Sorcery and Cecelia or: The Enchanted Chocolate Pot

Sorcery and Cecelia or: The Enchanted Chocolate PotI first read this book a bajillion okay, fifteen years ago and remembered nothing about it which makes sense, since I was like nine When I found this hiding on my shelves, I decided to give it another visit, since I was in a terrible slump, and OMG I cannot recomment this DELIGHTFUL little treat of a book It s Regency fun with ADDED MAGIC and hilarious, wonderful narrators Kate and Cecelia, cousins and best friends, exchange letters in an alternate 1817 England where young men run the risk of turning into trees and beaux may be stolen by young ladies gifted in sorcery Seriously, this book SPARKLES it s so full of life and so charming and vivid and hilarious, and the heroines are so fiendishly clever and sensible and are always stepping in when their love interests bungle everything God, I love this book All the stars ever It s an instant mood lifter and a classic for a reason.Fuller review TK This book took me far too long to read, and there is a pretty solid reason for that I didn t like it This had the potential to be a decent read There are some great idea s and some interesting characters, but unfortunately, for me, this book was almost painful to actually get through This book consists of letters written between Cecy and Kate, so we get a distinct diary feel to the letters, and the enormous amount of gossip that comes with that, is, in a word, exhausting I was bored before I was even at the halfway point When things kind of moved away from gossip, and intriguing events began to unfold, I found that my focus had been lost, and I was thinking about other books, and what I was going to read after this tedious book There were evidently some romance and happy endings within this story, which is fine, but the reader never feels the emotion that the character is experiencing, and I think that is what makes this a disappointing read, which is an incredible shame, as it could have been so much better. A Great Deal Is Happening In London And The Country This SeasonFor Starters, There S The Witch Who Tried To Poison Kate At The Royal College Of Wizards There S Also The Man Who Seems To Be Spying On Cecelia Though He S Not Doing A Very Good Job Of It So Just What Are His Intentions And Then There S Oliver Ever Since He Was Turned Into A Tree, He Hasn T Bothered To Tell Anyone Where He IsClearly, Magic Is A Deadly And Dangerous Business And The Girls Might Be In Fear For Their Lives If Only They Weren T Having So Much Fun Ljubi a sme tenih u period Regentstva ima kao partizanskih filmova fentezi ljubi a koji se de avaju u tom periodu ima mal ice manje.Sorcery Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot je sve to mu ime ka e Imamo dve klinke ro ake koje se dopisuju na relaciji provincija London, zle arobnjake, dobre arobnjake, seksi arobnjake, za arane ibrike za kakao od plavog porcelana, moli u i za arane burmutice, dosta humora, balove i haljine na kilo mnogo haljina Shvatite me ozbiljno I rukavica od zelenog moarea i rasprava o tome kome koja boja stoji arobnja ke zavere pritom su u dalekom drugom planu i dve tete koje su knjigu sastavile dopisuju i se vikendom i o igledno su se ludo provodile Jeste da se glasovi ne razlikuju dovoljno i da u zapletu ima rupa kroz koje mo ete vola proterati, ali sve je tako armantno a avo i nepretenciozno da ne znam ko bi se na ovu knjigu naljutio. I quite enjoyed this book It s a little bit mystery, a little bit fantasy, there s a little magic and a little romance, all set in the early 1800 s England.The story takes place around cousins Cecelia and Kate, one goes to London for the summer, the other remains in the country Their correspondence begins ordinarily enough what tea party had been attended, or the trouble with hand me down dresses , but you get a sense very early on that Cecelia and Kate are kindred spirits and that there s to them than the dresses they wear or the balls they attend.Soon after their written correspondence starts things begin to grow troublesome and it s clear that all is not as it should be Both girls quickly become involved in a dangerous and magic related mystery The cousins are eager to help the other best they can through their letters, as each tries to manage the mystery on their end I only gave this book 4 stars because, for me, the beginning was a bit dull and it took a while for the plot to evolve Also, it took a while to sort out everyone on their relations However, after about a quarter of the book, and definitely by the middle, I was pulled in and realizing that the plot was far complex than I d assumed.Also, I applaud authors Wrede and Stevermer for telling one story with two protagonists I enjoyed both stories and felt that both Cecelia and Kate were dynamic and complete characters. Hmn How did I feel about this book If critique previous to my reading would have been negative, I would probably be contrary and say Nonsense, it was charming However, I had several reservations with this book.1 It started out slow and confusing It took me until around page 100 to really like the story line I had a very difficult time sorting out Kate and Cecelia there was very little to distinguish them one from another the awful portraits of them on my cover didn t help Top that with mirror image characters surrounding each of them divided between London and Essex Thomas vs James Aunt Charlotte vs Aunt Elizabeth Georgina vs Dorothea It didn t matter which young lady was writing to me they and