The Grand Tour or The Purloined Coronation Regalia

The Grand Tour or The Purloined Coronation Regalia

by Patricia C. Wrede, Caroline Stevermer

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Kate and Cecy and their new husbands, Thomas and James, are off on a leisurely tour of the Continent. But once they arrive in France, strange things start to happen. Cecy receives a mysterious package, Thomas's valet is assaulted, and Kate loses a glove. Soon it becomes clear that the newlyweds have stumbled upon a magical plot to take over Europe, and they must embark on a daring chase to thwart the evil conspiracy. There's likely more trouble ahead—for when you mix Kate and Cecy and magic, who knows what's going to happen next!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780152055561
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 12/01/2011
Series: Cecelia and Kate Series , #2
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 766,912
Product dimensions: 4.50(w) x 7.00(h) x (d)
Lexile: 900L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

PATRICIA C. WREDE has written many novels, including Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot and The Grand Tour coauthored with Caroline Stevermer, as well as the four books in her own series, the Enchanted Forest Chronicles. She lives near Minneapolis, Minnesota.

CAROLINE STEVERMER has written several books for adults and one other fantasy novel for young readers, River Rats. Ms. Stevermer also lives in Minneapolis.

Read an Excerpt


From the deposition of Mrs. James Tarleton to the Joint Representatives of the British Ministry of Magic, the War Office, and the Foreign Office

I suppose that if I were going to blame our involvement on anyone (which I see no reason to do), I would be compelled to say that it was all Aunt Charlotte's fault. If she had not been in such a dreadful temper over Kate's marriage, Kate and Thomas would not have decided to take their wedding journey on the Continent in preference to remaining in England, and James and I would not have gone with them. And then very likely we would never have known anything about any of it.

Kate is my cousin, and now that she is married she is a Marchioness, which is what put our Aunt Charlotte's nose so dreadfully out of joint. Admittedly, Kate said some awful things to Aunt Charlotte, but after the way Aunt Charlotte treated Kate, she deserved every one of them. She made matters worse by hinting that I ought to be as put out as she, because Kate was going to be Lady Schofield and I was only going to be Mrs. Tarleton. So it is her own fault that none of us wished to stay and listen to her nagging.

At first James was dubious about our joining Kate and Thomas on their wedding journey, though he and Thomas are nearly as great friends as Kate and I. I felt compelled to point out that even if we did not accompany them, they would have Lady Sylvia traveling with them at least until they reached Paris. "And if Kate does not object to having her mama-at-law with them, you ought not to be such a high stickler about our going as well. Besides, she and Thomas invited us."

"You mean you cooked up the idea and talked Kate into it, and she persuaded Thomas," James said. "Sometimes you go too far, Cecy."

"I did not!" I said hotly. Which is not to say that I would not have done so if I had thought of it, but I saw no reason to mention that to James. "Kate came to me, I promise you, and it was Thomas's idea, not hers."

"Thomas wants us on his wedding journey?"

"It's our wedding journey, too," I pointed out, feeling rather annoyed. "And I believe he thinks he is doing us a favor."

"A favor?"

"Aunt Charlotte," I said succinctly.

"I am perfectly capable of handling-" James broke off suddenly, looking rather thoughtful. "You're right," he said after a moment. "That does sound like Thomas."

"If you are quite determined, I can tell Kate to tell Thomas that we have other plans," I said. "But since he already knows perfectly well that we haven't-"

"No, no, I'll talk to him," James said hastily. He turned away, muttering something about keeping me out of it, which I chose not to hear.

So James went off to see Thomas, and they ended up in some gaming hell or other and were odiously drunk. (Or so my brother, Oliver, informed me. He was quite scathing about it, until I inquired very sweetly how he had happened to be there to see.) And when I saw James late the next day, he had agreed that when Kate and Thomas and Lady Sylvia left London, we would go along with them.

James made a point of asking who was making the arrangements, and he seemed quite relieved to hear that Lady Sylvia was managing it all. I gather that he does not entirely trust Thomas's skills in that regard.

