real Secret Country, and meet their cousins there.

There are problems, however. They are taken for truant and forced back to the castle, where things are similar to what they practiced but not quite right. The place looks wrong; the people look different from what they expect, and there's characters they had never thought of. To make matters worse, there's no convenient diplacement of time— and the real princes and princesses are nowhere to be found.

And the story of war and betrayal is unfolding just as they had seen.

I only bother to list this book as a juvenile because the young adult section is where you will find it. It is well worth the seeking out, even for adults.

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