Countryside: The Book of the Wise

J.T. Cope IV. Village Green Press (, $24.95 (282p) ISBN 978-0-9858141-5-1
Cope delivers a fanciful adventure set in a magical community, first in a planned series. When 10-year-old Luke Rayburn's father rejoins the military and is sent overseas for a year, Luke and the rest of the family are sent to live with his grandparents in a hidden place called Countryside, where magic and mythical creatures are commonplace. As Luke adjusts to the new surroundings, long-dormant dryads emerge to speak to him, while mysterious strangers offer cryptic advice. It all leads to a search for the long-missing Book of the Wise, a coveted artifact that contains a prophecy related to the return of a great evil. As Luke becomes embroiled in the struggle between light and dark, he must tap into his own unknown potential. Cope conjures up an idyllic setting that feels a bit like an Americanized take on J.K. Rowling's wizarding world (albeit much more modern in attitude); the leisurely approach to the storytelling means the plot can lack urgency. Still, Cope imbues the novel's familiar elements with atmosphere and charm, making for an engaging read. Ages 6–12.
Reviewed on: 01/27/2014
Release date: 10/01/2013
Show other formats
Ebook - 978-0-9858141-7-5
Hardcover - 340 pages - 978-0-9960500-1-2
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