Naturally, Aunt Charlotte made a number of shocked and uncomplimentary remarks when she discovered what we were planning. As it was none of her affair, James and I ignored her. After all, Aunt Elizabeth did not see anything amiss about it, and she is at least as high a stickler as Aunt Charlotte. (Well, actually, what Aunt Elizabeth said was that if going on a wedding journey together was the oddest thing the four of us ever did, Aunt Charlotte should be grateful.) Papa, of course, was delighted, and gave Kate and me each a long list of antiquities that he said we must see (most of them quite unsuitable, but I dare say that didn't occur to him).

The wedding was rather small, as we held it barely three weeks after the announcements appeared, but it was most elegant. James and Thomas stood up for each other, and Kate and I were each other's maids of honor, and Papa gave both of us away, since Kate's Papa has been dead these five years. I must confess that at the time I somewhat regretted the haste and the quietness of the ceremony, but I would have gone to much greater lengths in order to be married along with dear Kate. Upon reflection, however, I see that it was a very good thing we were so quick about matters. If we had waited, Aunt Charlotte would probably have unbent and begun speaking to Kate again, and then she would certainly have tried to bully Kate into wearing a wedding gown identical to mine (which was Brussels lace over cream satin), and it would not have done at all. Kate is far too short to look well in the styles I wear, but she was perfectly stunning in the white silk brocade that she and I and Lady Sylvia picked out.

Kate was a little nervous before the ceremony started; I believe she was afraid she would trip while she was walking up the aisle, or become entangled in her veil, or tear the hem out of her gown. Nothing of the sort happened, and I am quite sure she forgot to worry as soon as she saw Thomas waiting for her. She looked very happy indeed, and positively floated down the aisle. I am afraid I didn't pay too much attention to Kate after that, because it was my turn to walk up the aisle and I was looking at James.

The wedding breakfast afterward was a sumptuous affair. Neither my brother, Oliver, nor Aunt Charlotte could find anything to turn up their noses about, but none of us wished to linger. Finally, a footman came to say that the carriages were at the door, and we said our good-byes. Aunt Elizabeth hugged us both and gave us each a pair of pearl earrings, which she had enchanted so that they would never fall out or get lost. Papa (who was beginning to look vaguely rumpled already) gave me a bottle of brandy (in case any of us should be carriage-sick) and another list of antiquities he had forgotten to include the first time. Oliver, to my complete astonishment, gave me a hug that did severe damage to his cravat and promised James and me one of Thunder's foals. Aunt Charlotte sniffed and said she hoped none of us would regret it, and then presented Kate and me with identical boxes of starched linen handkerchiefs. Kate immediately found a use for one; her sister, Georgina (who has always been something of a watering pot), had already soaked her own handkerchief, and Kate was too kind to let her continue dabbing at her eyelashes with a soggy ball.

We escaped at last, climbed into our carriages, and started off. Lady Sylvia travels in the first style of elegance. She had a carriage for herself (I thought it was out of kindness, to keep from invading the privacy of the newlyweds, but Kate told me later that her carriage is specially sprung), one for each couple, two more for the servants, and a sixth that was completely filled with baggage (most of it Lady Sylvia's, as Kate and I had not had sufficient time to assemble much in the way of bride-clothes). Most of the servants were Lady Sylvia's, too. James had brought his valet and Thomas had brought a man named Piers, who he said filled the same office, but neither Kate nor I had had the opportunity to engage a maid. Lady Sylvia seemed to think that we would do far better to wait until we reached Paris to replenish our wardrobes and hire personal servants, and we saw no reason whatever to disagree with her.

Lady Sylvia was eager to return to France, so instead of taking the journey in easy stages, we went straight to Dover. Despite all her planning, we were not able to board a packet that night; the winds were against us, and no boats could cross the Channel until they changed. So we spent the night at a small inn in Dover. (Kate was quite thoroughly taken aback when the proprietor addressed her as "Lady Schofield.")

The following morning the wind had changed, so after Thomas and James finished arguing about who was to settle up at the inn (each of them insisted on paying the whole himself), we all went down to the docks. It was cloudy and looked as if it might rain at any moment, but there was a good stiff breeze blowing and the captain of the packet assured us that we would have a quick and easy passage to Calais.

If what we had was a quick and easy passage, I am not at all sure that I wish to return to England until someone invents a spell to whisk people across the Channel without benefit of boats. We were barely under way when I began to feel a bit peculiar. I decided to go and lie down in our cabin, but it did not answer; I was most vilely unwell for nearly the whole of the crossing.

