The Secret Country by Pamela DeanThe Secret Country by Pamela Dean

The Secret Country

byPamela Dean

Mass Market Paperback | October 13, 2003

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The first book in the magical, wonderfully interwoven Secret Country trilogy. They thought it was a game, but it was its own world... 

Each vacation for the past nine years, cousins Patrick, Ruth, Ellen, Ted, and Laura have played a game they call the “Secret”—an invented, scripted world full of witches, unicorns, a magic ring, court intrigue, and the Dragon King. In the Secret, they can imagine anything into reality, and shape destiny. Then the unbelievable happens: by trick or by chance, they actually find themselves in the Secret Country, their made-up identities now real. The five have arrived at the start of their games, 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.
"An intricate sparkling web of intrigue and magic. One of my very favorites.”—Patricia C. Wrede, author of Dealing with Dragons
Pamela Dean ( is also the author of Tam Lin; The Dubious Hills; and Jupiter, Gentian, and Rosemary. She lives in Minneapolis with her family.
Title:The Secret CountryFormat:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 7 × 4.3 × 1 inPublished:October 13, 2003Publisher:Penguin Young Readers GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0142501530

ISBN - 13:9780142501535

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 17


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Easily a favorite! I love this trilogy! It takes me back to my childhood of playing make-believe but with the added factor of "what if it became real?" The characters are so real and I found myself totally engrossed in their adventures. I loved that everything was not exactly as it seems and they were left to navigate through their own game without really knowing where it would all end up. One of the few books I can re-read over and over again! #plumreview
Date published: 2017-05-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved this Book I believe this was the first book of this size that I had ever read. Although the length at the time seemed daunting it was a really easy book to get into. About 10 years later I went looking for it again and was never able to find it. Waiting patiently for the re-order! Love this book, it has a lot of characters but once you figure out their personalities it is hard to mix them up.
Date published: 2012-08-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good book This is an awesome book that anyone who likes medieval fantasy should read! Its an easy trilogy to get into if you can understand how they talked back in the olden days. Thou, thus, tis....there sentences confuse me sometimes but if you keep reading you can always figure whats going on. This book will keep you on the edge!
Date published: 2004-08-07

Editorial Reviews

Praise for The Secret Country"Like The Secret Country, Pamela Dean is a secret treasure of the fantasy field. Her books are fun, smart, enchanting, exciting, and well grounded in the classic family tradition. The new publication of her trilogy is certain to let more readers in on the secret that Dean is one of the very best writers of magical fiction today."--Terri Windling"Pamela Dean is a hidden treasure, a writer other writers adore: her quirky, literate characters, her munchy prose, her depth-charge stories. More readers should know about her. And now--maybe they will!"-- Jane Yolen"It captures, as almost no other book on games-coming-true has captured, the real magic of making stuff up, of running scenes and characters that stretch your idea of who and what you might grow up to be. I loved it so much when I first read it, and had so much trouble finding subsequent volumes. I'm glad a new generation has a whack at it."--Delia Sherman, author of The Porcelain Dove