The Mislaid Magician or Ten Years After
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The Mislaid Magician or Ten Years After

4.1 9
by Patricia C. Wrede, Caroline Stevermer

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Ten years have passed since Kate and Cecy married Thomas and James, and England is now being transformed by the first railways. When James is asked to look into the sudden disappearance of a German railway engineer, he and Cecy make a shocking discovery: The railway lines are wreaking havoc with ancient underground magic, which could endanger the very unity of


Ten years have passed since Kate and Cecy married Thomas and James, and England is now being transformed by the first railways. When James is asked to look into the sudden disappearance of a German railway engineer, he and Cecy make a shocking discovery: The railway lines are wreaking havoc with ancient underground magic, which could endanger the very unity of England. Written in letters between Kate and Cecy--and between their husbands--this installment of the cousins' adventures is another satisfying blend of magic, mystery, adventure, humor, and romance.

Editorial Reviews

The epistolary cousins of Sorcery and Cecelia and The Grand Tour are back! Ten years have passed, and sweetly bumbling Kate and headstrong Cecy have settled into their marriages with Thomas and James. While all seems quiet on the domestic front, trouble is percolating in early-19th-century England. The advent of railways has brought with it unexpected complications: In addition to smoke-belching engines and clattering passenger cars, these mechanical intruders have destabilized the entire ancient realm of underground magic, endangering the entire British Isles. As in previous books, authors Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer convey both realism and superrealism in their quaint missives. A treat that must be sampled.
Children's Literature - Judy Crowder
Cecelia and her cousin/best friend Kate live in Regency England. At first glance they appear to live an upper class life typical of the times. They have mixed with the highest society, mingled with royalty, even encountered such historic figures as Beau Brumell and the Duke of Wellington. But they are also magicians or wizards. In this third book about Kate and Cecily, it has been ten years since their adventures in The Grand Tour. Both are married with children and their lives revolve around their husbands' work, running their estates, and supervising nannies, who, though competent, have their hands full with lively offspring, especially since they are showing signs of inherited magical gifts. In their letters to each other, these two young women have more questions than news: why is Kate's sister visiting when she should be busy in London at the height of the social season, and where is her husband? Who is the mysterious prowler that has gotten past Cecelia's protective spells around the grounds of her home? And what about the missing Prussian, Herr Schellen, whom Kate and husband Thomas are assigned to locate? Since this book is part of a continuing adventure, it does not stand alone well. The book is full of romance, mystery, and whimsy but the letter format, combined with the Jane Austin-like language and style, are nearly impossible to follow for all but the dedicated and mature readers who have read the first two books in the series. Reading the first chapter—letter—of this book is like walking into the festivities of a family reunion—a family to which you do not belong. A summary or who-is-who chart would have been very helpful. Having a dictionary thatincludes archaic British terms would definitely come in handy.
VOYA - Ann Welton
In this sequel to the authors' two previous books, The Grand Tour (Harcourt, 2004/VOYA December 2004) and Sorcery and Cecelia (2003/VOYA June 2003), cousins Kate and Cecelia are happily married, proper Victorian housewives-well, almost, if one ignores the decidedly loose-cannon nature of Cecelia's magically gifted twins and the fact that Kate's husband is a wizard; not to mention that the spell Kate employs to keep her hair up is one sure thing. When a German magician disappears while investigating some problems with a railroad line, Cecy's husband, James, is called in to investigate by the Duke of Wellington. Kate is left minding all the children in bucolic Skeynes as Cecy and James head for the North Country. But the disappearance has repercussions that impact all parties, as Kate's scatterbrained sister, Georgy, comes to Skeynes, one of the children goes missing and is found with yet another mysterious child, and several people find themselves turned into dogs. The world building of this alternative England has depth and credibility, and the characterization is solid and believable. The wry, tongue-in-cheek humor is effective, and the plot line is intriguing. Nonetheless one should not attempt to read this book without reading the previous titles. The cousins' past is reconstructed throughout the course of the narrative, but the epistolary style dictates that background is given slowly, and the arch Victorian phrasing may frustrate some readers. Buy where earlier books in the series have a following.
School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up
In this third magical mystery involving two letter-writing cousins, the women's quiet lives of domesticity are interrupted when the Duke of Wellington asks Cecelia's husband to look into the disappearance of a German magician in the north of England. Cecelia and James hurry to investigate, leaving Kate and her husband to care for their six children. The story is told in the form of the correspondence between the wives as well as the husbands, until the mystery is solved. Readers may be slightly disappointed to find that Cecelia and, especially, Kate are not quite as intrepid as they were in their previous adventures, leaving much of the investigative work to other characters, and at times merely reporting events rather than instigating them. Yet some of the sparkle remains, and fans of the first two books will certainly enjoy revisiting these delightful characters. Suggest this Harry-Potter-meets-Jane-Austen series to romantic-fantasy readers, but strongly encourage them to read the earlier ones first.
—Jennifer StubbenCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Another delightful epistolary fantasy set in an alternate, magical 19th-century England. A decade after their joint honeymoon, domestic concerns and magical studies have replaced international intrigue for the irrepressible cousins Cecy and Kate. But a summons from the great wizard Wellington sets off a new, dangerous, investigation. Soon, both ladies (and their enterprising spouses) are up to their ears in missing surveyors, tangled ley lines, railway steam engines, ensorcelled stone circles, thaumaturgic threats left over from Cromwell, eager spellcasters in the nursery, an annoyingly badly behaved runaway duchess, a suspiciously well-behaved abandoned child and sundry unsavory characters (to say nothing of the superfluous dogs). The letter format manages to tie off the copious plot threads with neat dispatch, and readers will be captivated by the engaging, headstrong Cecy and reliable (if maladroit) Kate, and charmed by the unexpected twists that a touch of fantasy yields in familiar Regency tropes. The more mature interests of the characters make this a good choice for the adult section as well. A thoroughly enchanting confection. (Fantasy. YA)
From the Publisher

"A thoroughly enchanting confection."--Kirkus Reviews
"The sparkle remains, and fans of the first two books will certainly enjoy revisiting these delightful characters."--School Library Journal
Children's Literature - Chelsea Weithman
Cousins Cecelia and Kate are constant pen pals keeping each other up-to-date with their busy lives. Both married to well-respected magicians, they realize that their children are becoming curious about the art. The Duke of Wellington requests James and Cecelia to travel in search of a powerful German magician. The magician has recently gone missing while inquiring about the new railways across England. As such, they leave their four children with Kate and her husband, Thomas, who are having adventures of their own. Kate's sister unexpectedly arrives because a man threatened her life through her husband; a mysterious stranger kidnapped young Edward, and a young girl named Drina was rescued along with Edward. The novel is written as the correspondence between Kate and Cecelia and their husbands. The description and use of language set the story in the early 1800s. While convincing, the language makes the story sometimes dull as the characters recount their daily lives. Younger readers may feel discouraged by the dense text and format of the novel and the numerous characters. The magic and spell-casting of the book is not as entertaining as in Harry Potter but rather subdued, and it proves less interesting in comparison. The story takes some time to develop, but it will appeal to most readers after they get into it. Reviewer: Chelsea Weithman

Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Cecelia and Kate Series , #3
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)
1090L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

~ 24 FEBRUARY 1828

Dearest Kate,

 It was splendid to see you and Thomas and your boys again this fortnight past. (And I still think that Baby Laurence is the image of his papa, even if he is still quite bald. In deference to Thomas’s feelings, however, I shall not mention the resemblance again until little Laurence is old enough to have grown some hair.) My only regret is that we could not stay longer at Skeynes. You have turned it into such a comfortable home that I do not wonder at your reluctance to go up to London, though I do hope James and I can coax you all to visit Tangleford next summer, so that we may return your hospitality.

 Two weeks was hardly enough time to catch up on all your doings of the past few months. I know James was as sorry to leave as I, and as for the children— well, you saw how Baby Alexander cried when we left, and Diana and the twins all sulked for two days straight. (I had expected it of Diana, who is only four, after all, but I had hoped that at the age of nine, the twins would have grown out of such tricks. Apparently it takes longer than that.)

 Speaking of the twins, I am afraid Arthur has confessed that he and Eleanor sneaked into Thomas’s study on the last day of our visit. Eleanor has been suffering from a trifling ailment since we left— no more than a bad cold, but Arthur was convinced that it must be the result of some dreadful magical protection they had triggered, and so he poured out the whole story to James and me the night after we arrived home. I do not know where he can have come by such a notion, but he was so earnest in his concern that both James and I had difficulty in keeping a sober expression. I promise you that we did so, however, as neither of us wishes to encourage him to undertake any similar adventures in the future. Poking about in a wizard’s study is serious business.

 The reason I mention it is that Thomas may need to readjust his warding spells. (I am still not entirely sure how Arthur got past them; please do let me know, if you should discover it.) And I wish you would advise me whether Thomas maintains a continuous scrying spell on the gazing ball in his study. Arthur claims to have seen things in it, and if he is neither making up tales nor using an existing spell, I may need to find him a magic tutor who can oversee more advanced work than his present teacher.

 James is going up to London to consult with the Duke of Wellington. (I suppose I ought now to say with the prime minister, but I am not yet accustomed to thinking of him so.) Though I am not sure what the duke has in mind this time, I am quite pleased for him by this turn of events. James becomes bored and most unhappy when he does not have enough to do, which is a habit I am sure he picked up on the Peninsula when he was aide-de-camp to Lord Wellington. And whatever the duke needs, I doubt it will be boring!

