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Seaward

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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  1,186 ratings  ·  53 reviews
His name is West. Her name is Cally. They speak different languages and come from different countries thousands of miles apart, but they do not know that. What they do know are the tragedies that took their parents, then wrenched the two of them out of reality, into a strange and perilous world through which they must travel together, knowing only that they must reach the ...more
Paperback, 167 pages
Published April 30th 1987 by Simon Pulse (first published September 1st 1983)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,040)
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Angie
When I was in sixth grade I had a teacher who was a real fantasy reader. And the man could do the most excellent voices for every character. We sat enthralled at his feet as he read aloud to the entire class each day. No mean feat to keep a mess of eleven and twelve year olds' attention like that day after day. He's a huge part of the reason I love the genre and he is responsible for introducing me to so many of my all-time favorites, including (and perhaps most memorably) the incomparable Lloyd ...more
Nikki
I’ve been meaning to reread this one for a while. It was lovely to go back to it. It’s a bit more mature than The Dark is Rising, I think; certainly, there’s a physicality between Cally and West that isn’t even hinted at in The Dark is Rising. The first time I read it I said that this book ends perfectly, “neither too early nor too late”, and I still feel that way. It’s enough to have the promise of Cally and West’s future, at the end of the book; I don’t need to read about it, and that would ta ...more
Wealhtheow
Sep 03, 2010 Wealhtheow rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of Madeleine L'engle, CS Lewis, Philip Pulman
Cally pushes herself through a mirror to escape an endless, unearthly voice. Westerly escapes his pursuers through a hidden doorway. They each find themselves in another world, where magic and thought have power beyond their imagining. This is very much a coming of age adventure story, full of chases and near-escapes, but it is told in such beautiful language that I found myself re-reading the descriptions of the countryside.
Magda
I don't know what it is about this book, but even the first time I read it, I had the feeling I'd read it before, as though it were a very old story, retold in such a way that I can't figure out what the original is.
Julia Muldoon
I beleive I read this sometime in highschool when I thought reading lists where romantic and wanted summer reading. I read a lot of fiction that indicated that sutdents received summer reading lists and I was jealous and therefore hunted one down (yeah I was that kind of book nerd - English was by far my favorite subject as I adored the creativity).

Anyways, I am pretty sure this was a book I had read that summer. And I was completely captivated by it. It is one of those alternative worlds, slip
...more
Bitsy
I was one of those rare children that came to Seward before I came to The Dark is Rising. So, years later, when I did an internet search with a few vague keywords during the dark hours of a read-a-thon to try and re-find this childhood novel that I half remembered I was shocked (no, seriously, shocked) to discover that it was by none other than Susan Cooper. And then… I wasn’t shocked at all.

In a lot of ways Seaward is a short story version of all the things that made The Dark is Rising so incre
...more
Nikki
This is a lovely, lovely book. The tone and quality of the writing reminds me very much of Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising sequence, although it seems in some ways more mature than that sequence. It's the first book in a while that I just couldn't put down once I got started -- I stayed up late to finish reading it. Fortunately, it's quite a quick read, so that didn't matter too much. It's also the first book in a long, long while to make me think that I couldn't actually go to Cardiff without ...more
Janise
I wish I had read this when I was younger, or maybe not right in the middle of a reading frenzy. I kept waiting and reading on for when the action and excitement would finally begin, but it was only until the last chapter that I felt anything substantial. I focused too much on reading into the lines because I was so desperate to connect with the characters (which never happened, disappointingly). I don't think I'll read this one again. Maybe when I'm super old or something, if it's still floatin ...more
Maya Chhabra
I read this on the recommendation of the same friend as The Winter Prince, but this one wasn't as much of a success. I really liked the first half, with its mysterious urgency and perils, as we struggle, like Callie and West, to understand the rules of this new world and the reason for their journey. Everything through the mysterious castle was marvelous and all of a piece, but once we got to Callie and West's journey through the desert, the tension dropped, and the allegorical ending was a bit ...more
Rachel
A few months ago, something reminded me of this book. I couldn't remember the name of the book or the author, just that one of the character's names was "Westerly". After some googling, I found it, and bought it for my Kindle. I definitely enjoyed re-reading a book that was an absolute favorite of mine when I was about 11 or 12. The story was shorter and a bit shallower than I remembered, but this makes sense, given that I was a young adult when I read it the first time. Cally and West are inter ...more
Susanne E
I remember reading this book a million years ago and LOVING it, but I couldn't remember what it was called for the longest time. Today it popped up at work so I can read it again!

