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The Secret Country (Secret Country Trilogy Series #1)
     

The Secret Country (Secret Country Trilogy Series #1)

3.6 18
by Pamela Dean
 

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The first book in the magical, wonderfully interwoven Secret Country trilogy. They thought it was a game, but it was its own world... 

Each vacation for the past nine years, cousins Patrick, Ruth, Ellen, Ted, and Laura have played a game they call the “Secret”—an invented, scripted world full of witches, unicorns,

Overview

The first book in the magical, wonderfully interwoven Secret Country trilogy. They thought it was a game, but it was its own world... 

Each vacation for the past nine years, cousins Patrick, Ruth, Ellen, Ted, and Laura have played a game they call the “Secret”—an invented, scripted world full of witches, unicorns, a magic ring, court intrigue, and the Dragon King. In the Secret, they can imagine anything into reality, and shape destiny. Then the unbelievable happens: by trick or by chance, they actually find themselves in the Secret Country, their made-up identities now real. The five have arrived at the start of their games, with the Country on the edge of war. What was once exciting and wonderful now looms threateningly before them, and no one is sure how to stop it… or if they will ever get back home.
 
"An intricate sparkling web of intrigue and magic. One of my very favorites.”—Patricia C. Wrede, author of Dealing with Dragons

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for The Secret Country

"Like The Secret Country, Pamela Dean is a secret treasure of the fantasy field. Her books are fun, smart, enchanting, exciting, and well grounded in the classic family tradition. The new publication of her trilogy is certain to let more readers in on the secret that Dean is one of the very best writers of magical fiction today."--Terri Windling

"Pamela Dean is a hidden treasure, a writer other writers adore: her quirky, literate characters, her munchy prose, her depth-charge stories. More readers should know about her. And now--maybe they will!"-- Jane Yolen

"It captures, as almost no other book on games-coming-true has captured, the real magic of making stuff up, of running scenes and characters that stretch your idea of who and what you might grow up to be. I loved it so much when I first read it, and had so much trouble finding subsequent volumes. I'm glad a new generation has a whack at it."--Delia Sherman, author of The Porcelain Dove

Children's Literature
If it were possible to meld the fantastical plots of C. S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia, J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter, and J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, while combining these with the concept of the "fantasy turned reality" theme present in Chris Van Allsburg's Jumanji, the result would be Dean's "The Secret Country Trilogy." The first of the three books follows the adventures of cousins Patrick, Ruth, Ellen, Ted, and Laura, who have created their own imaginary game, called "The Secret." The game, however, becomes very real one summer once the cousins realize that the game has taken on a life all its own. Transporting the cousins into a not-so-imaginary world, they must play the game to its finish and find their own way out. Confusing at times, the plot seems to appeal more to the adult intellect than twelve- year olds; however, once the reader sorts through the perplexing plot and confusing character facts, the book suddenly grows into a wonderfully enveloping saga of five youths, forcing readers to submerge themselves in the fantastic and mystical adventures of Dean's modest heroes and heroines. 2003 (orig. 1985), Firebird/Penguin Group, Ages 12 up.
—Ronnie Ficco

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780142501535
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
10/13/2003
Series:
Secret Country Trilogy Series , #1
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
1,159,010
Product dimensions:
4.60(w) x 7.10(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

Pamela Dean (pddb.demesne.com) is also the author of Tam LinThe Dubious Hills; and Jupiter, Gentianand Rosemary. She lives in Minneapolis with her family.

Customer Reviews

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Secret Country (Secret Country Series #1) 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book when I myself was a preteen and still have my yellow-paged, torn covered copy that holds a prize position on my very crowded book shelf. I have recently let my own 12 y.o. daughter read the book, promising to treat it with special care, and she is enjoying it, too. I found the plot to be fantastic, the ideas dear to any fantasy lover's heart, the unicorns beautiful, and even now as an adult I get chills when I hear a cardinal's call. I can only hope my children will enjoy the book as much as I have.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Secret Country was one of the best books I have ever read. It had an unique and original plot and I recommend it to other fantasy lovers. It did require rereading a few paragraphs and would be difficult to understand for some younger readers but I enjoyed this book and the second and third books in the series.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I aboslutly love this book, and was so disappointed when it ended, everyone should read it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the best books I've ever read. A book you must read if you love fantsy.
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Desdemona More than 1 year ago
I came across the first book a couple of years ago, and I absolutely loved it. Luckly all three books were out. I ended up going back to the bookstore the next day to get the second and third books, because I just had to know how it ended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i have read many books, and i have to say this one had no hold on my interest. i found it extremely difficult to get into, and very confusing
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a disappointing book. I stayed confused through most of it. I kept thinking that this has to get better. It didn't, at least in my opinion and I've read many many books. Save time and money and avoid this as though it were Plague.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One thing reading this book taught me, don't buy the trilogy before reading the first book. I bought it at the store without checking the reviews first. It sounded good, but what a disappointment! This was so boring to read and difficult to follow. I was never grabbed by any part of the plot and my thoughts constantly strayed. I feel compelled to read the other two books of the trilogy since I already bought them, but if I hadn't, I definitely would not buy anything else from this trilogy. I still don't really know if I am going to read the other two books. What a waste!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was kind of a strange book, i didnt really get into this book as much as i have to others. Some times it dragged on and others it didnt give you enough detail. I am also a teenager and i did need to read some of the wording over again too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
terrible couldn't stay awake and probably because there's no love interest at all but if you like that kind of stuff whatever.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked the plot and the characters of this book, and the idea was good, but it isn't one of my favorites. There were a ton of grammatical mistakes throughout the book, and sometimes I didn't understand what was going on in the story. Besides that, it was a pretty good book and I am going to read the sequels.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book was good. I am a teenager and I needed to reread some of the paragraphs a couple of times but it was a pretty good book. I am an avid fantasy reader, but I don't really care to continue reading this series.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Yes the book has an original plot, but I seldom knew what was going on even though I comprehended what was written. The end of the book left me confused and little was explained of how events came to be. The characters at times are one dimensional at others, fully developed. I loved the idea of the book but it seemed to be poorly exicuted and speed up at parts. All in all it was an alright read and though the book basically tells the reader what's going to happen...in a way, I still would like to see how it turns out in the end and see if it is all bloody real or not. *sigh* Harsh or not, that is what I felt about this book.