Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sorcery and Cecelia review

Book Talk: Kate's first season in London would have been difficult enough if things had gone smoothly, but the season soon turns from difficult to deadly when she gets caught up in a feud between sorcerers.  Meanwhile her best friend Cecelia is stuck at home and what starts off as an extremely dull season turns sinister when a new girl arrives with trouble trailing right behind her.  As the situation escalates, Cecelia and Kate are told to wait in the drawing rooms and let the sorcerers handle things, but thanks to their letters they know more about the situation than anyone suspects, enough to do something about it themselves! 

Rocks My Socks:  Two words: epistolary novel!  This novel is as true to the letter-writing tradition as you can get, as it actually began as a game between the two authors, each taking on a different persona and writing letters back and forth to each other to amuse themselves.  Thankfully they realized that what they had at the end was a book that others might enjoy as well, so they thought to clean it up and publish it.  You can tell how much they enjoyed writing it and that sense of light-hearted amusement leaps from the pages to the reader.  I also love the setting, an alternate early 19th century London where magic exists.  Similar to Johnathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, which I also loved, but not as dense.  There was a Jane Austen feel to it for me with two strong young women discussing their prospects and their dresses and their balls.  Magic, adventure, romance, intrigue, fashion, strong female characters, letters, sass, this book has everything that I love.

Rocks In My Socks: The book was pretty frivolous, which normally annoys me but in this case it was just so much fun that I didn't care.  Kate could have been a bit more assertive, and the storyline was pretty predictable, but I was enjoying myself too much while I was reading it to be very critical.

Every Book its Reader:  There's nothing in this that's really inappropriate, but seeing as the girls are discussing marriage and the like it will probably be easier to relate to for teens and above.  The story has a fair amount of adventure, but it also spends a fair amount of time discussing what color best suits each girl.  There are some boys who would be interested in that, but I wouldn't recommend it to just any boy looking for an adventure fantasy.  If you need a pick-me-up or just want to spend an delightful afternoon in a world of magic and wit this is a great book for you!

Sorcery and Cecelia by Patricia C. Wrede. and Caroline Stevermer

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