Someone on FB said she had the same experience with this book and wondered why it was so memorable yet so forgettable. After reading it for the second time, I kind of see why. The writing is beautiful and there are some classic life/death, good/evil, sun/moon things going on, but in the end I'm not really sure what it's
...more
Cliff
This book is interesting because I tried very hard to enjoy the story. But in the end, it is Susan Cooper's mastery of the language and her amazing ability to write eloquent phrasing that resonates with just about any reader.

But unfortunately, I cannot look past the fact that the events of this novel are disjointed and the reader will likely find himself trying to determine what exactly is going on through the first 2/3rd of the book.

If anything, I think it was my fond memories of the Dark Is Ri
...more
Tirzah
Like many other readers, I first heard of Susan Cooper through her wonderful The Dark is Rising sequence and then went on to read two other of her works. I decided to read Seaward because it was of course by Susan Cooper and the plot seemed interesting. The first few chapters intrigued me and then I started losing interest a little before halfway. I became sick at that time, so I do not know if I was too distracted to fully appreciate the story and its subtle metaphors and morals, but I just cou ...more
Woowott
My best friend in junior high and high school had me read this probably almost two decades ago now. I always remembered it fondly, because I loved it when I read it. I didn't quite get everything then (I know more about mythology and whatnot now), but it stayed with me. And I've looked for it for years. And then, last year, Ann C. bestowed upon me the copy she'd found in WA. And I just now reread it. It was very satisfying. I still enjoyed it, and it's such a peculiar little book. I still love P ...more
Jens Walter
Eigentlich hat dieses Buch alles, was ich mir von ihm wünschte: Sympathische Charaktere, ein fantastische Welt, geheimnisvoll mit unserer verbunden, und viele schöne Ideen, Orte und Wesen.
Und trotzdem will der Funke nicht so richtig überspringen. Sobald eine Idee sich andeutet und sich die Bilder vor dem inneren Auge entfalten, hetzt das Buch bereits weiter. Dem Leser bleibt nie Zeit, sich alles genau anzusehen. Ich bin kein Freund von Tolkiens endlosem Redefluss. Aber wo er durch endlose Beschr
...more
Marsha
This engaging story by Susan Cooper, The Dark Rising series, is filled with myth, legend and mystery as Westerly and Cally find themselves thrust into an unknown world. Westerly and Cally have suffered family loss. Both have come into this new, mysterious world alone. As their paths cross, Westerly and Cally continue together on their quest for the sea facing dangers as they travel through forests, deserts and high mountain peaks.

Guided by Lugan, tested by Taranis and befriended by the loyal Pet
...more
Anne
In this odd little book Cooper fuzzes up the details of the story to present less of a fantasy novel and more of a fable or an allegory, with a generic boy and generic girl traveling to an unspecified dream reality to be told life truths by brother life and sister death. The writing is strong, and many of the Big Ideas told to the children by their guides through this dream reality are well put and just right for a young teen. My personal preference however is for the immersive specificity of a ...more
Miss Clark
Susan Cooper is a master at atmosphere, but I rarely connect with her characters. This was again my largest difficulty with enjoying this story, as I wanted to know so much more about West and Cally. About their families, where they come from and what their lives are. But we get thrown into the story even as they are thrust from our world into a separate dimension that together they traverse as they head seaward, encountering figures of myth and legend.

It has an otherworldly tone and feel to it
...more
Kevin Fanning
I waffled between 2 & 3 stars. Read this at the beach as primer for reach the The Dark is Rising Sequence, because I hadn't read any Susan Cooper before.

This was a good yarn in the "2 kids thrown together on a journey, beset by a different trouble each chapter" vein. Well written, quick read. Didn't blow me away but it was fun. Wish I'd read it when I was younger, I guess.

