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Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot Hardcover – May 1, 2003

4.4 out of 5 stars 226 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Witty, light, and funny . . . Regency romance as well as fantasy fans are going to line up for it."--The Bulletin

"A cult epistolary fantasy . . . Beguiling."--Kirkus Reviews

"Older girls who have outgrown Harry Potter will like their slightly rebellious natures, the magical twists and turns, and especially the humor and quick pace."--The San Diego Union-Tribune
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

Hardcover published in 2003
0-15-204615-1
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 720L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books; 1 edition (May 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152046151
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152046156
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (226 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #797,644 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Okay, here's another book that I snagged off the shelf for its gorgeous cover. I loved the idea of an enchanted chocolate pot and perhaps was even more overjoyed to find that it was written by two of my favorite authors, (Wrede, of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, and Stevermer, of A College of Magics.) and horrified that I hadn't read it before, as this was simply a republication of the original, published in 1987!
Already holding high expectations from the book, I was suprised when it started out slow. Used to the fast paced Harry Potter or the action-to-the-minute Enchanted Forest Chronicles, it took me a few chapters to really connect with the characters.
Written in letter form between two cousins, Kate and Cecelia, the book takes place in an alternate (magical) universe in England 1817. The two are well-born girls; Kate is off having a Season in London while Cecelia stays at home in the country. Kate feels pushed aside by her beautiful sister Georgina; Cecelia is put out by not being allowed a Season of her own.
But the plot soon picks up as the two girls' stories intertwine. In the country, ordinary Dorothea becomes irresistable to all men. Clever Cecelia befriends her and starts to unwind the mystery behind the weird attraction. Meanwhile, in London, Kate is almost poisoned by an "old" lady in a garden and befriends an "odious" Marquis to whom the retrieval of the the Enchanted Chocolate Pot is quite important.
The language and the magic in the book speak for themselves; I was completely drawn into this unique world. The intrigue and mystery were believable and definitely kept me turning pages.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Sorcery and Cecelia," an epistolary Fantasy Regency Romance (*phew!*), has quickly joined the ranks of my "novels to read when you want to stay up all night and languish all morning." Quite simply, the book is charming. Rarely do collaborative efforts seem to work, but "Sorcery and Cecelia" most assuredly does! Following the adventures of two cousins - the inept Kate in her first season in London, and the headstrong Cecelia as she discovers her sorcerous abilities - the reader is swept into a world of danger, mystery and intrigue (and the never fully explained story of WHAT in the world that adventure with the goat was about) that makes the pages turn of their own accord! The historical research is solid, the content wholesome and exciting, and the romances (Kate's especially) to sigh for. In short, as the others have said before me, this is *fun*.
Unfortunately, good novels seems to be out of vogue today, and you'll have an either difficult or exorbitant time buying it. For those who have read Wrede's other two Fantasy Regencies, "Mairelon the Magician" and "Magician's Ward," "Sorcery and Cecelia" is a must-read. For those with slim purses, interlibrary loan is a beautiful thing.
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By A Customer on March 24, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In a world just slightly different than Jane Austen's society, we meet two extraordinary young women, Cecelia and Katherine. Katherine is having her Season in London...and what an exciting one it turns out to be! Meanwhile, back home, Cecelia's having a rather intersting time, too. Cecy and Kate encounter malevolent wizards, an *enchantingly* (if you get my drift) beautiful girl with whom every eligible (or not) young man is falling in love, two singularly odious young men...and a very peculiar chocolate pot. Throw this in with a nice number of parties, spells, and detail to the historical time period, add some witty humor and enjoy! A light, fun book to read. If you like this quasi-historical fiction, also try Wrede's Mairelon the Magician, the sequel, Magician's Ward and Stevermer's The Serpent's Egg and A College of Magics.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't mean that in a derogatory way, either. This is light reading at its best -- and yes, there is a plot! If you like stories with balls and handsome, sardonic noblemen, if you like stories with magic and friendship and humor, this is a good book for you. But if you've never wished that you could wear a silk dress and drink tea with a duke, you probably shouldn't bother looking for it. This book is manners-and-sorcery, as opposed to sword-and-sorcery. If you like it, try MAIRELON the Magician and the non-fantastical works of Jane Austen. :) If you don't like it, go back to trolls, blood, guts and war, and leave the silly people who do like it to dream of coaches and wizards and coming-out balls.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This could have been a really neat novel if written in the traditional way. As it was, I wanted it to be over.

WRITING METHOD:
The entire book consists of letters between Cecy and Kate - an epistolary novel. Therefore most things are "told" not shown, but that is the nature of letters. Each letter has a chatty or gossipy feel talking about clothes, family, friends, and neighbors. The letters also have a diary feel (Aunt wouldn't let me do something, Mr moved back to town, I went on a picnic with friends and this happened while on the picnic, ...) I was bored during the first 100 pages. It felt like party chit chat. After that, it became more interesting, but my mind frequently wandered. It was hard to stay focused. For most of the book, I was not there - not feeling what was going on. This was probably because of the "tell not show" and maybe due to lack of plot planning. See next paragraph.

In the Afterward, the two authors describe how they wrote letters to each other to create the book. Neither one knew the other's plot until it was done. Then they went back and edited for plot consistency.

There was some dialogue in the letters which helped, for example Kate describes her conversation with someone. But other times I wanted more dialogue. For example, when a couple decides to marry she wanted to hear him say I love you. Instead of dialogue we get the following "by the time we were finished kissing, he had said it himself, with considerable feeling. I admit I, too, repeated the words several times. And we agreed that we should, indeed, deal extremely." Ok, that's too cerebral for me. I wanted feelings which dialogue might have provided.
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