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Sorcery & Cecelia: or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot (Cecelia and Kate #1)

4.01  ·  Rating Details  ·  14,125 Ratings  ·  1,590 Reviews
Two girls contend with sorcery in England’s Regency ageSince they were children, cousins Kate and Cecelia have been inseparable. But in 1817, as they approach adulthood, their families force them to spend a summer apart. As Cecelia fights boredom in her small country town, Kate visits London to mingle with the brightest lights of English society.At the initiation of a powe ...more
ebook, 350 pages
Published May 22nd 2012 by Open Road Young Readers (first published April 15th 1988)
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Gail Carriger
One of my all time favorite books, Sorcery and Cecelia started out as a letter game between two brilliant writers. The authors clearly enjoyed themselves and the resulting novel is a joy to read, both as a story and as a window into the fun experienced by to marvelous authors.

Set in Austen-like 1817 England, which just happens to have some very polite magic rolling around, the plot is largely driven by excellent characterization, two strong heroines, and a great deal of humor. There are several
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
A magical marquis, his suspicious friend, and a pair of strong-willed and mischievous young ladies get entangled in Regency-era England. Their story is told entirely in epistolary form, as lifelong friends Kate and Cecilia exchange letters. Kate is experiencing her first Season in London, while Cecy is left home in the country. But life gets unexpectedly complicated when both Kate and Cecy meet up with Thomas (aka the Mysterious Marquis) and his friend James, who are trying to stop a dark magica ...more
A perfectly charming little epistolary tale with a number of problems. This is the story of Kate and Cecelia (does this spelling of the name bother anyone else? I had to type that name three times before I got it right, it seem so unnatural!) two cousins who are seperated for a few months while one experiences the London Season, and the other stays on their country estate, and write letters back and forth to each other. Kate falls into the path of an evil magician, Cecelia trips over related mag ...more
I quite enjoyed this book! It's a little bit mystery, a little bit fantasy, there's a little magic and a little romance, all set in the early 1800's England.

The story takes place around cousins Cecelia and Kate, one goes to London for the summer, the other remains in the country. Their correspondence begins ordinarily enough (what tea party had been attended, or the trouble with hand-me-down dresses), but you get a sense very early on that Cecelia and Kate are kindred spirits and that there's mo
Jan 24, 2015 Emma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer first published Sorcery and Cecelia under that that title in 1988. In recent years, thanks to reprints with shiny new cover art by Scott M. Fischer in the case of the edition I read as well as two new sequels, this book has regained popularity and visibility. Aside from that, one of the most important things to know about this book is its alternate title: The Enchanted Chocolate Pot: Being the Correspondence of Two Young Ladies of Quality Regarding Variou ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I first read this book a bajillion (okay, fifteen) years ago and remembered nothing about it (which makes sense, since I was like nine). When I found this hiding on my shelves, I decided to give it another visit, since I was in a terrible slump, and OMG I cannot recomment this DELIGHTFUL little treat of a book more. It's Regency fun with ADDED MAGIC and hilarious, wonderful narrators. Kate and Cecelia, cousins and best friends, exchange letters in an alternate 1817 England where young men run th ...more
Feb 09, 2009 Kathryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Cecy is forced to stay behind in the countryside when her cousin (and dearest friend) Kate goes to London for all the parties and social connections of the season, a correspondence ensues to keep one another informed of all the delicious goings-on of friends and family members, fashion trends and the like. However, they are also intelligent young women and soon the plot begins to thicken as two seemingly unrelated "suspicious incidents" involving maddening-yet-charming young men and bouts o ...more
May 18, 2009 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: regency, read-in-2009
As the title states, this is a book of letters between two young ladies in England in the post-Napoleonic war era. In many ways, it reads like a 'typical' regency romance novel. Two young girls are corresponding; one is in London for the season, the other has been deemed too immature and likely to get in trouble and so remains on the country estate. The letters are filled with descriptions of items of clothing, dance, and people typical of that era.

