Magical intrigue, murderous plots, and matching gloves.
Sorcery & Cecelia (or, to give it its full title, Sorcery & Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot: Being the Correspondence of Two Young Ladies of Quality Regarding Various Magical Scandals in London and the Country) is a Historical Fantasy novel by Caroline Stevermer and Patricia C. Wrede, set in an Alternate History version of Regency Englandwith wizards. It is an Epistolary Novel, consisting of the letters written by Cecelia to her cousin Kate and Kate's letters to Cecelia.Kate is in London being overshadowed by her socially adept and flighty younger sister, and becomes entangled in a feud between the mysterious Marquis of Schofield and the even more mysterious Miranda, who is probably a sorceress. Cecelia is initially chagrined to be stuck at home in Essex, but soon finds plenty to occupy herself, some of which turns out to have a bearing on Kate's problems in London.The first draft of the novel was written as a game between the two authors: Stevermer wrote Kate's letters and sent them to Wrede, and Wrede wrote Cecelia's letters and sent them to Stevermer.Sorcery and Cecelia was originally published in 1988. It was brought back into print in 2003, followed by two newly written sequels, known in the short form as The Grand Tour and The Mislaid Magician.Stevermer has also written a solo children's novel in the same setting, Magic Below Stairs, set in the Marquis of Schofield's servants' quarters.
Sorcery and Cecelia and its sequels provide examples of:
In The Mislaid Magician, Kate thinks that she isn't a very good magician because she can only do three things with magic - locate her husband and/or children no matter where they are, contact her husband and/or children no matter where they are, and keep her hair up. Cecelia points out that those are the only three things that has any interest in doing that she needs magic to do.
Don't Tell Mama: Only without mothers, it's usually "Don't Tell Aunt Charlotte/Elizabeth."
Don't You Dare Pity Me!: At the beginning of her Season, Kate has no partners at her first dance except for one who seemed rather distracted during the dance and immediately afterward claimed his dance with her sister, making the sister's magnanimity a little too blatant for Kate.
Dumb Blonde: Georgy is often referred to by Cecy and Kate as a peagoose. In all fairness, she never challenges that perception.
The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Georgy is the pretty one. Kate is the smart one (not that Aunt Charlotte acknowledges this). Of course, Kate is perfectly pretty herself, it's only that Georgy is so beautiful as to be the talk of the Ton.
Magical Society: There is a Royal Society of wizards, comparable to the Royal Society of scientists in real history; the induction of a character into the Society is a key plot point in the first book.
Maiden Aunt: Charlotte and Elizabeth. Elizabeth later marries Mr. Wrexton.
Plot-Induced Stupidity: When Kate and Cecy find out that some of Sir Hilary's magic got into the chocolate pot Thomas was using to focus his spells, and Sir Hilary is using the connection to drain Thomas, they repeatedly wonder why Thomas didn't just smash the thing and make a new one. Cecy makes up for lost time by doing exactly that.
Proper Lady: Dorothea Griscomb, to the point the Cecelia thinks the girl a little dull, even if she is very sweet.
The Unfavourite: Kate, who is always shuffled aside by her guardian Aunt Charlotte in favor of Georgy, blamed for Georgy's misbehavior such as gambling and made to wear the same clothes even when they don't suit her at all. At the end of The Enchanted Chocolate Pot, Kate snaps back, stands up for herself and moves out.
Upper-Class Twit: Oliver. His idea of riveting conversation is to discuss the knotting of a tie.