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The Mislaid Magician or Ten Years After: Being the Private Correspondence Between Two Prominent Families Regarding a Scandal Touching the Highest Levels of Government and the Security of the Realm Paperback – May 4, 2009
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From School Library Journal
Grade 8 Up—In this third magical mystery involving two letter-writing cousins, the women's quiet lives of domesticity are interrupted when the Duke of Wellington asks Cecelia's husband to look into the disappearance of a German magician in the north of England. Cecelia and James hurry to investigate, leaving Kate and her husband to care for their six children. The story is told in the form of the correspondence between the wives as well as the husbands, until the mystery is solved. Readers may be slightly disappointed to find that Cecelia and, especially, Kate are not quite as intrepid as they were in their previous adventures, leaving much of the investigative work to other characters, and at times merely reporting events rather than instigating them. Yet some of the sparkle remains, and fans of the first two books will certainly enjoy revisiting these delightful characters. Suggest this Harry-Potter-meets-Jane-Austen series to romantic-fantasy readers, but strongly encourage them to read the earlier ones first.—Jennifer Stubben, Barrington Area Library, IL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Set in an alternate England in which wizardry exists, this sequel to Sorcery and Cecelia(2003) and The Grand Tour (2004) takes place in 1828. After placing their children in the care of cousin Kate, Cecy and her husband investigate the disappearance of a railway surveyor-magician and the strange properties of ley lines--powerful, invisible channels of magical energy. The story unfolds through the characters' letters, in which the formal locution of the period is leavened by the wit and chattiness of good friends sharing revelations and confidences. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
For me, the characters are the most important part of a book. (If I don't like the characters, I won't bother with the book.) I really like the continuity of seeing characters I like in a series, and in this book, the continuation of the story of the main characters was completely satisfying (even more than in first two books, in which I wasn't all that fond of James). Also, minor characters I had liked reappeared (though briefly), and there was very little of the ones whom I really disliked. It was as satisfying to see this next part of the lives of the main characters as it is to hear what has happened to old friends when I see them again.
This book, like the others in the series, is written as a series of letters. Some characters from the previous books appear in this one, but this is a whole new story. It is enjoyable, and while not quite as witty as the first book in the series, is still a much better read than the second book and its interesting to see how different, and how similar, everyone is now that they are all grown up. This book can be read as a stand alone novel, but you'll enjoy it much more if you've read the other books in the series first.
Shifting from how the second book was written this is again in pure letter form, with additional missives from James and Thomas (I agree that they might be a bit excessive and that like in the second where we had more than one person narrating the same set of events it got slightly tedious at times).
Again like the second one Ithought it focused too much WAY WAY toomuch on the mechanics of the magic. Not only were James and Cecy bored to tears with ley lines and locomotives, so was I. Those poor characters their plot only got really interesting towards the very end when every one kept turning into dogs.
This might be the difference in the strengths of the authors, but I found the Kate and Thomas storyline much more interesting, it was rolicking and moving and less stagnent and technical than Cecy and James. (Ironic since Kate and Thomas stay at home while Cecy and James travel the country side)
They have been saddled with the care and keeping of all of Cecy and James' children--alot. In addition they find another child, the almost mute Drina. Thomas is still wonderfully Thomas and writes some of the funniest letters towards the end in regards to a certain dog. Georgy has a plot as well, which I found very amusing (she has a penchant for sappy poetry, how apropos)
Still a fun read but I wouldn't put off reading it too long after the first and second because things might get forgotten in the interim.
The second book was a letdown in many ways, but this third book does better at capturing the spark that made the first one so fun. Part of this is that, as in the first one, the main characters are separated the entire time. All we see are letters they write to each other.
The problem is that the plot is weak. Very weak. The bad guys are silly and not directly threatening, their motivations are boring, and we never get the sense of mysterious evil that we have in the first book.
Also, the railroad thing was probably something that sounded like a good idea but, in the end, didn't really work. There's no real resolution of it, nor is it really important.
In fact, resolution is a problem all around, because everything gets resolved much to quickly and with not nearly enough direct input from the main characters.
All that being said, the characters feel real and likeable again. This would have been a great second book -- another look at some wonderful characters even though the plot doesn't really hold water. As a third book it's a little more disappointing, because I expect more plot from a third book.
My guess is that if there is a fourth book, it will be about the kids. At least, that's what it should be about!