Saturday, 23 March 2013
#CBR5 Book 30. "The Mislaid Magician or Ten Years After" by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer
Rating: 3.5 stars
The Mislaid Magician is the third book in a young adult series about cousins Cecilia (or Cecy) and Kate, who live in an alternate Regency England where some people have magical powers. Over the course of the first two books, they meet their husbands, go on a Grand Tour of Europe, and solve various mysteries that are magical in nature. If you want to be entirely unspoiled with regards to whom the young ladies end up with, you might want to avoid this review. The book works fine if you haven't read the other books too, it's been nearly a decade since I read the first two, and I had no trouble following the plot.
The book is epistolary in nature, following the correspondence between Cecy and Kate, and between their husbands James and Thomas, while Cecy and James are off in the north of England investigating the mysterious disappearance of a German magician and railway surveyor on behalf of the Duke of Wellington, while Kate and Thomas take care of their four children at their estate. Kate's sister Georgy, the Duchess of Waltham unexpectedly comes to stay with them, giving no indication of why she's left her husband. After a dramatic turn of events, Kate's son gets spirited away in a gypsy carriage, and when they locate him, he is in the company of a young girl, whose identity is a further mystery to be solved. Her clothes are expensive and her manners impeccable, but as she refuses to speak for much of her early stay, it's difficult for Kate and Thomas, or the many children to ascertain whom her family are or where she belongs.
As I mentioned, I haven't read the previous two books in the series Sorcery & Cecilia or The Grand Tour for a very long time, and this is one of those books I've had on my shelf for years and years, and just never got round to reading. Still, I remember the first two books fondly, and the third book was a cozy and pleasant, but not exactly thrilling read. I suspect the book will be more enjoyable if you've read the earlier ones, and know the characters and their former adventures, but at the same time, each of the books work as self-contained units as well.