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The Mislaid Magician: or Ten Years After    by Patricia C. Wrede & Caroline Stevermer order for
Mislaid Magician
by Patricia C. Wrede
Order:  USA  Can
Harcourt, 2006 (2006)

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* * *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer have picked up their writing partnership again and the result is a new Cecy and Kate adventure, The Mislaid Magician, or Ten Years After: 'Being the Private Correspondence Between Two Prominent Families Regarding a Scandal Touching the Highest Levels of Government and the Security of the Realm'. Once again, they follow the form used in Sorcery and Cecelia and write letters back and forth to deliver the story rather than the diary form of The Grand Tour.

Ten years have passed since Cecy and Kate's joint honeymoon adventure with their beloved husbands. Now, however, two broods of children have been added to the mix. The past ten years seem to have been peaceful for the two adventure-prone cousins, but that peace is about to be disrupted. James, Cecy's spouse, has been called by Lord Wellington to investigate the disappearance of a magician/surveyor who was studying the new railroads. Cecy is requested to join him as there might be some connection between the railroads and nearby ley lines, which she as a magician could detect.

Forced to gallivant all over the country-side, Cecy must leave her four children with Kate, thus disrupting both of their chances to attend the Season in London. While Cecy is off puzzling out stretching ley lines and suspicious couples, Kate's oldest boy is the object of a kidnapping meant for her sister Georgy, who has mysteriously shown up on Kate's doorstep sans husband. Upon rescuing the mischievous boy, Kate's household gains yet another guest, a quiet, well-bred girl held prisoner by the same kidnapper. Both cousins have quite a number of mysteries on their hands during what should have a been a relaxing London Season.

Due to the nature of the technique Wrede and Stevermer used to write The Mislaid Magician, there is little or no exposition. Because of this, I highly recommend reading the Cecy and Kate adventures in order, for the greatest enjoyment of the story. Other than this one downside, the format Wrede and Stevermer use is highly engaging as the reader gets to read the private correspondence between Cecy (Wrede) and Kate (Stevermer). Wrede and Stevermer have branched out some in this book by also writing as James and Thomas (Kate's husband). This creates great fun as what the women write and what the men write about the same incidents are completely different in style.

Aside from intimately conveying the characters of Cecy, Kate, and now James and Thomas, Wrede and Stevermer have a flair for presenting the feel of the time period. The early 1800s has an air of fancy about it that has only been perpetuated by the Romance industry and the popularity of the Regency Romance genre. Wrede and Stevermer have tapped into that wonderfully, creating, in essence, a Regency Fantasy for Young Adults (and many fantasy-loving older adults, too).

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