Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Grand Tour

The Grand Tour

Patricia C. Wrede , Caroline Stevermer
Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
Harcourt, 2004   ISBN: 978-0152046163

Cecy and Kate are off for a wonderful adventure. Newly married they are going on the Grand Tour of Europe for their honeymoon. They are beginning their trip in the company of Lady Sylvia, Kate’s new mother-in-law. Lady Sylvia is a skilled magician and a seasoned traveler who spends most of her time living in Paris.

No sooner does the group arrive in France before things start to go wrong and odd things begin to happen. The ceiling in an inn collapses on the dinner table and then there is an attempted robbery. This is followed by the most mysterious delivery of a package by a "lady in blue" who gives Lady Sylvia an object and gives her instructions regarding it. Unfortunately the object is promptly stolen by thieves on the road to Paris.

Clearly something very odd is going on, something which could turn out to be very important. Lady Sylvia decides to take matters into her hands and her companions discover that she had a very colorful past full of very powerful friends. She calls on some of these friends, including the" Iron Duke" himself, to try to find out what is going on. It is thus decided that the two honeymooning couples will do a little investigating, trying to find out why old and valuable artifacts are being stolen from famous sites all over Europe and why a murder was committed in Paris.

As they pursue the people whom they suspect across Europe trying to put together the pieces of the puzzle Kate, Cecy, Thomas and James realize that the plot that they are uncovering is much bigger and more important than they ever imagined.

Cecy begins to experiment more with her own magical powers and Kate finally comes to the conclusion that it might not be all the impossible for her to have powers of her own.

This is a gripping mystery which carries one through the "Grand Tour" experience so beloved by the well-to-do of the 1800’s. At the same time the authors have created a world where magic is part of daily life. It coexists with science and wielding it is a gift that some people are fortunate enough to possess.

Written in the form of diary entries we hear the voices of Cecy and Kate, sharing their dreams, fears and inner most thoughts. They are a pair whom we can admire, grow fond of, and laugh with. This is the second Kate and Cecelia adventure written by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer.