The Mislaid Magician or Ten Years Afterby Patricia C. Wrede, Caroline Stevermer
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.
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.
"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
Read an Excerpt
~ 24 FEBRUARY 1828
TANGLEFORD HALL, KENT
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
TANGLEFORD HALL, KENT
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
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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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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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.
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.
Strongly recommend - good sense of character and humor, as well as a good mystery!
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.
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.
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.