The authors wish to dedicate this book to Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Ellen Kushner, all of whom, in their several ways, inspired us to create it.And the authors, Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer, have indeed created a young adult novel that is part Jane Austen, part Georgette Heyer and a bit of Diana Wynne Jones. I am in love with this book and can hardly wait to get my hands on the two remaining books in the series.
Written in an epistolary style as letters between cousins Kate and Cecelia, this is a tale like many others but also like no other. It is 1817 and Kate and her beautiful younger sister Georgina have gone to London for the season while Cecelia has been forced to remain at home due to a bit of trouble she got in recently. Though apart, the young women soon get entangled in the same messy situation -- a spat between warring wizards. Due to Kate and Cecy's quick instincts and complete honesty with each other, they may just be the ones to foil all the intentions of the more skilled magicians -- and of course they each might also find love.
I think this was a fantastically written story and it was created in a unique way. The two authors started this as an exercise called a Letter Game where each author takes on a persona and they exchange letters, creating a story without having ever discussed a plot. Once they got going with this exercise, they fell in love with Kate and Cecelia and ended up with a complex and compelling story and enough writing to just do some slight editing and turn it into a book. I think it is wonderful that each letter writer has its own author, therefore giving them distinctly different voices. However, they also really come across as cousins and friends and are extremely likable. The book does indeed have the period details and characters (the vicar, the titled neighbor, the spinster aunt) of Jane Austen, the convoluted but inevitable romances of Georgette Heyer and the light and easily accepted magic of Diana Wynne Jones. I adored this book and look forward to the continuing stories of Kate and Cecelia.
Enchanted by this story,
Support our site and buy Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot on Amazon or find it at your local library. We borrowed our copy from the library but will be buying our own copy soon.