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Hardcover The Mislaid Magician or Ten Years After Book

ISBN: 0152055487

ISBN13: 9780152055486

The Mislaid Magician or Ten Years After

(Book #3 in the Cecelia and Kate Series)

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

Ten years have passed since Kate and Cecy married Thomas and James, and England is now being transformed by the first railways. When the Duke of Wellington asks James to look into the sudden disappearance of a German railway engineer, James and Cecy's search reveals a shocking truth: The railway lines are wreaking havoc with ancient underground magic, which could endanger the very unity of England. Meanwhile, Kate has her hands full taking care of...

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Magic and intrigue in the British countryside

It's 1828, 10 years since the eventful honeymoon trip chronicled in The Grand Tour, and James and Cecy Tarleton and Thomas and Kate Schofield have settled down to a quiet and contented life in the country. The Tarletons have four children--twins Arthur and Eleanor, nine; Diana, four; and Alexander, an infant. The Schofields have two sons, Edward, six, and baby Laurence. Then the gentlemen's old commanding officer, the Duke of Wellington, recently created Prime Minister, gets in touch. A German magician/engineer, Herr Schellen, has mysteriously disappeared, and the Duke wants James to find him. Since James has no magical skills at all, Cecy must accompany him, which means that the four young Tarletons have to be parked with their "Aunt" Kate--whose sister, the beautiful and fashionable Georgina (now married to Daniel, the Duke of Waltham), has arrived without warning at the very start of the London Season. Then it turns out that several of the children have inherited the parental gift and are experimenting with magic themselves. While Kate tries to cope with this juvenile precocity and with her sister's moods--plus a mysterious prowler who seems immune to her attempts to bespell him--the Tarletons become entangled with a sinister brother and sister, the fittingly named Webbs, whose ancestral home is a nexus of the mysterious ley lines Herr Schellen was supposed to be investigating in connection with the new railroads now being lain across England. When Edward Schofield is inadvertantly kidnapped by what appears to be a female tinker (she isn't), Kate also finds herself responsible for a little girl who not only has a regal bearing suitable to a queen but refuses to talk to any adult. (If you've read any amount of English history you'll guess well ahead of time who Drina really is.) Comic transformations and a vividly described magical duel are among the high points of the tale, which, like its predecessors, is skilfully paced and wonderfully complex, yet in the end is neatly resolved, and also increases our understanding of the magic of this just-slightly-alternate world. With a copyright date of 2006 and the promise that the children will be put in charge of competent magical tutors, we may well look for yet another volume in the adventures of Kate, Cecy, and their families.

About on parr with the second book

It might be that I read the second two books in this series more sporadicly than the first and so I didn't fully grasp the plot, on the other hand I didn't read them as quickly because the plot did not fully grab me. If I could I would probably give it a 3.5 because I didn't find it all that memorable. the first book really made an impression which seems to have been fading ever so slightly with each consequential book. Shifting from how the second book was written this is again in pure letter form, with additional missives from James and Thomas (I agree that they might be a bit excessive and that like in the second where we had more than one person narrating the same set of events it got slightly tedious at times). Again like the second one Ithought it focused too much WAY WAY toomuch on the mechanics of the magic. Not only were James and Cecy bored to tears with ley lines and locomotives, so was I. Those poor characters their plot only got really interesting towards the very end when every one kept turning into dogs. This might be the difference in the strengths of the authors, but I found the Kate and Thomas storyline much more interesting, it was rolicking and moving and less stagnent and technical than Cecy and James. (Ironic since Kate and Thomas stay at home while Cecy and James travel the country side) They have been saddled with the care and keeping of all of Cecy and James' children--alot. In addition they find another child, the almost mute Drina. Thomas is still wonderfully Thomas and writes some of the funniest letters towards the end in regards to a certain dog. Georgy has a plot as well, which I found very amusing (she has a penchant for sappy poetry, how apropos) Still a fun read but I wouldn't put off reading it too long after the first and second because things might get forgotten in the interim.

Fun and funny "correspondence"

Cecilia and Kate are back again in The Mislaid Magician, Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer's third book involving these two fearless women living in regency England. As with the other two books in the series (I'm not sure there is an actual series name for the Cecilia and Kate books), Wrede and Stevermer concocted this novel using the Letter Game, a writing exercise and the formula that worked for their first book, Sorcery and Cecilia. The Mislaid Magician starts off slowly as it sets up the premise for the mystery that Kate, Cecilia and their spouses will be investigating and writing about to each other during the course of the book. In many ways you feel you are reading two seperate stories, with the plot lines coverging only at the end through a character that affects both story lines but only one of the cousins interacts with. While I thoroughly enjoy every Patricia C. Wrede book I can get my hands on, I didn't find The Mislaid Magician as captivating as the first two Kate and Cecilia books. For one thing, this book introduces correspondence between Thomas and James as well as their wives. It took me a while to get used to the extra voices (plus, since it had been awhile since I read the first two books, I had to piece together who was married to who). While it was fun to have their perspectives and their wit, in many ways the authors would have been just fine with letters between Cecilia and Kate only. One aspect of the Letter Game (which the authors observed in Sorcery and Cecilia and I'm assuming they have followed for the sequels) is that the authors are not allowed to discuss their plot ideas with each other. That aspect of the Letter Game, to me, really came out in The Mislaid Magician. It felt like the only thing tying the two stories together was the shared Mr. Scarlet - and even then, it wasn't much of a plot fuser. I had to reread the section to make sure I didn't miss anything, since I was confused as to how Kate's and Cecilia's situations worked together. My conclusion was: they really didn't. It felt like the authors were rushing and needed something to make the story unified. But if you've read the other Kate and Cecilia stories (or you like Patricia C. Wrede), it's worth your time to read this book. If she and Stevermer continue with this series, I hope they make the next book about the children's adventures. I have a feeling Kate's and Cecilia's children would make for some great letter content!

Third time's the charm

With this book Wrede and Stevermer are back in form. Ten years after their honeymoon, and now with children of their own who are discovering magic, James and Cecy are asked to investigate a missing German magician. What they find is an ancient magic that is being manipulated in a way that could destroy the country. This book, like the others in the series, is written as a series of letters. Some characters from the previous books appear in this one, but this is a whole new story. It is enjoyable, and while not quite as witty as the first book in the series, is still a much better read than the second book and its interesting to see how different, and how similar, everyone is now that they are all grown up. This book can be read as a stand alone novel, but you'll enjoy it much more if you've read the other books in the series first.
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