Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Grand Tour

Naturally, I had to follow up Sorcery and Cecilia with The Grand Tour. This sequel, though, loses much of the sparkle (limited though it was) of the original.

Kate and Cecilia are now on a grand tour of Europe together. Together is the problem. The first book is epistolary, but the two can’t write letters to each other when they are traveling companions.

Wrede and Stevermer try to solve the problem by having Kate write journal entries and Cecilia write a police statement. Yet, because the characters no longer interact in their writing, their relationship loses much of its chemistry.

I am also hyper-aware of Wrede and Stevermer’s writing style in this book. Although each author maintains the voice of one character, I can sense them encroaching on each other’s stories.

There are honestly times when I feel Kate is in love with Cecily’s husband and vice versa. Kate, for example, goes into great detail describing James in her journal. And Cecily and Thomas go off together to save the day—really? during the regency period? They may be cousins and the best of friends, but there are some (unintentionally) creepy undertones in their relationships.

Clearly, I am not delighted by this second book. And even though I put the third installment, The Mislaid Magician or Ten Years After, on hold, I never bothered to pick it up from the library.

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