Thursday, January 20, 2011

Book Review: Sorcery and Cecelia by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer

Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer
Publisher: Harcourt Childrens Books
Publication date: 2003
ISBN: 9780152053000

Source: Library

Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot 

Kate and Cecelia are apart for the season, but that doesn't mean they can't correspond.  Through their letters, we learn that there is a lot of dangerous stuff happening, most of it revolving around a chocolate pot.  Kate is mistaken for someone else and nearly poisoned. Cecelia notices there is someone spying on her and her cousin.  With all that danger, they should be running; instead they are diving head-first into the world of magic. 

Things I Liked:
The letters back and forth were so entertaining and witty.  I had a blast trying to keep up with the antics of Kate and Cecelia.  Not only are they not your typical Victorian ladies, but they certainly don't mind defying convention on a regular basis.  The mix of fantasy and historical fiction is so well done that you begin to truly believe there is a Royal College of Wizards and an enchanted chocolate pot.  A lot of fun.  Here's a taste:

Do you ever wonder if driving a team is like dancing? Being where you're wanted when you're wanted, with no words, just hints?  I never thought of it from the horse's point of view, but perhaps it is, and perhaps that is why good dancers and good drivers are both rare and highly thought of. p 31
Things I Didn't Like:
I have to admit, I had a hard time getting into it.  I've liked several epistolary style books before, but they tend to have a certain lack of excitement that comes from relaying events through letters and not being right in the middle of it.  The other thing was that I kept getting the girls confused and who was where and which man they would probably end up with.  This might have been sheer laziness on my part, or the fact that I was on vacation, but I still have a hard time remembering who is who in this one.  I probably just need to read the next one. :)

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke

Dreamhunter by Elizabeth Knox 

s-factor: none

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: none

Overall rating: ***

Do you ever read books that you really want to love but somehow it was just a like-it book?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. I really loved this one, but I also had trouble remembering who was who. The second one was very cute and honeymooney :)

  2. I think what made me enjoy this book as much as I did was the story behind it - how the two authors started it as a game where they wrote letters to each other in character, and that it wasn't until afterwards that they decided to publish it.

  3. The second one is really cute (and it's not letters, it's a diary and a deposition thing) and the third one is my favorite. :)

    I'm glad you liked it, even if you didn't love it.

  4. I enjoyed this book. I also liked the next two. The wit is fun.

  5. Sounds interesting. Epistolary books can be hard. I think the only thing that can save them is being witty and entertaining, as you said.

  6. Corinne, oh I'm glad it wasn't just me!

    Court, I really did like that story as well - wish I could write something like that!

    Britt, I think the consensus is that I should continue the series. I think I will.

    Lisa, I really enjoyed the wit!

    Alison, I'm really amazed there are people who can write them at all! I definitely don't have the wit for it.


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