James came in at least once, looking worried, but of course there was nothing he could do. I heard him a few moments later, talking to Thomas outside the cabin.

"Don't fret," Thomas told him, in what I thought was a most unfeeling tone. "Nobody ever dies of seasickness; they only wish they would."

Kate came by just then and made them go away. A little later she returned with a cup half full of something dark and strong-smelling. "Lady Sylvia made this," she told me. "She says it will do you good."

"If you have any friendship for me at all, you will not even speak to me of swallowing anything," I replied.

"If I have to take it away, I shall probably spill it, and someone will slip in it and break a leg," Kate declared. "You had better drink it."

"You haven't spilt anything in ages," I told her. "Not since you and Thomas finally settled things between you." But I drank it anyway, because Kate can be very persistent. It was not nearly as nasty as it looked, and it did help. On her way out of the cabin, Kate tripped over the doorsill, just to prove I was wrong about her spilling things.

Lady Sylvia's potion sent me off to sleep, and when I woke up the boat did not seem to be tossing about quite so much. I was just wondering whether perhaps I might dare to try standing up, when the door of the cabin opened and James came in.

"We've arrived," he told me. "Are you feeling well enough to come ashore?"

"For solid ground under my feet, I can do anything," I said fervently, and swung my feet out of the bunk. My head swam a little, but not enough to stop me. It was only when I reached the deck that I realized my ordeal was not yet over. Despite the multitude of travelers coming to France of late, no one had yet built docks in Calais suitable for receiving them. Instead, the packet stopped some way out from land, and we disembarked into smaller boats to be rowed ashore.

A crowd of workingmen waited on the beach. I thought they meant to carry our luggage, but when I mentioned this, Lady Sylvia said, "They will do that, certainly, but their first duty is to carry us."

"What?" Kate said, alarmed, but just then the boat must have reached some crucial point, for the men surged forward into the sea. They surrounded the rowing boat, shouting incomprehensibly. Having made the crossing many times before, Lady Sylvia rose immediately, stepped up on the seat of the rowboat, and with considerable aplomb seated herself on the shoulders of two of the men. She was borne off immediately, and the rest of us did our best to follow her example, with varying degrees of success. Soon we were deposited onshore, most of us only slightly damp from the sea spray and none the worse for wear (though Kate had somehow contrived to become soaked to the waist, despite Thomas's care in selecting two of the huskiest porters to carry her ashore). The sun was shining out of a clear, blue sky. We were in France.

Copyright © 2004 by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

Requests for permission to make copies of any part of the work should be mailed to the following address: Permissions Department, Harcourt, Inc., 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida 32887-6777.