 At first, I had hoped to go to London along with James, but both Baby Alexander and Diana show signs of coming down with Eleanor’s cold, and I really cannot leave Nurse to manage them all alone, most especially if Arthur is going to remain in good health. For he is sure to get into some scrape while her back is turned, and she has a decided partiality for him that sometimes persuades her to be less firm with him than she ought.

 Indeed, I am feeling nearly as sulky as the children, for I had been looking forward to seeing Aunt Elizabeth and Mr. Wrexton again. What with Mr. Wrexton’s work at the Royal College of Wizards, they are so firmly settled in London now that it is nearly impossible to induce them to visit outside the city. (I cannot bring myself to call Mr. Wrexton “Uncle Michael,” though he and Aunt Elizabeth have been married these ten years. I suppose I have never quite got out of the habit of thinking of him as my magic tutor.) I especially wanted Mr. Wrexton’s opinion of the discursive-chain cantrips Thomas and I had that disagreement about.

 I had also hoped to order a few gowns in advance of the Season, and to review the redecorating of our town house (for you know that now the duke is become prime minister, we shall have all kinds of distinguished persons visiting, so it is most important that everything be properly done).

 Now it must all be left to the last minute, for James is quite hopeless at such things. I daresay he would not notice even if the drapers put crimson drapes in the blue salon. It is most provoking, and of course I cannot complain of it to James. So I write to you instead.
~ 25 FEBRUARY 1828

My dear Thomas,

 The eldest of my young hellions has confessed to sneaking into your study near the end of our visit. The offense has already met with suitable punishment, but I trust you will let me know of any damage or disruption that he has not seen fit to mention. He has not provided any reason for the excursion other than a desire “to see a real wizard’s study.” Sometimes I think he takes after my dear Cecelia a little too much.

 I am off to London as soon as may be. Wellington’s summons was waiting for me when we arrived home. I am not yet entirely sure what the business is about, which will tell you a good deal right there. Unless he has good reason, Old Hookey has always been clear about his orders; I infer that the matter is serious. I need not tell you to be discreet.
 Cecelia stays here with the children. I shall write when I know more, and tell you what I can.
Copyright © 2006 by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical,
including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

Requests for permission to make copies of any part of the work should be submitted online at contact or mailed to the following address: Permissions Department, Harcourt, Inc.,
6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida 32887-6777.

Meet the Author

PATRICIA C. WREDE has written many novels, including Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot and The Grand Tour coauthored with Caroline Stevermer, as well as the four books in her own series, the Enchanted Forest Chronicles. She lives near Minneapolis, Minnesota.

CAROLINE STEVERMER has written several books for adults and one other fantasy novel for young readers, River Rats. Ms. Stevermer also lives in Minneapolis.

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The Mislaid Magician or Ten Years After 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A fun read. Lots of depth to the plot and the characters. A great story for expanding your vocabulary, too. I recommend it to anyone studying for the SAT or other similar standardized tests.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've enjoyed all 3 books. This one is a nice turn on the first. A peek into the characters 10 yrs later, and Cece the adventurer, with Kate at home.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
CathyWV More than 1 year ago
Strongly recommend - good sense of character and humor, as well as a good mystery!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I remember when I first read Sorcery and Cecelia, or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot. When opening it, I groaned 'I judged the book by its cover--took a chance, and bought it without flipping through'. From my experience, books with letters were dead boring. I was definitely surprised, though, when the 'boring' book became one of my favorites, filled with magic and twisting plots. It was definitely a great book, and I couldn't wait for its sequel--which was just as good 'though a little more mature'. Again, I couldn't wait for The Mislaid Magician, or Ten Years After. While it was, as always, great, it wasn't as good as the first two. There was adventure and secret plots, but a lot of it was about the usuals in a couple's life--children, cleaning, nannies, maids, etc. Not as much excitement. I recommend this book, but to really get these two authors' style, you have to read the other two.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I¿ve read a lot of books that are told in letters or e-mails. Usually it¿s a gimmick, one author playing both sides as it were. But having Ms. Wrede and Ms. Stevermer write the letters for their characters gives this book, as well as the others, a much more authentic feel. Cecelia and Kate have such separate real voices it`s hard to believe that all is really just fiction. It¿s a lot like stumbling across your great-grandmother's letters in the attic - but instead of just having part of the story you get to enjoy it all.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Third book of Kate And Cecelia's Legacy provided the same amount of humor and adventure as the first two, but not alot of romance. Yet, it wasn't as satisfying as the first book. It didn't keep me up all night reading even though it does have a wonderful plot. Letters from James and Thomas gave some dept to their characters, but it seems like the delivery of Kate's and Cecelia's characters wasnt' was powerful as the first one.