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Sorcery & Cecelia: or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot

(Cecelia and Kate #1)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  18,906 ratings  ·  2,167 reviews
A great deal is happening in London and the country this season.

For starters, there's the witch who tried to poison Kate at the Royal College of Wizards. There's also the man who seems to be spying on Cecelia. (Though he's not doing a very good job of it--so just what are his intentions?) And then there's Oliver. Ever since he was turned into a tree, he hasn't bothered to
Paperback, 326 pages
Published 2004 by Harcourt (first published April 15th 1988)
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Annette I thoroughly enjoyed it as a "legitimate" adult. I am probably going to allow my 10 year old girl to give it a try, although I am not certain she will…moreI thoroughly enjoyed it as a "legitimate" adult. I am probably going to allow my 10 year old girl to give it a try, although I am not certain she will make it through. It's perhaps a Little old for her, but nothing too terribly nasty takes place so I don't mind if she tries. (less)

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Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  18,906 ratings  ·  2,167 reviews

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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
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
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
Feb 08, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Dec 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Future Georgette Heyer Lovers, and lovers of Howl's Moving Castle
Recommended to Amy by: Elevetha
2021 Review
Today I feel the opposite of my 2019 review—I think the more I read this one, the more I love it. The romances are satisfying. The characters endearing. And the combination of Regency and magic a nice blend of Georgette Heyer and Howl's Moving Castle. It all adds up to an enduring favorite perfect for a re-read every other year.

2019 Review
The more I seep myself in the Regency world, the less I think I love this one. Don't get me wrong: it remains delightful. Delicious, I believe I or
This book took me far too long to read, and there is a pretty solid reason for that. I didn't like it. This had the potential to be a decent read. There are some great idea's and some interesting characters, but unfortunately, for me, this book was almost painful to actually get through.

This book consists of letters written between Cecy and Kate, so we get a distinct diary feel to the letters, and the enormous amount of gossip that comes with that, is, in a word, exhausting. I was bored before
Apr 07, 2008 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Since author Gail Carriger talked about this book on episode 191 of the Reading Envy Podcast, I’ve seen several of you reading it. Me too! This is an epistolary novel between two friends in Regency England but a version that also contains magic. It is very enjoyable as they navigate tricky witches and social expectations. I would have loved this as a younger me in particular.
Nope. Officially bailed on this one. Read to about 50% and was forcing myself to read further every time I picked it up. The only interesting thing that happened was very early where Kate (or was it Cecelia? They are basically the same) one of the writing protagonists, stumbles into a strange room where a wizard tries to kill her with poisoned chocolate thinking she was someone in disguise. Ok great. Nothing else happens.

I loved the premise and the letter writing 2 authors but there was no meat
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
This book is a delightful mix of Regency romance and magic, written entirely in epistolary style, and is full of humour and a little danger for its protagonists Cecelia and Kate.
Cecelia is at Rushton Manor in the country, while Kate, her best friend and compatriot in schemes and jokes, is in London for her first Season. They both have encounters with wizards, resulting in multiple murder attempts on the young women, as well as articulate and amusing conversations and deepening relationships with
Sep 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a delightful novel! I thoroughly enjoyed getting stuck in Cecy & Kate's story, which was a combination of magic and whimsy and friendship and romance. It did take me a little time to properly warm up to the epistolary style (as I don't read stories like that often), but it was definitely a story I was fully invested in by the end. ...more
Lindsey (Bring My Books)
I first read this book as a teenager after searching out basically anything and everything of Patrica Wrede's (her Enchanted Forest Chronicles series basically represents my entire middle school reading experience considering how many times I've re-read it...). I was in love with it from the get-go; a novel written entirely in letters between two deviously smart and witty cousins trying to keep themselves and their odiously enigmatic love interests safe from certain disaster at the hands of witc ...more
Aug 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2009, regency
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
Jun 09, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
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 favourit ...more
Cute, interesting, fast read. Really fun epistolary novel (written as letters between two friends). I somehow missed posting 2016 reading dates for this.
Emily Larkin
Jun 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An absolute joy to read, and one of my favorite books ever. I love the humor, the dual romances, and the mix of Regency England and magic. I can’t count the number of times I’ve read this book, but it’s a lot! If you haven’t read it and you love Regency romances, I highly recommend it. (Heat rating is similar to Georgette Heyer, i.e. no steam.)
Mar 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing

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

Forever bitter that I couldn't move this ahead. THANKS A LOT, MIREILLE.
Practical Magic Meets Pride and Prejudice

Cousins Kate and Cecelia exchange a series of letters about their Season in Regency England. They inadvertently get tangled in a treacherous plot between three wizards and find love in the most unexpected way.

What I Thought

Enjoyable mystery, but with a slow start.

Witty banter btwn clever and brave wallflower cousins.

Book began as a "Letter Game" btwn two authors with each writing for a character but not discussing plot.

Oddly enough, each character's v
I think this is one of those books you may need to first discover as a teen in order to really love it—otherwise I'm a bit bewildered as to how much I've heard people praise it for several years (the only reason I picked it up). There are a couple of nice ideas in here about how this alternate Regency England's magical system works, but as a whole the book's plot is far too pat, the character voices of Cecilia and Kate pretty impossible to distinguish from one another (ditto the love interests, ...more
Anna Bright
Jan 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, favorites, fantasy
An instant favorite. Love.
Jan 12, 2008 rated it liked it
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
This is the first (and best) in a series of books which follow the adventures of Kate and Cecelia, cousins who live in an alternate Regency England in which magic works; Wrede writes one cousin and Stevermer the other.

Sorcery and Cecelia consists of a series of letters between Kate, who's having her first London season, and Cecelia, who's stuck at home. The letters are deliciously crafted; the first, from Cecy to Kate, traverses territory from tantalizing backstory hints ("the incident with the
Jun 04, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
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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

Other books in the series

Cecelia and Kate (3 books)
  • The Grand Tour (Cecelia and Kate, #2)
  • The Mislaid Magician; or, Ten Years After (Cecelia and Kate, #3)

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