Much to the detriment of housework, planning for numerous summer trips, and the ever-growing pile of Papers To Be Filed by my computer, I’ve been on a reading binge this week. Last night, I finished Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer. Sarah from Handmade Homeschool mentioned this book in a recent post and likened it to “Jane Austen meets Harry Potter”. Since Pride and Prejudice and the first Harry Potter comprise the top of my Favorite Books Of All Time list, I immediately ordered it.
Sorcery and Cecelia is an epistolary novel that came into being as the authors played The Letter Game (writing each other in character) over a period of six months. The book is set in Regency England after the end of the Napoleonic wars, and it contains wit, humor, the London Season, dresses to have made up, an infuriating marquis to fall in love with and magic both the good and evil kind. The world is very much that of a Jane Austen novel with the exception that there are wizards working magic openly in society though some of the stuffier sort don’t think magic is something a lady would involve herself in.
After reading only a few of the letters exchanged by Cecelia and her cousin, Kate, I wished I was friends with these two singular young ladies. I sympathized with their plight to secure what fun could be had under the thumbs of two censorious aunts.
Kate has been taken to London for her come out while Cecelia has been left at home, but both quickly become entangled in a magical battle between the Mysterious Marquis, who owns an estate near their home village, and his two archenemies. As tensions increase, I couldn’t put the book down. I had to race to the end to find out how the cousins would set things to rights.
This title is shelved as YA in my library. As the characters are supposed to be ladies of quality the book only contains the the mildest of rough language and a few kisses but I think a teen or adult would appreciate it more than a younger child. Had I not previously read Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer, I would not have enjoyed it nearly as much.