Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Mislaid Magician Or Ten years After

The Mislaid Magician Or Ten years After

Patricia C. Wrede , Caroline Stevermer
Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
Harcourt, 2006   ISBN: 978-0152055486

When we last saw Cecy and Kate they were taking the Grand Tour with their new husbands on the continent, and getting into all sorts of situations of course, as is their wont. Now, ten years after that exciting time, they are happily settled in their respective homes with their husbands and children. Nothing much happens, other than what one would expect if one had lots of children of various ages.

Then the Duke of Wellington asks Cecy and James to look into a little mystery for him. It would appear that a German railway surveyor magician has gone missing. He was looking into the interactions between magic and railway lines when he vanished. Now Cecy and James have to go to Leeds to find out what happened to the man. It is decided that they will leave their children with Kate and Thomas for safekeeping.

Soon after arriving in Leeds Cecy and Thomas meet a very annoying pair, Mr. Ramsey Webb and his sister Adella. Much their annoyance the Webbs invite them to stay at their home in Stockton and they find themselves unable to refuse. Still, though the Webbs are decidedly unlikable, at least Cecy and James are in a good position to further investigate the disappearance of Herr Schellen.

They have barely arrived at the Webb’s home, Halliwar Tower, before they become aware that something decidedly odd is going on in the area. Lots of ley lines – lines of magical power running through the earth – appear to come together in a very odd manner. It would also seem that the steam engines are interacting with the ley lines in some way.

Back at Skeynes, Kate is trying to keep the many children out of trouble. This is not easy for in addition to the normal scrapes that children get into, this lot are also dabbling with magic with unexpected results. When Edward is kidnapped and when he is found again in the company of another lost child, everything gets all the more complicated.

This very unique story slowly unfolds as letters between Kate and Cecy and between James and Thomas fly across the country. In a world where magical people coexist with non-magical people and where the power of magic flows throughout the land, Cecy and Kate do their best to keep their families safe and yet at the same time they cannot seem to help having the most peculiar adventures. Kidnapping, ambitious magicians seeking power and wealth, transformations, magic stone circles, and shape shifters. All of these things and much more can be found between the amusing and highly entertaining pages of this delightful story.