Countryside: The Book of the Wise

J T Cope IV, Author
J.T. Cope IV. Village Green Press (, $24.95 (282p) ISBN 978-0-9858141-5-1
Reviewed on: 01/27/2014
Release date: 10/01/2013
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.