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Pamela Dean
book cover

The Secret Country Trilogy, book 1
1985, Ace

Who recommends: Danielle, Margaret, Tanya
Who discommends:

The Secret Country (Ace, 1985)
The Hidden Land (Ace, 1986)
The Whim of the Dragon (Ace, 1989)

:::::They thought it was an imaginary land, a place they'd made up ... until the day they found the sword under the hedge, and learned that the Secret Country was all too real.::::: Five cousins stumble into a magical country strangely familiar to the one they made up, where they are mistaken for the princes & princesses they pretended to be. There is an element of romance, as one of the older girls falls in love with the man her character is betrothed to.

This series is as good as the Narnia books, if you ask me.--Danielle

Splendid book, as are the other two ('The Hidden Land' and 'The Whim of the Dragon') in the same series. I was put off these because the viewpoint characters were children: when I finally got around to reading them I realised that, as in the Philip Pullman novels ('The Golden Compass' [a.k.a. 'Northern Lights'] and 'The Subtle Knife'), there is a lot going on that the children don't register or understand, but which is quite obvious to an older reader.--Tanya (30 Jul 99)

I wasn't too hopeful about this series when I got it - another version of "5 children go to fantasy land and save it." However is was by Pamela Dean so I started the first book. I then ignored cats, food and house work until I'd finished all 3. The romance is minimal but interesting.--Margaret (20 Mar 00)

Recommended by me too - I love this trilogy, there's something about her writing and the sometimes-irritating but often amusing quotations everywhere...--Tanya (19 Oct 00)

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