It was kind of admirable that she glossed over some really interesting details that more boring writers would have writ
...more
Amanda
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
mstan
I found this story a bit strange, more an allegory than a fantasy. Two children's parents have died, and they find themselves in a strange land, having to head 'seaward', and in the process, having to overcome several monster. There is a touch of Alice in Wonderland here, with a lot more sadness. There is also a budding romance between the young ones, which seems rather out of place in the narrative.

Now that I've offered a synopsis, nothing seems really odd about this book - but the way it's tol
...more
LOL_BOOKS
SELKIE AND WIZARD TRAVEL THROUGH MAGICAL LAND TO GET HOME
Alison
I definitely disagree with the review that called it her "most exhilarating novel" since the Dark Is Rising.
Kellyann
By far my favorite book by Susan Cooper.
Alison MacAdam
SEAWARD is a less-known novel of Susan Cooper's, and one which bears out her claim that she doesn't explicitly write for kids. She writes; her editors tell her what age her books are meant for. It combines a child's (or teenager's) fantastic adventure tale with some adult themes - everything from sex to the saddest sort of loss. Very strange reading this book again for the first time since I was a kid. While it's not such a captivating page-turner as the books in The Dark is Rising sequence, it' ...more
Erika
I wasn't sure what to expect when my roommate in college had me read this, but I was so glad she did. It has become one of my favorite books. Watching the relationship between West and Cally develop is beautiful as they try to figure out each other and the unexplainable world they wake up to one morning. The symbolism in their journey is phenomenal and the characters they meet from the caring Peth to the frighteningly powerful Lady Taranis are richly developed. I highly recommend this book.
Becca
I love love love this book and wish there was a sequel. I've re-read it several times now. It is a super fast read (like maybe three hours tops) with great characters. The story is a little rushed, but the characters and their interaction totally make up for it. I thought the whole story was beautiful, particularly the end. It makes me tear-up every time because I really want to read more about West and Caly and there isn't another book.
Winddancer
Again, Cooper at her best. This book is a metaphor, taken in its entirety. Broken up, it's a compelling love story that makes you think you're not quite in your own world--that there's something veiled over you that you can't quite grab. Celtic mythology is woven into this book as well, more subtly than Dark is Rising, yet still tangible enough to give you a sense of the fantastic overlaying the realistic.
Heather
A very lovely fantasy read, I regret taking so long to finally buckle down and finish it. Just the right amount of subtle romance to not be off putting, the relationship between West and Cally really had me invested by the time the end rolled around. The world of life and death is a beautiful setting and I'm always very fond of Susan Coopers writing. I highly recommend this read.
Catie
Now I'm an old fan of the DARK IS RISING books. and I loved her more recent KING OF SHADOWS so my expectations were high. But I had real problems with this book. It' a "coming to terms with grief" book and it's really heavy handed. And (perhaps it was my mood) the fantasy world was too stuffed with "get out of jail card" items. And i didn't believe the romance. Grumpy. moi?
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Susan Cooper's latest book is the YA novel "Ghost Hawk" (2013)

Susan Cooper was born in 1935, and grew up in England's Buckinghamshire, an area that was green countryside then but has since become part of Greater London. As a child, she loved to read, as did her younger brother, who also became a writer. After attending Oxford, where she became the first woman to ever edit that university's newspap
...more
More about Susan Cooper...
The Dark is Rising (The Dark is Rising, #2) Over Sea, Under Stone (The Dark is Rising, #1) The Grey King (The Dark is Rising, #4) Silver on the Tree (The Dark is Rising, #5) Greenwitch (The Dark is Rising, #3)

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“They had nothing to eat but Ryan's food, and they ate little of that because it was so dry, but it seemed to sustain them. Their greatest worry was water. Though they drank only a little each day, Westerly's flask was empty and the bottle in Cally's pack now only half-full.

"I wish I was a camel," Cally said.

Westerly said, "I wouldn't want
to spend this much time with a girl who looked like a camel."

She tried to laugh, but her tongue felt thick in her mouth, and her mind full of hopelessness. "When this is gone, we shall just die of thirst."

"We'll be out of the dunes by then," Westerly said encouragingly. But he knew that the mountains, though nearer now on the hazy horizon, were far more than a day's walk away.”
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