Monday, October 10, 2011
Sorcery & Cecelia
The title: Sorcery & Cecilia, or, The Enchanted Chocolate Pot
The authors: Patricia C. Wrede & Caroline Stevermer
Publication: Harcourt, 1988
Got it from: DC, 2006
I added a few re-reads to my "must read in 2011" list, and I'm so glad I did because reading this book again reminded me why it's one of my favourites. The authors originally wrote it as part of a letter game, with each author taking a character and writing letters in that character's voice. Wrede is Cecelia, a young woman in Regency England with an aptitude for magic. Stevermer is Kate, Cecelia's cousin, who is embarking on her coming-out in London. Along the way they uncover all kinds of craziness: Cecelia's brother turns into a tree, there's a wizard planning dastardly deeds, a chocolate pot is draining magic from another wizard, magic gardens appear out of nowhere, and somebody's mother takes finding a husband for her daughter to a whole 'nother level of crazy.
This book is delightful. I adore books written in letters, and it helped move the pace along quickly - almost too quickly, as I was enjoying things so much. Kate and Cecelia are wonderfully sarcastic (Cecelia, on the prospect of listening to Reverend Fitzwilliam's lectures, declares, "I am determined to have the headache Thursday, if I have to hit myself with a rock to do it.") Naturally, each finds a love interest who is mixed up with the plot, but neither lets the boys get away with anything. (Cecelia to James: "I must tell you that you are very bad at sneaking about. You should not have worn that black coat and crossing the lawn to the pavilion was a completely chuckle-headed thing to do.") If the Regency were always this fun, I'd never want to leave.