Thursday, January 27, 2011

Book Review: Sorcery and Cecelia

Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot

Patrica C. Wrede & Caroline Stevermer
Graphia (September 1, 2004)

    If, as I do, you enjoy both fantasy tales and Jane Austen, this is a lovely little epistolary novel that captures some of both genres.  It follows the adventures of two cousins, one, Kate, who is having her season in London and the other, Cecelia (Cecy) who has remained back in the country.  Somewhat accidentally they become involved in the contretemps of some not so up-and-up magicians and the pair of young men who are the targets of their schemes.  The young men – the Mysterious Marques or Thomas Schofield and James Tarleton – are somewhat dismayed at the cousins’ contributions, but in the end the villains are thwarted with much witty banter along side.

    Don’t look for a serious consideration of what effect magic might have had on the history of England, as there is little exploration of how it works and how it affects society.  It is apparently a subject appropriate for woman to study as well as men, but again there is little discussion of that aspect.  However for a charming romp with two spirited heroines who keep their heads in challenging circumstances, this amusing little tale is quite enjoyable.  More than the plot I appreciated the amusing comments the cousins made to each other:  “I sympathize with your position, but I am very much afraid you have let your justifiable annoyance run off with your sense” (93) says Cecelia to Kate over her “sham” betrothal to the Marques.

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