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On Our Bookshelves – Sorcery and Cecelia – Or the Enchanted Chocolate Pot

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NOVEL: Sorcery and Cecelia: Or the Enchanted Chocolate Pot

AUTHORS: Patricia C. Wrede & Caroline Stevermer

YEAR OF PUBLICATION: 1988

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One of the most delightful things about this epistolary novel is that it wasn’t intended to be a novel at all. The authors, Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer, were playing the letter game, making up a character each, and writing to each other while developing a plot, purely for their own amusement.

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I shared this amusement greatly (and I’m very glad they decided to publish their collection). Sorcery and Cecelia is the correspondence between Cecelia and her cousin Kate. Cecelia is stuck at home in the countryside, and Kate is having her first London season. It’s a Regency romance a la Georgette Heyer, set in 1817 England, but with the addition of magic. So besides having to deal with uncooperative chaperones, the marriage market, balls, parties, foolish relatives, and shopping for beautiful dresses, they also encounter witches and wizards, charms and enchantments, magic spells and magic books. It’s not nearly as much of a stretch as you might think, as this brand of historical romance is largely a fantasy to begin with, what with all of the beautiful, kindhearted and empty-headed heiresses, the feisty heroines, the alarmingly rude yet devastatingly handsome gentlemen…it’s all a playful romp. The protagonists are likeable, their adventures highly entertaining, and the romances themselves are rather secondary to the magical adventures.

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It’s sweet as candy, completely chaste, and just the thing for young women who have graduated beyond Harry Potter. (And for considerably older book reviewers who just enjoy a good story!)

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RATING (one to five whistles, with five being the best): 3 Whistles

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HOW TO PURCHASE: Amazon

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Laura LaVelle is an attorney and writer who lives in Connecticut, in a not quite 100-year-old house, along with her husband, two daughters, and a cockatiel.

Laura can be contacted at laura@newswhistle.com

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Lead-In Image Courtesy of Dzhulbee / Shutterstock.com

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