Monday, April 15, 2013

A Vintage Reads Review: Sorcery & Cecelia

Sorcery & Cecelia: or the Enchanted Chocolate Pot (Kate and Cecelia, 1) by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer, 2004 (originally published in 1988). 326 pages. Published by Harcourt. Source: bought.
A great deal is happening in London this season.
For starters, there's the witch who tried to poison Kate at Sir Hilary's induction into the Royal College of Wizards. (Since when does hot chocolate burn a hole straight through one's dress?!)
Then there's Dorothea. Is it a spell that's made her the toast of the town--or could it possibly have something to do with the charm-bag under Oliver's bed?
And speaking of Oliver, just how long can Cecelia and Kate make excuses for him? Ever since he was turned into a tree, he hasn't bothered to tell anyone where he is!
The girls might think it all a magical nightmare . . . if only they weren't having so much fun.
First Sentence:
Dearest Kate,
It is dreadfully flat here since you have been gone, and it only makes it worse to imagine all the things I shall be missing. 
There are times when one should just buy what your sister says you should…that is when it comes to books. 

I must say that I had never read anything by either author before, but after finishing Sorcery & Cecelia they have earned their way on to my authors to watch list. I’ll try to refrain from rambling on about how much I adored this book but don’t get your hopes up on that. 

It has been some time since a historical fiction book has knocked me off my feet, like since I read Between Shades of Gray sometime last year. When I bought Sorcery & Cecelia at the recommendation of the one of my sisters- because she thought it sounded like something I’d enjoy- I was unsure if it was actually going to be a book that I’d enjoy. 
    Needless to say, I am so glad I went with her suggestion because this book blew me away. I loved the way the authors, Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevemer, told the story via correspondences between cousins Kate and Cecelia.  What really made the story interesting in the way it was told was that both Kate and Cecelia would have to make split decisions without knowing how their choice would affect the other one. I also really enjoyed that while they had separate adventures that the two stories were interconnected by a couple of keys characters in the book. 

Cecelia, was my absolute favorite in this book. I loved reading about her because she was quick thinking and adventuresome; while I enjoyed those two qualities about her what really made her a great character is that she was fiercely protective of her cousin Kate and also that she wasn’t going to stand around and let the guys do all the dirty work. She actually reminded me of Elizabeth from P&P. 

Kate, while I may have liked Cecelia best, she had some admirable qualities too. What made her an interesting character to read about is that while shy and self-conscious she knew how to talk her way out of things and that she could be a force to be reckoned with when need be.  

So, while I absolutely loved this book, the one thing that makes it such an incredible book is that the authors did a fantastic job of creating a story that was a beautiful blend of historical and fantasy. When it comes to blending two vastly different things in one book you are either going to hit on the head or go terribly awry, but I believe that he authors found the right balance in first book of the series. The fantasy, magic aspect of the book definitely had the feel of one of DWJ’s books in how the rules of things were laid out, which was cool. 

I may just be too in love with this book, but I cannot think of a single thing I did not like about Sorcery & Cecelia. It was well written with excellent characters, and more importantly still on my mind weeks after I finished reading it. 

Dear readers, I want to hear your thoughts on Sorcery & Cecelia. Is it something you’d be interested in? Have you read it?

Final Verdict: Sorcery & Cecelia was both elegant and absorbing with fantastic writing and great characters. 

Sorcery & Cecelia earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.

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