The Grand Tour
Patricia C. Wrede and
In this sequel to Sorcery and Cecelia, Kate and Cecy are headed off to the Continent for a honeymoon with their husbands Thomas and James. They have barely started, however, when a mysterious woman hands Kate a vial of the long-lost magical chrism that can anoint a man true king of France. Soon the four newlyweds are investigating a string of strange occurrences that point to some kind of plot.
I enjoyed Sorcery and Cecelia, but I thought that The Grand Tour was a definite step ahead. Kate and Cecy seemed much better characterized, though that could have been partly because they were together and experiencing the same events, so one could see them reacting differently. (Thomas, however, continues to be my favorite character.) The mystery is satisfyingly twisty, and the way that magic ties into historical events that happened in our world as well is quite cool. Having recently been to many of the places that Kate and Cecy visit, I did wish that the authors had put in a bit more local color; there were also a couple of minor plot-threads that didn’t go anywhere. Nevertheless, this was a competently written and highly enjoyable book. (Plus, it features a guest appearance by the League of the Pimpernel! How can I not love it?)
Morally, there’s not a lot to say about this book. I’m giving it a B- because Thomas uses a spell to force someone to answer questions, and I would argue that he’s on shaky ethical grounds there. Otherwise, it’s fine. Content-wise, there isn’t anything more than the first book, unless you count some glancing references to marital acts. Since they were all marital, I wasn’t bothered.