Friday, February 28, 2014

The Mislaid Magician or Ten Years After

Patricia C. Wrede & Caroline Stevermer
Completed 2/19/2014, Reviewed 2/23/2014
4 stars

One of the joys of the YA genre is that a story doesn’t have to be too much more than it seems.  Like the first two books in the series, “Magician” is light, fun, and exciting.  This book returns to the form of the epistolary novel, conveying the story through letters.  This time, Kate and Cecelia’s husbands also write a few letters of their own.  The story takes place ten years later.  Kate and Cecelia each have their own families now, and of course, the children get involved in the action as well. Within a few pages I was transported back into the world of these magical families, reading in a BBC series accent, and delighting in the details.

This time around James is called by the Duke of Wellington, now the prime minister of England, to investigate the disappearance of a German magician who was sent to do some surveying for the new railroads being laid throughout the countryside.  Cecelia accompanies him and sends her children to stay with Thomas and Kate.  Along the way, James and Cecelia encounter a magical network called ley lines, stone circles, and a sheepdog.  Thomas and Kate have their own magical hands full when their own son Edward becomes ensnared by a gypsy woman.  Quickly, all the little details become subplots and begin to weave together into a conspiracy that could destroy England itself.

There isn’t much more to say about this book that I haven’t said in my reviews of the first two books.  I had a terrific time reading it.  Wrede and Stevermer have again created a wonderful novel.  It saddens me that the books are currently out of print.  With the success of Austen films and the Austen Zombie novels, one would think that the Kate and Cecelia series would remain popular and in print.  If anything, I hope that my enthusiasm for the series will help renew the interest of the genre fiction public.  These books won’t change the world, but they will be a bright spot in anyone’s reading list.

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