Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Stepping Into a Fantasy World

The Secret Country
The Hidden Land
The Whim of the Dragon
For the past nine years, cousins Patrick, Ruth, Ellen, Ted, and Laura have played at "The Secret" -- a game full of witches, unicorns, a magic ring and court intrigue. In The Secret, they can imagine anything into reality, and shape destiny. Then the unbelievable happens: by trick or by chance, they find themselves in the Secret Country, their made-up identities now real. They have arrived at the start of their game, 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.

This reprinted trilogy is one of the best fantasies ever written. Not only is the story believably written, but Pamela Dean assumes the reader is intelligent enough to handle a complex plot and varied literary allusions. You are kept on your toes along with the main characters who are just barely keeping up as events and people keep changing in ways they never acted out in their "secret."

I have read these time and again and they never fail to please. These may be found in the science fiction/fantasy section although I see they are classified in the "Young Adult" category. Believe me, they are not simple and I really think these were written for adults. The three volumes are really just one long story, with cliffhanger endings, so be sure to read them in order. I was really happy to see they recently have been reprinted. This is my chance to replace my yellowed, brittle copies.

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