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Showing 11-20 of 134 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 236 reviews
on January 21, 2017
Two cousins find themselves separated as Kate goes to London for the season and Cecelia is left behind as punishment for a prank she pulled. Soon both girls are involved in magical intrigue, spells, and danger. The story is told through the letters sent between them and each is involved with a different section of the plot against the Mysterious Marquis. This is the first of a trilogy which I am looking forward to reading.
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on January 15, 2012
I'll admit that I didn't walk into reading "Sorcery and Cecilia or the Enchanted Chocolate Pot" with a completely unbiased mind. Even if it hadn't come highly recommended to me by a very well-read fantasy fan, the dedication page alone would have been enough to sway me in its favor. Anything that mentions both Jane Austen and Tolkien automatically earns at least a bit of my appreciation. That being said, the substance of the novel fully met my high expectations.
An epistolary novel, it chronicles the lives of cousins Kate and Cecy as they navigate their ways through spells and society, all the while dealing with nefarious plots and mysterious men. Their letters contain a well-balanced blend of humor, romance, and adventure, that, if you're anything like me, will keep you very much engaged throughout the story.
The world was incredibly well built. When I first began reading, I was skeptical at how well magic, as a commonly accepted everyday force, could be incorporated into the familiar regency world that I love so much, since it didn't seem as though the format of the novel would allow for much exposition or explanation of how the world has been altered by its inclusion. I was pleased to find that the book works almost better because of the casual, matter-of-fact way that magic appears. I quickly became as accustomed to its presence in Cecy and Kate's world as the two main characters themselves were.
I'd recommend this to almost any fantasy fan who has a fondness for the regency era, although I think that females are probably most likely to enjoy it.
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on January 29, 2013
n 1817 England, in a parallel world where the existence of magic is an accepted part of life, two cousins share their rather eventful lives in a series of letters. Kate and her younger sister Georgy are in London for the Season, chaperoned by their Aunt Charlotte. Cecy, for reasons that are never made plain but have to do with Squire Bryant's goat, has remained at home in Essex with her brother, father and Aunt Elizabeth. They continue what has apparently been a life-long path of getting into and out of mischief, to the despair of their two rather priggish aunts. Between them, they foil the machinations of two evil sorcerers, unite two loving couples and achieve the end most earnestly desired by proper society mamas (and aunts) by marrying well. Along the way they, and their friends and relatives, narrowly avoid a number of dire (and frequently hilarious) fates prepared for them by the evil sorcerers.

What more could you want?
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on April 15, 2017
What a fun read. Jane Austenesque storyline with a little witchcraft and wizardry thrown in. Delightful!
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on March 2, 2017
Well written, charming, I am definitely going to read them all.
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on May 25, 2010
Another reviewer said "Jane Austen meets J.K. Rowling," which certainly makes sense. You take a Regency setting of chatty but proper young ladies from the country, worried about having seasons in London and making suitable marriages, and toss in wizardry. But the tone and style take nothing from Harry Potter's world. The writer I was more reminded of was Elizabeth Peters, in the early books of her wonderful Amelia Peabody series.

Sorcery and Cecelia is a "letter game" book, meaning it was written as letters exchanged by two authors playing the parts of the two protagonists. The voice of Cecelia, in particular, calls to mind Amelia Peabody in her young 19th-century incarnation. Cecy respects propriety, but has no patience for fussing that gets in the way of what needs to be done -- particularly when the menfolk underestimate their ladies. She's also forthright, funny, and amusingly blind to some realities while astute to others. That's Amelia to a T. Her cousin Kate is a slightly more complicated (and to me, appealing) character. She has all of Cecy's intelligence and cynicism, but is more clever and contemplative than bold.

The menfolk, meanwhile, are recognizable types from both Austen and Peters. A seemingly arrogant man who makes witty but withering put-downs is always to be trusted. :-) And despite the element of magic, the Regency world is realistically evoked in the novel's language and the characters' concerns.

All in all, a delightful confection to curl up with.
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on February 4, 2013
Magic! Humor! Romance! The affair with the goat...?

Jane Austen fans should enjoy this epistolary romp with cousins Kate and Cecelia, one on her first London "season," the other wishing she was there. The only thing better would've been to see Cecy and Kate rampaging through polite society together. The romances between the girls and their respective love interests was fun and tantalizing against a backdrop of evil nemises and nefarious plots.

The only complaint I have, and it isn't a huge one, is that the epistolary format tends to distance the reader from the action and emotion. The action is something that already happened, and the writer of the letter obviously came through it more or less in one piece. But again, this isn't enough of a problem to ruin the story.

If you like fantasy, Regency romance and a light, fun read, you should enjoy this book.
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on January 10, 2010
I just finished reading "Sorcery and Cecelia, or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot", by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer. I've been looking for a good book to read ever since I finished the last Septimus Heap book. This one was good, although more sophisticated than either Septimus Heap or Harry Potter. The magic wasn't so evident at first, nor was it overwhelming. At first I wondered what I'd gotten into, wishiing for magic wands, but finding charm bags instead.

The story takes place in Victorian England, and is comprised of letters sent between two cousins, Kate and Cecelia. Kate is in London, "coming out" this Season, being 16 years old now, and Cecelia is at home at Rushton Manor in Essex. The two correspond throughout the Season, and disclose secrets about the strange goings on in their lives. Both are intrigued by magic, but both are forbidden to study it by their ever-watchful and extremely proper aunties, Elizabeth and Charlotte. Forbidden to study magic, they are unwittingly drawn into a subversively sorcerous plot to destroy Thomas, the Marquis of Schofield (who is a magician in his own right), and his friend James Tarleton (no wizard, but an extremely loyal friend of Thomas.)

The story line twists and turns, drawing the reader deeper into the recesses of the tale, revealing humor, intrigue, and two different plots. After readng the story, I read the afterword at the end of the book with the two different authors, and discovered that the entire story was indeed written in a series of letters. The two authors had entered into "The Letter Game", in which they collaborated on the development of the main characters and the setting and the timing (when the story would end), but each created their own plots and additional characters, and did not discuss them with each other. After the letter game ended, they got together and revised, refined and created a more readable and understandable story, then dashed off to an editor. It wasn't originally intended to be published - it was just for fun. The letters are long on fun and gossip, full of creativity and wit.

I enjoyed the book immensely. I think it would be fun to play the letter game, too!
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on January 19, 2011
A coworker recommended this series to me, and I'm so glad she did! I devoured the first one very quickly, and then read the next two. It was like reading a "Dear Dairy"/mystery-type thing, except better.

The writing is so poetic in old-style language that is not tiresome or affected. The adventures are sweet, the characters delightful, and the interactions humorous, and some of the inner thoughts of the girls very thought-provoking! Great pacing, too. I felt it had a strong enough plot for what it is, but wasn't heavy or weighted down with it. I felt the characters and their personalities were consistent, which I think would have been challenging, given how this book was written in chunks back and forth over years. It was obvious the ladies who wrote them were having fun, which made the books fun, too. I like a book, especially a series, that doesn't take itself super seriously or try to be more than it is.

Everything about this series is wonderful. It's hard to write a review without just saying: "It's perfect! You won't be disappointed!" Whatever faults it might have (none come readily to mind) didn't have any affect on my enjoyment of the series.
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on February 20, 2015
It was an ok novel, once I made my way through the variety of levels. The narration, in letter form, made it even better. I am going to try the next one in the series.
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