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The Grand Tour or The Purloined Coronation Regalia 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This tale follows the further adventures of Kate and Cecelia and their husbands. Grown adults will enjoy it, too. Start with Sorcery and Cecelia and work your way through the books in order. Good tales, all, but ones that you can easily read in installments without stayong up all night. Great if you like reading a little before bed.
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
Originally published in 1988, I first read Sorcery and Cecelia after its re-release in 2004. Happily, that meant I didn't have quite as long a wait for a sequel as Kate and Cecy's original fans. Released in 2006, The Grand Tour or The Purloined Coronation Regalia picks up shortly after the end of Sorcery and Cecelia with both cousins newly married and beginning their honeymoons with an English tradition known aptly as the grand tour during which they plan to travel through the great cities of Europe. Like its prequel, this novel also has an extended title to offer further enlightenment as to what the story will actually relate. That title is: Being a Revelation of Matters of High Confidentiality and Greatest Importance, Including Extracts from the Intimate Diary of a Noblewoman and the Sworn Testimony of a Lady of Quality. While the plot of this novel does stand alone, I don't recommend reading this book before the first in the series because it just isn't as fun that way. Part of the great thing about these books is watching the girls grow and tracing the relationships between the characters--things that are harder to do without reading the books in order. (That said, a quick recap: The happily married couples are Kate and Thomas Schofield, Cecy and James Tarleton. My favorite couple is Cecelia and James. Thomas is a wizard, and Cecy is just realizing that she also has a magical aptitude. These novels are written with a variation of the Letter Game. Patricia C. Wrede is Cecelia and Caroline Stevermer is Kate.) Instead of being written in alternating letters, this volume alternates between excerpts from Cecelia's deposition to the Joint Representatives of the British Ministry of Magic, the War Office, and the Foreign office; and excerpts from Kate's . Joining the couples on part of their wedding(s) journey is Lady Sylvia, another wizard of note in England (and Thomas' mother). Expecting a leisurely honeymoon, and the chance to purchase proper bride clothes and secure the services of maids, both Cecelia and Kate are dismayed when their quiet grand tour turns into nothing less than a race to prevent an international conspiracy of Napoleanic proportions. As the couples tour Europe's great antiquities--and meet their fair share of unique tourists--the young women, and their husbands, begin to piece together a plot the likes of which no one could have previously imagined. Like Sorcery and Cecelia this novel once again serves as a lovely homage to Jane Austen. The pacing and tone of The Grand Tour is again reminiscent of Austen's work (or George Eliot's for that matter). Nonetheless, some of the plot did seem more difficult to follow than, say, the first book in this series though the problem was remedied with back-reading. I love these characters unconditionally, in a way I rarely love book characters. Artless, charming, and profoundly entertaining, both Cecelia and Kate are first-rate characters in a first-rate fantasy series.
joeysgretchen More than 1 year ago
This book picks up with CeCy and Kate and their husbands as they travel across Europe. The adventures and misshaps they experience are funny and exciting. The narrative style of this series is wonderful.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is a rteally good book although not as good as the first. wjat i don't get though is the invisibility spell. thomas says that you can't cast that spell without going blind for a while. but in the first book lady sylvia did it and didn't go blind. but this was still a pretty good book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought the book was really great. It showed the couples trying to find the solution and still showed them enjoying their honymoon. I would have like to see more interaction between Cecy and James but other than that it was great.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I decided to buy the second book even though the initial reviews were poor. I was happily suprised to find that I completely disagree with the first two reviews. I found the book difficult to put down and not at all slow. The only complaint the I have is that there is not another book yet. I am really looking foreward to another adventure.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was just as good as the first, if not better. I think that anyone who loves adventure might really enjoy this book.
mabrown2 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the sequel to "Sorcery and Cecelia" and I have to admit it wasn't as good as the first. Still, it was nice to read about these characters again. We got a little more development for Kate and Thomas but poor Cecy and James were left to the imagination in many instances. The action took a little while to build up and for some time I was a bit bored by their travels. It got more exciting as the story progressed though. Not bad but not great.
keely_chace on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This sequel to Sorcery and Cecilia loses much of the magic of the first. It could be due to the fact that Cecilia and Kate are on there wedding journey together, and therefore, are not intimately entertaining each other with their letters over a distance. Instead, we get Kate's recording of the strange events of the trip from her commonplace book, and Cecilia's from her deposition to authorities. What's more, the two of them are such contented newlyweds that they lose most of the girlish sneakiness and defiance that made them such fun characters in the first book. Even so, it's still a pleasant read, and the action gets pretty thrilling in the last 60 pages or so.
the1butterfly on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This one didn't read quite as quickly as "Sorcery and Cecelia", and took a bit longer to have the same pull. There was a mystery, however, that came together in pieces. The cousins and their husbands were still interesting, and I especially liked details like the use of the wedding ring as a focus. The ending was also particularly well put together.
vegaheim on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