their party were the same For me this was so obvious that I would be surprised to hear that the authors didn t plan this or at least notice The only fairly well developed character was Sir Hilary.2 It really irked me that the letters morphed into narration two or three paragraphs in Each letter starts as a first person description of events, but quickly becomes an unidentified omniscient narrator with quoted dialogue No one writes a letter like this Perhaps the authors were trying to make it feel like a movie where the letter writer begins the narration that flashes back into the actual story I didn t buy it.3 I find it highly implausible that a young lady who has just been abducted by enchantment will start off her letter calmly reciting what color dress she wore to the party First she would declare, You won t believe what happened Then she would drop in lines about her dress as she is describing the events leading up to her abduction duh The tone of each letter was discordant with what had happened.4 The anachronistic ways in which Kate and Cecy pushed aside all Victorian guidelines of propriety were also hard for me to believe Elizabeth Bennett herself wouldn t have thought to be so impertinent and impulsive.5 The ending was too convenient and contrived Oh You mean there s a homing beacon on my locket How fortunate 6 This is just being finicky, but I really thought the title was cool before I read the book Obviously Sorcery Cecelia just rolls off your tongue, but what about Kate What is this book without Cecelia AND Kate I tried to come up with a better title, but I couldn t make it work I think I would have just stuck with The Enchanted Chocolate Pot but that would make sequels difficult.Okay, but I said it was charming I know it is meant for a young adult audience and the method of passing letters back and forth between the two authors without sharing a plot was meant merely for fun I really liked the overall premise I just thought there was much potential that wasn t reached. Patricia C Wrede and Caroline Stevermer first published Sorcery and Cecelia under that that title in 1988 In recent years, thanks to reprints with shiny new cover art by Scott M Fischer in the case of the edition I read as well as two new sequels, this book has regained popularity and visibility Aside from that, one of the most important things to know about this book is its alternate title The Enchanted Chocolate Pot Being the Correspondence of Two Young Ladies of Quality Regarding Various Magical Scandals in London and the Country.Wrede and Stevermer wrote this book as a writing exercise of sorts called the Letter Game Patricia C Wrede wrote as Cecelia while Caroline Stevermer responded with Kate s letters They did not plan the plot before they began writing.Almost every review I have found online describes Sorcery and Cecelia as a cross between the books of Jane Austen and those of J K Rowling The comparison does make sense, but I might venture to say I liked this book better than any of the Harry Potter series.The year is 1817 in an England where magic is as much a part of life as letter writing The latter is of particular importance to Kate and Cecelia as the cousins spend the novel in separate parts of England While Kate and her glamorous sister Georgina are in London enjoying a proper Season, Cecelia, much to her consternation, is left to languish in the country with her brother Oliver for company at least until he s turned into a tree.Problems begin for both cousins when Kate accidentally intercepts a rather nasty pot of chocolate in a London garden that was, apparently, meant for the eccentric Marquis of Schofield If only he would explain exactly why.Meanwhile, in the country, Cecelia finds herself following a shady figure spying on Cecy s new and surprisingly popular friend Dorothea When Cecelia repeatedly catches him in the act of spying, James Tarleton repeatedly refuses to offer any information.As the girls learn about these mysterious men, and the mysterious events, it becomes clear that something big is happening big enough that evidence of the plan can be seen in both London and the country The only question is what, exactly, is going on and if Kate and Cecelia can stop it in time.Being an homage to Jane Austen, this novel has not one but two romances Which couple is better has been a hot topic since the book came out The librarian who recommended the book to me feels very strongly that the Mysterious Marquis and Kate are a enjoyable match to observe For my part, I preferred Cecelia and James.This novel avoids all of the traps that can make an epistolary novel awful There is no repetition, there is dialogue, the narrative reads like a, for lack of a better word, normal book in that the narrative flows in a fairly traditional way There is neither too much information nor too little And, most importantly, the novel is filled with suspense, action, humor and romance that shines through both Cecelia s and Kate s letters.But then from two talented and well known fantasy writers, what else can a reader expect but perfection Sorcery and Cecelia is the first in a series of books featuring Kate and Cecelia Their stories continue in The Grand Tour 2004 and The Mislaid Magician of Ten Years After 2006.You can find this review and on my blog Miss Print Bit of a slog at the beginning, which is likely due to my own problems with the story structure It begins as exchanged letters between two teenage girls, seemingly Victorian era I can see how this would be attractive to