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Sorcery and Cecelia: Or the Enchanted Chocolate Pot (Magic Carpet Books) Paperback – Sep 2004


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Product details

  • Paperback: 326 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt Brace and Company; Reprint edition (Sept. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 015205300X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152053000
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 2.3 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 555,333 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Synopsis

Kate and Cecelia, two cousins living in an alternate Regency England where ma is real, encounter wizards, sorcerers, and mysterious plots. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Dearest Kate, It is dreadfully flat here since you have been gone, and it only makes it worse to imagine all the things I shall be missing. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Helen Hancox TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 31 Jan. 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is a series of letters between Cecelia (Cecy) and her friend and cousin Kate. Kate is in London for her season but Cecy is still at home in Essex. They both stumble into a plot involving an evil wizards Miranda and Sir Hilary and find themselves helping different young men to thwart their schemes. Kate in London ends up in a fake betrothal to a Marquis and Cecy in Essex finds herself helping James Tarleton who is assisting the Marquis.

It's a fun read as the plot unfolds and the magical abilities of Cecy and Kate become apparent. However written as it was, without either author having decided on an overall plot, does sometimes show through. In a way it's two separate stories with some interweaving but each would work pretty well on its own. Regency detail is there although better editing would have been appreciated - as with most American-authored Regencies, our characters lapse into occasional American word forms ("gotten", "fall" for autumn, "write me" for "write to me", "in back" for "at the back" or "behind you" etc). This always annoys me but the otherwise charming nature of the book meant it wasn't too distracting.

In short this is an enjoyable read but it's not anything too special.
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Format: Paperback
It's 1817. Kate and her older sister Georgina have gone to London with their aunt Charlotte for the debutante season. Following a disgraceful incident with a goat, Kate's cousin Cecelia has to stay behind with her aunt Elizabeth but the cousins swap letters setting out their experiences.

When Kate goes to see the installation of her neighbour, Sir Hilary Bedrick at the Royal College of Wizards, she finds her way into a secret garden where a woman tries to kill her with a poisoned chocolate pot after mistaking her for the Marquis of Schofield. Meanwhile Cecelia has met Mr Tarleton, a strange man taken to sneaking about and spying on people while a young woman called Dorothea has arrived who seems to have entranced every man in the village ...

Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer's YA/crossover fantasy epistolary novel is a mix of Georgette Heyer and Diana Wynne Jones. Although the authors clearly have a lot of fun with the story (which developed as a writing game), the pace really sags at times and the plot struggles to come together while the period references are heavy handed at times (particularly the references to Byron and the Prince Regent). I also had a problem in visualising Cecy and Kate as we're not given a lot of information about them and their characters are largely interchangeable (both are sparky, intelligent and forthright and prone to getting into trouble). The romance element is predictable and the male protagonists underdeveloped, while the antagonists are fairly stock characters. That said there are some amusing moments and I enjoyed the fact that the two girls stand up to their love interests and call them on poor behaviour. I'm not sure that I'd rush to read the sequel to this but I'd definitely check out each of the authors' other works.
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Format: Paperback
I positively adored this book. It reads rather like Jane Austen via Diana Wynne Jones, with two spirited heroines who stumble across the evil plots of two magicians, entirely by accident. Cecily writes from the country as she tries to foil the doings of Sir Hilary and his erstwhile accomplice, while Kate writes from her first Season in London where she struggles to help the "Mysterious Marquis" in the same pursuit and often contrary to the Marquis' wishes. Both girls must also hide their exploits from aunts of varying nosiness. Entertaining and original.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By L O'connor on 19 Jun. 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderfully entertaining Regency romp, like Georgette
Heyer with added magic. A nineteenth century like the real one, but with magic a part of everyday life. Ingeneous plot, lively
interesting characters and amusing situations make the book a
pleasure to read. Not a single dull passage in the book.
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Format: Paperback
It was fun to read- it combines the Austen-esque focus on personal communications with the alternate reality of a magical England I had only seen previously in _Jonathan Strange and Mister Norell_ but I'm sure there's a whole genre out there I'm missing. I sent this to sister for her birthday, right after I read it. Last year, it was _Pride and Prejudice and Zombies_.
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