The twist is the inclusion of magic. In this wo
May 05, 2011 Carol. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers interested in young adult/ magic/ historical fiction
Bit of a slog at the beginning, which is likely due to my own problems with the story structure. It begins as exchanged letters between two teenage girls, seemingly Victorian era. I can see how this would be attractive to collaborating authors, and fans of letter writing everywhere, but I always have trouble wrapping my head around that kind of narrative. Once it gets going, it gets a little better. The authors do a decent jobs of within-letter asides that help explain things, but it's clearly b ...more
May 07, 2008 Karene rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book. It's light and entertaining enough to be worth reading despite a few major flaws. To anyone who picks up this book, I would suggest first reading the "Afterword" at the end of the book (it really should have been a "Foreword"). It explains how the book came to be, doesn't contain any plot spoilers, and I think had I read the book with that knowledge I might have enjoyed it even more. My main complaints were, first, that the language in the book is a little too contrived. The ...more
Jun 10, 2007 Punk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
YA Fiction. I had a lot of trouble getting past the first three pages of this -- it was exposition heavy and did not grab my attention -- but once I gave it another shot, I found it utterly charming. Cousins Cecelia and Kate write each other letters during the summer of 1817, while Kate is in London for the Season and Cecelia is stuck at home in the country. This is another of those Englands that just has magic lying around to spare, no big thing, it's just there, good for fighting off Napoleon ...more
Jul 16, 2008 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Becky by: Heather
Elisabeth Bennet meets Harry Potter. Well, sort of. I loved, loved, loved this Jane Austen-esque novel that follows the format of letters written between two cousins. Actually, that is how the book was originally written. The two authors adopted the personas and wrote letters to each other, creating the story.

Being Jane Austen-esque, it is of course a romance with much attention paid to social etiquettes and proprieties (and improprieties). However, the magic is largely the intrigue that is thro

1) Regency
2) Magic
3) Epistolary
4) Romance

Forever bitter that I couldn't move this ahead. THANKS A LOT, MIREILLE.
I wonder what's so natural about the pairing of Jane Austen-esque Regency romantic comedy and magic -- because this book reminded me incredibly of Mary Robinette Kowal's Shades of Milk and Honey, or a lighter/fluffier Susanna Clarke. (In fact, I might follow this up with my long-awaited JS&MN reread, maybe?) Or even Gail Carriger's Soulless, though that one's in the Victorian era; also an appropriate comparison, considering I noticed on GR just now that Carriger cites this as one of her favo ...more
Jun 04, 2007 thefourthvine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-teen, sff
This book was pretty much made for me. I love epistolary novels (and had played the letter game before reading this), I love light-hearted, humorous stories, I love SF/F, and I love the Regency period.

There are problems with the book, of course - the letter game doesn't make for a perfect novel structure, though I was stunned at how well the two authors here managed to pull it off. And the plot is definitely a bit light. But the voices are delightful and top-notch, and the book is a just a real
Jackie "the Librarian"
Georgette Heyer meets Harry Potter! And it's an epistolary novel!! A little hard to follow - I had trouble keeping the characters straight and could have used a bit more descriptions, but still a lot of fun.
Sadly, its sequel, The Grand Tour is awful, as the girls play passive roles, and merely report on the actions of their husbands as they travel through Europe.
During a gap in my NetGalley reads, I was looking for an interim book and happened on Sorcery & Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot: Being the correspondence of two Young Ladies of Quality regarding various Magical Scandals in London and the Country. I liked the cover, and the blurb mentioned The Royal College of Wizards, so I ordered it.

And did it ever surpass my expectations! Set in Regency England, the book is a comedy of manners, a paranormal fantasy, an epistolary novel, and an absol
Shawn Thrasher
In the parallel universe where I'm a writer of fantasy fiction, I hope all the books that I write are almost as good as Sorcery and Cecelia. I say "almost" because nothing I could write in any universe can possible surpass this, one of my favorite books of all time. I'm not an expert, but I am going to guess that when this book was first published in 1988, it was delightfully unique. Alternate history, with magic, and epistolary fiction on top of that. All of this has been done since, some of th ...more
Jane Stewart
Liked the plot. Liked the characters and their capers. But I had a problem with the epistolary method. This could have been a really neat novel if written in the traditional way. As it was, I wanted it to be over.

The entire book consists of letters between Cecy and Kate - an epistolary novel. Therefore most things are “told” not shown, but that is the nature of letters. Each letter has a chatty or gossipy feel talking about clothes, family, friends, and neighbors. The letters also
Dec 15, 2008 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I stumbled across this book on the bookmobile and absolutely loved it. The entire book is written in letters. there are actually two writers and they each took a character and built the book by reacting to what the other wrote. I think it started as a game.

It's period piece (the content of the letters made me think of Jane Austin with the balls and social gatherings) set in an alternative England where magic is a common part of society. One of the girls, Kate, goes to town for the season and wr
Originally read: So, so many years ago!
Number of times read: Too many to count!!

One of my favorite books of all time. I love this book so hard. It's the perfect blend of all of my favorite genres: Regency England, romance, magic, mystery, sassy/strong heroines. This book is EVERYTHING. It completes me.

