Sorcery and Celia, or the Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer is the first book in a trilogy. The book takes place in Victorian England but magic exists. Most of the book is told through letters between two cousins, Celia and Kate. It took me a minute to get used to the writing style since both characters speak in first person because they are personal letters that are written but once I got used to it the story flowed easily. Kate is in London partaking of the London Season while Celia is in the country which is why the women are writing to each other. Right after Kate arrives in London she is mistaken for another character and is almost killed by poisoned chocolate. Kate and Celia spend the rest of the novel trying to figure out why she was almost poisoned and as they get closer to the answer both their lives are threatened numerous times. During the investigation both women meet men who start to play a large part in the mystery and in their own lives.
I love the friendship the two women share and the bond that exists between them that is evident in their letters. It is nice to see such a friendship between two strong women. I also love the women’s attitude toward their family members. It reminded me of my own crazy family, where an aunt drives everyone nuts but you love them anyway. The story brings to light the foibles and weaknesses the two women have in addition to their strengths and I couldn’t help but think of the saying that we admire people for their strengths but love them for their weaknesses. It is the way the women handle their weaknesses, while acknowledging them, that make the characters so endearing (in addition to their great wit).
This is one of my favorite series and I have read it several times. I highly recommend it the entire series.