Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot

Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot

Patricia C. Wrede , Caroline Stevermer
Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
Harcourt, 2003   ISBN: 978-0152053000

Kate is to have her coming out season in London and unfortunately her companion, best friend, and oft fellow conspirator, her cousin Cecelia, must stay at her home in country. Still, it would seem that Cecelia is to have her own share of excitement for a very odd young man, a Mr. Tarleton, appears to be spying on her and is all in all behaving very oddly indeed. Then Cecelia befriends Dorothea, Lady Tarleton’s niece, who is a lovely young woman. More odd things start to occur as Dorothea begins to attract an uncommon amount of attention to herself.

Meanwhile, in London, Kate is getting into the swing of the season when she finds herself being mistaken for someone else and is almost poisoned. Because of this bizarre event and others which follow (including the enchanting and subsequent disappearance if Cecy’s brother Oliver) Kate has to come to conclusion that someone is not feeling too friendly towards her. A very puzzling man, "the mysterious Marquis" of Schofield, comes to Kate’s rescue and tells her a little of what is going on.

The rest of the mystery Cecy and Kate begin to piece together for it turns out that Cecy’s odd Mr. Tarleton is also involved in the who peculiar business in some way. Behind it is a very pretty but nevertheless very simple looking chocolate pot which just happens to have been chosen as the receptacle for something very precious and valuable.

In this superbly crafted cross-over novel the authors has created a work with is both entertaining and which is reminiscent of the works of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer. Throughout the story the codes of conduct and the odd little ‘rules and regulations’ so adored by "society" in those days are gently made fun of. Just as in Jane Austen’s books, these characters have very human strengths and weaknesses and we find ourselves able to laugh at the ordinary and the magical difficulties that they get themselves into.