Sorcery and Cecelia, or: The Enchanted Chocolate Pot
by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer
Basia rates it: 5/5
Connor rates it: 5/5
I normally am very wary when I approach an epistolary novel because I can never quite get into them. They always bother me in that the characters writing to each other act as if they’ve never met before, and they give long and rambling details of backstory purely for the reader’s benefit, which real people writing letters to one another obviously wouldn’t do.
That’s why I loved this novel so much. Not only was it delightful, I felt, for once, like the characters really knew each other. They was no clunky delving into backstory that we didn’t need; everything we did need to know was cleverly revealed, so that I never felt like the novel was suddenly self-aware that it had readers who needed explanations.
Also, “Are you bamming me?” has got to be one of the best phrases I’ve ever read, and I think I’ll be using it in the future.
I first read this novel years ago when I discovered Patricia C. Wrede’s Enchanted Forest Chronicles and wanted to try her other books. I devoured it (and the sequels, which are not quite as delightful but still Quite Good).
Sorcery and Cecelia is the account of two outrageously fun cousins, Cecelia and Kate, and their even more outrageous adventures as they accidentally stumble into a world of magic and intrigue.
… Well, somewhat accidentally, anyway. Cecy and Kate are prone to these things (see also: the goat incident). Their letters do an excellent job of expressing their wit, their frustration, and their single-minded determination that they “simply must Do Something,” a phrase I’ve happily adopted for my own purposes since I first read it, and I wholeheartedly recommend this to fans of fantasy and magical realism alike.