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Cannonball Read IV: Sorcery and Cecelia by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer

By Bothari | Book Reviews | October 5, 2012 | Comments ()


Sorcery and Cecelia is my favorite so far in the Cannonball Read. It was delightful, and it gives me a warm glow to know that there are two more books to enjoy.

Patricia C. Wrede (whose books I have loved since middle school) and Caroline Stevermer (new to me but will be exploring) played the Letter Game to create Cecilia and Kate, a pair of spunky and fearless cousins in the 'regency romance' era of a slightly alternate universe, where magic is real, but not often practiced by Young Ladies of Quality. Patricia and Caroline wrote the letters to each other in character as Cecy and Kate as a writing exercise (they describe it in the afterword), then discovered when they reached the end of the game that they'd written a book.

Kate has gone to London for her first Season, while Cecy is left behind in the countryside. Their letters start out fairly typically - who's wearing what to which party, how overbearing their chaperoning aunts are, and oh, by the way, did you hear our own Sir Hilary got accepted to the Royal College of Wizards. Kate stumbles onto some magical weirdness in London, and Cecilia uses her budding magician tendencies to help in any way she can, sending protective charm bags or theories with nearly every post. Both girls meet infuriating but irresistible boys, worry about siblings falling under nefarious spells, find themselves entangled with evil wizards, and desperately wish they were not separated from each other.

The characters are wonderful, the writing is terrific, the magic is fun, and I may start annoying my friends and family by calling my car a curricle and my purse a reticule. This is one of those books that, upon finishing it, causes a happy sigh and good mood the rest of the day.

This review is part of the volunteer Cannonball Read IV. Read all about it, and find more of Bothari's reviews on the group blog.

(Note: Any revenue generated from purchases made through the amazon.com affiliate links in this review will be donated in entirety to the American Cancer Society.)

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • BWeaves

    I realize that nobody is going to read this comment, as the review is 6 days old, but I want to thank the reviewer for turning me on to this book. I just got it, and I'm about 1/4 of the way through, and I'm really enjoying it.

  • Kelly Anne Williams

    This is one of my all-time favourite books, and I'm always thrilled to see it get more love.

  • BWeaves

    Sounds like Jane Austen meets Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. I'll have to check this out.

  • I recently stumbled across this book too and it really is a delight. I didn't find it a bit slow at the start, which in hindsight, makes complete sense given that it was written via the Letter Game. So stick with it even if it doesn't entirely grab you right from the start!

  • KatSings

    I had never heard of the Letter Game, but I LOVE it as a way to generate creativity!

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