By Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer
Since they were children, cousins Kate and Cecelia have been inseparable. But in 1817, as they approach adulthood, their families force them to spend a summer apart. As Cecelia fights boredom in her small country town, Kate visits London to mingle with the brightest lights of English society. At the initiation of a powerful magician into the Royal College of Wizards, Kate finds herself alone with a mysterious witch who offers her a sip from a chocolate pot. When Kate refuses the drink, the chocolate burns through her dress and the witch disappears. It seems that strange forces are convening to destroy a beloved wizard, and only Kate and Cecelia can stop the plot. But for two girls who have to contend with the pressures of choosing dresses and beaux for the debuts, deadly magic is only one of their concerns.
The tone of this book reminded me of my favorites by Diana Wynne Jones, the dry wit and subtle way the characters insert themselves into one another’s lives and the love story unfolds in the most delightful way possible. This novel is written in a series of letters between cousins Kate and Cecelia, of course the letters are very prose-positive so it’s more of a perspective switch than letters. Whenever there is a perspective switch almost always there ends up being one character that I favor over another, and Kate was who I was more anxious to read about. Cecelia had the stronger personality, but Kate’s story was more intriguing because of her gentle personality and the big fiasco she is caught up in. Part of the fun of reading this is seeing how Cecelia and Kate’s stories come together in the end. This is the story of two intelligent women working together to save the people they love. It’s a fun romp of a tale and one I’d recommend if you enjoy regency romances with a mix of magic and fantasy. Top notch.
P.S. This book was previously published as The Enchanted Chocolate Pot. It is the result of two lovely authors writing letters to each other in real life making a story out of their combined imaginations.
This gets a 4 out of 5 above average and great fun.