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Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Mislaid Magician or Ten Years After by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermere

Also known as Kate and Ceceila #3.   Young Adult, Fantasy series.

From 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.

As noted above, this is a continuation in the adventures of Kate and Cecilia, now grown with children. Cecy and her husband are summoned to go find a missing surveyor, and leave their children in the hands of Kate and her spouse. What Cecy and her husband find is more than just missing person. There is strong magic afoot! Kate and Cecilia continue to correspond by letter, each letter a chapter from that characters perspective.  We have some correspondence between James and Thomas, but it really didn't seem to add anything to the story other than remind the reader that they were still there.

As a Young Adult book, this is an enjoyable sequel to the first two books, but it really is not as strong as its predecessors were from a ‘grown-ups’ point of view. It also seemed to lack some of the charm from the first story and felt a bit forced in places.

If you have youngsters who enjoyed Harry Potter and the like, and if you have pre-teen girls or tween girls who liked Harry Potter, then they might enjoy this series.  

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