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Amanda Craig

I think myself the series is over-rated - heresy to some. But yes, begin with Over Sea, Under Stone.


Thank you, Amanda.


You actually can start with The Dark Is Rising and at this time of year I would recommend it. But you'll want to have read Over Sea, Under Stone before you go any further after that.

I do love the series, but The Dark Is Rising is probably the best of them.

Lory @ Emerald City Book Review

I agree with Ros. I actually didn't read Over Sea Under Stone for many years after the other four books. It introduces characters that are revisited later but you get the essential information in the later books so you won't feel lost even if you don't read it.

My personal favorites are The Dark Is Rising and Greenwitch.


I see. Many thanks, Ros.


I'll bear that in mind. Thank you, Lory.


I read The Dark is Rising first and it can easily stand alone. You need to read Over Sea Under Stone before Greenwitch though. Like Lory my favourites are The Dark is Rising and Greenwitch.


I'm so glad I asked here! Thank you, Sue.


The Dark is Rising is a great December read - avoid the film like the plague though.


I'm not a fan of this series but The Dark is Rising has wonderful wintry and Christmassy scenes in it. You could just read that.


Will do, debodacious.


Sounds just the thing. Thanks, Barbara.


A favourite series that my mum read to me as a child. I found The Dark Is Rising far too scary at the time and really enjoyed Over Sea, Under Stone. I'd start with Over Sea Under Stone, even though it's set in the summer (from memory) and The Dark Is Rising is more seasonal.


Definitely start with The Dark is Rising at this time of year. The characters seem older - in the way they're written, rather than in age - than Over Sea, Under Stone, which reads much more like a children's book. Do go back and read it, though.

Liz Davey

The Dark is Rising is by my bedside even as I write. You are in for a treat.


I loved this series. Susan Cooper took beautiful British myths to a new audience. Years ago I taught it to my 5th graders who were mesmerized. I would start at the beginning but try to read The Dark is Rising on the winter solstice.

The Victorian Librarian

You don't necessarily have to read Over Sea, Under Stone first, but I would, as it's a good introduction to characters who are a large part of the story. It's a really easy read, and then you dive into the glorious The Dark is Rising, which, as has been said, is a particularly great book at Christmas.


I listened to the lot of them on audio a few years ago to test out my fond memories of them from early teenagerhood (a friend whose family was British introduced them to me) and I found that they were interesting but not good. I think the painstaking (but effortless seeming) detail that Rowling and/or Tolkien bring to their writing has spoiled me for books where there seem to be no rhyme nor reason to the otherness. However, I am glad I reread them all, regardless!

Dixie Lee

I'd missed these as a child and DH read them to me when we were first together. Start with Over/Under - as someone else said, it's an easy read.

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