I first read the book when I was a freshman in high school. It was out of print at the time (and before ebay/amazon/buying all the things online) so I used to check out my local public library's c
Aug 09, 2015 Mairita rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, series
3,5 zvaigznes. Jātiek pāri pirmajām 70 lpp. un tad jau gribas zināt, kas tur īsti ir un kā tas beigsies. Īpatnēji, bet patika.
Dec 13, 2015 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Future Georgette Heyer Lovers, and lovers of Howl's Moving Castle
Recommended to Amy by: Elevetha
Delicious. Witty, unpredictable, and very fun. I meant to read only a few chapters before going to bed, but ended up reading the entire thing in one sitting. I love the epistolary style, Regency feel, and twisting plot (with adorable romance thrown in for good measure). It is one of those books that would have garnered a 5 star review from me a few years earlier, but a few things bugged me.
Such as, all the Regency slang thrown about. It was goofy and delightful but kept me from taking anything
This was a fun, fluffy read. It's just what I needed after 4 months of epic epic-ness of my Wheel of Time marathon. Something light, not too deep, but entertaining. It's a Young Adult Regency with a splash or two of magic and a little bit of danger, written in the form of letters between two cousins. Predictable yet enjoyable, especially if you need a break from heavier reading and if you enjoy both Fantasy and Regency historical romance.
May 07, 2016 Josiphine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like Newt's Emerald
Recommended to Josiphine by: Elevetha
I was somewhat put off by this just at the start because I do not usually enjoy epistolary novels, but this one was the exception because it was really good! I loved the characters and the setting (and the magic) and I actually think that letters were the perfect format for this. Also magic and Regency England is A++.
Sep 11, 2015 Kassandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those seeking a magical mystery
Recommended to Kassandra by: Elevetha
4.5 stars . This was so much fun! Just an adorable, enjoyable read. Both Kate and Cecelia's adventures are engaging and entertaining. The fact that this was written by two authors actually writing letters to each other is just awesome.
Oct 22, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The other day I was thinking about the books I've read this year and it has been a stellar year. There are books that I think are fantastic, beautifully & brilliantly written which garner 5 stars from me every time but I wouldn't always classify them as ones I am unable to put down. I could not put this down!!! Okay, that's not strictly true, I DID put it down but only because I absolutely had to and then I couldn't wait to get back to it. I loved reading in the afterward that the authors wr ...more
Píše sa rok 1817, mágia je reálna vec a vyzerá to tak, že dovtedy nerozlučné sesternice Cecelia a Kate budú na pár mesiacov rozdelené. Ich tety totižto usúdili, že je pre dievčatá ten správny čas urobiť debut v Londýnskej spoločnosti. Dobre však vedia, že keď sú Cecelia a Kate pohromade robia len neplechu a tak pošlú do Londýna s Kate jej sestru Geoginu, zatiaľ čo Cecelia zostáva sedieť doma na zadku. V Essexe. Celá kniha je poskladaná z korešpondencie, ktorú si medzi sebou posielajú. V úvodných ...more
Jun 03, 2016 Beth rated it liked it
This is an epistolary novel (novel in letter form) whose two correspondents are two young girls in 1817 in England. One, Cecilia, is at home in Essex, and the other, her cousin Kate, has gone to London with her beautiful sister Georgina for their first social season.

Now, I knew from the beginning, from reading a review or two, that the novel was written in actual letter form between its two authors. That was all the background I had for it. But after reading a few letters, and knowing from its c
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Gail Carriger Fan...: March 2016: Sorcery & Cecelia by Patricia C. Wrede & Caroline Stevermer 4 21 Apr 07, 2016 08:27AM  
The Letter Game 1 29 Oct 09, 2012 11:03AM  
Fan of The Series? Please take a look at my group! 1 41 Sep 01, 2009 11:35AM  
  • A College of Magics (A College of Magics, #1)
  • The Perilous Gard
  • The Savage Damsel and the Dwarf (The Squire's Tales, #3)
  • The Dream-Maker's Magic (Safe-Keepers, #3)
  • Deep Secret (Magids, #1)
  • Bewitching Season (Leland Sisters, #1)
  • Crown Duel (Crown & Court #1-2)
  • Chalice
  • Renegade Magic (Kat, Incorrigible, #2)
  • On Fortune's Wheel (Tales of the Kingdom, #2)
Patricia Collins Wrede was born in Chicago, Illinois and is the eldest of five children. She started writing in seventh grade. She attended Carleton College in Minnesota, where she majored in Biology and managed to avoid taking any English courses at all. She began work on her first novel, Shadow Magic, just after graduating from college in 1974. She finished it five years later and started her se ...more
More about Patricia C. Wrede...

Other Books in the Series

Cecelia and Kate (4 books)
  • The Grand Tour (Cecilia and Kate, #2)
  • The Mislaid Magician: or Ten Years After (Cecelia and Kate, #3)
  • Magic Below Stairs

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“How be caught up in a game and have no idea of the rules.” 151 likes
“In short, if we wish to see anything sensible done about the situation, we will clearly have to do it ourselves.” 36 likes
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