Kirkus Reviews QR Code
THE GRAND TOUR by Patricia C. Wrede


by Patricia C. Wrede & Caroline Stevermer

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-15-204616-X
Publisher: Harcourt

A frothy follow–up to Sorcery and Cecelia (2003) serves another sweet syllabub of historical fantasy. Cecy and Kate—Our Heroines—accompany their brand-new husbands to the Continent, expecting only a delightful extended honeymoon. Inevitably, the irrepressible cousins tumble immediately into a sinister sorcerous plot, which the combined magical talents of three wizards, the courage of Wellington’s former aide, and even the cunning of their assorted servants may be insufficient to foil. Kate and Cecy remain intrepid, competent, and charming withal, and their doting spouses are pattern-cards of perfection. It’s great fun to watch the authors tweak the tropes of Regency romance into a fantastical mode; but it takes the plot forever to creak into motion, and the atmosphere of menace suffers when the protagonists seem to worry more about missing gloves than murderous brigands. The epistolary technique, which served the first novel admirably, feels strained and artificial in the sequel; it can be difficult to tell the voices apart. Like the cucumber sandwiches on which the characters nibble, an elegant and refreshing treat, but ultimately unsubstantial. (Fantasy. YA)