collaborating authors, and fans of letter writing everywhere, but I always have trouble wrapping my head around that kind of narrative Once it gets going, it gets a little better The authors do a decent jobs of within letter asides that help explain things, but it s clearly best if one already knows something about Victorian society, structure and constraints In the afterword, the authors explained how they didn t communicate directly about the plot until three or four letters within the ending of the novel, which is amazing given the relative coherence of the book.Being generous, I rounded upward I think this is a 2 and a half star book for me, but if you like the narrative structure, undoubtedly it will rate higher. One of my all time favorite books, Sorcery and Cecelia started out as a letter game between two brilliant writers The authors clearly enjoyed themselves and the resulting novel is a joy to read, both as a story and as a window into the fun experienced by to marvelous authors Set in Austen like 1817 England, which just happens to have some very polite magic rolling around, the plot is largely driven by excellent characterization, two strong heroines, and a great deal of humor There are several ditty like romances, and a tidy little ending that makes for an amuse bouche of a read tasty and bite sized There are two follow up books, however, this one stands beautifully alone Highly recommended A perfectly charming little epistolary tale with a number of problems This is the story of Kate and Cecelia does this spelling of the name bother anyone else I had to type that name three times before I got it right, it seem so unnatural two cousins who are seperated for a few months while one experiences the London Season, and the other stays on their country estate, and write letters back and forth to each other Kate falls into the path of an evil magician, Cecelia trips over related magical problems of her own plotting and hijinx to follow Appropriate males are found to counterpart them, and we re off The good bits The wannabe Jane Austen voice was fairly good, there were several witty one liners that were laugh out loud worthy, there were some truly excellent capers, and I appreciated the spirit of both the young ladies Also, it really does captivate you and for the most part sweep you away I finished this book in a matter of a few hours If you shut your brain off and enjoy it as a light, fluffy, delicious bon bon, its wonderful.The problems The authors wrote this by doing The Letter Game in which the participants write letters to each other in character You re not allowed to discuss the plot at all, it just has to unfold organically In this particular case, the authors began to coordinate the plot towards the end so as to bring it to a satisfactory conclusion, but other than that, it is obvious that this was not planned very well as a book The plot doesn t fit very well together, at least one of the romances is ridiculous, and there s a good deal of world building that is left out understandable since the book is in epistolary form, between members of the same family though its never made clear how they are related and the authors wouldn t see the need to do a bunch of exposition I do feel that some compromise between reader enjoyment and realism could have been made, though Another thing that bothered me it seemed like the authors did all of their research out of Georgette Heyer and a basic reference guide to the times and grabbed random bits And they were wincingly, pompously, and embarrassingly proud of dropping clunky bits of historical slang, information, and characters into the text These two bit, apparently rather low on the social register characters go to intimate parties at the Countess de Lieven s and Lady Jersey makes it a point to talk to them and of course they use her nickname, because they are such close, personal friends Both male characters totally know the Duke of Wellington Its kind of like people writing out a Star Wars roleplay, and insisting that their characters are just like the ones from the movies and they re best buddies, and going around saying, Oh, so Luke and I were hanging out the other day and expecting this to impress everyone It was simplistic and unrealistic.Oh and speaking of unrealistic the tones that these girls wrote their letters in They re supposed to both be adolescent females, and they both have the voices of thirty something year old women with 20 years of world weary experience behind them except when they need to be adorable and naive for our male characters, or enthuse over clothes One of them actually refers to her sister, one year younger than her, as the poor child Having said all that though I did order the next two books in the series as soon as I finished this one So no matter how cranky the above stated problems made me must ve not bothered me that much

Patricia Collins Wrede was born in Chicago, Illinois and is the eldest of five children She started writing in seventh grade She attended Carleton College in Minnesota, where she majored in Biology and managed to avoid taking any English courses at all She began work on her first novel, Shadow Magic, just after graduating from college in 1974 She finished it five years later and started her se

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  • Paperback
  • 326 pages
  • Sorcery and Cecelia or: The Enchanted Chocolate Pot
  • Patricia C. Wrede
  • English
  • 13 July 2018
  • 9780152053000

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