part II of "sorcery and cecilia", funny, caroline stevemer is a great writer and so is patricia c. wrede (dealing w/dragons, searching for dragons, calling on dragons,talking to dragons)
Pagemistress on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Kate and Cecy are back, in fine form, and every bit as wonderfully entertaining as in their first adventure. Wrede and Stevermer have dispensed with the epistolary form of the first book, instead reuniting the two formidable cousins for a tour of Europe and allowing each lady to testify directly to her observations and experiences. With a plot that includes magical mysteries, missing crown jewels, and highway robbery, this sequel has a little something for everyone, and is at least as good as, and possibly better than, its predecessor.
jjmcgaffey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's not bad. Fluffy, and I'm sorry they stuck to the gimmick - the diary was marginal (too much focus on details that later became important) and the deposition was way too good. She could not possibly have remembered that sort of stuff so much later. It also made it a bit difficult to tell who was speaking, since both portions were written (of course) in first person - usually I figured it out by which girl was referred to by name (and that was the _other_ one for that section, of course). The coincidences were humongous, the plot was weird and highly convoluted (even in the original form)... Overall, the most enjoyable parts were the trifling ones, where Kate discovered she loved opera or Cecelia expanded her magical repertoire. Or their interactions with their respective husbands. And that's another problem with the gimmick - Kate can put in the personal details, since she's supposed to be writing for herself. Cecelia's part has much less of those enjoyable details, since she was supposed to be writing an official document. Not bad, overall, but slight at best and hobbled by the epistolary gimmick. I probably will read it again - not soon nor expecting marvels, though. Still, it's better than I was thinking - if I regard it as amusing fluff rather than something marvelous, it's quite pleasant. And it is nice to see more of Kate and Cecelia, Thomas and James.
madamepince on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Couldn't get into it!
Nikkles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Grand Tour is a solid book. In parts it is absolutly fabulous, but at other times it seems to lag a bit. While this book is amusing it is not as good as the original of the series, however, it was great to revisit the characters. I feel this lacked some of the suspense of the first book. Thomas and James also got to dominate too much of the action. All and all a pretty good sequel.
SunnySD on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A fine follow-up to Sorcery and Cecelia. Kate, Cecelia and their new husbands get swept up in a plot to do what Napoleon couldn't: conquer all of Europe. Replete with fleas (well, one, although the repeated absence of many is much mentioned), a canal dunking, an Alp crossing, mysterious packages, secret knitted codes, Roman ruins, and lost gloves. Although missing some of the charm of the first installment's letter exchanges, Wrede and Stevermer's use of a day journal and Cecy's deposition following the novel's events is still quite entertaining.
rocalisa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Cousins Kate and Cecy, along with their new husbands (Thomas and James respectively) set off for a honeymoon "Grand Tour" of Europe as this book begins. Thomas' mother, Lady Sylvia, is accompanying them as far as Paris. But their adventures start the moment they cross the Channel into France, when a strange woman leaves an equally strange parcel for Lady Sylvia. This turns out to be the Sainte Ampoule, a piece of the (now unnecessary) coronation regalia of France. Soon after, their party is attacked by highwaymen and the Ampoule is stolen away. This leads to the discover that Lady Sylvia was once (and still is) a member of the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel and that this in unlikely to be the quiet honeymoon that was planned. Visiting a local ancient Roman Temple, Cecy encounters young Theodore Daventer and his tutor, the unpleasant Mr Strangle who appeared in The Enchanted Chocolate Pot. Mr Strangle appears to have performed some equally unpleasant magic ritual and when this is only the first such encounter, all the newlyweds become further suspicious of Mr Strangle and his charge. On reaching Paris, General Wellington informs them that the Ampoule is not the only piece of European coronation regalia to have been stolen recently and charges them, under the guise of continuing their honeymoon tour, to find out just what is going on. Soon the four are getting caught up in magic, both new and ancient, a possible plot to restore Napoleon and, of course, discovering what marriage is all about. Like its predecessor, this book is written in sections by Cecy (Patricia Wrede) and Kate (Caroline Stevermer). Kate is writing in a personal journal, but Cecy is supposedly writing a disposition about their adventures for the (magical) authorities. For something that is supposed to be a report, it is very, very full of personal thoughts and descriptions that really shouldn't be there (I don't think the readers will really want to know every mundane, or even just personal, detail). She also discusses at great length what she is going to use as a focus for her magic. This is supposed to remain a secret so that an unscrupulous magic user cannot take advantage of the knowledge (as happened to Thomas in the first book). Of course, if it really was a stolid report, it would be very boring for the reader. Still, I feel perhaps Wrede should have chosen a different medium for Cecy. The plot of this book is more convoluted that the first one, but it is also well thought out and very clever. I didn't pick up what was going on until the gang discovered it all (in a singularly easy way, I felt) and I certainly didn't pick out who the chief villain was or what their dastardly plan was. Once again, the magic has been woven neatly into this near-history and done very cleverly. Kate's first attempt to build a focus in rather spectacular, given a good explanation of why things didn't go exactly as planned, and is important at the resolution of the story. And if you very want to have great adventures like this, it might be a good idea to learn to knit. All in all, another enjoyable story by Wrede and Stevermer. It isn't likely to change your life, but it is a very nice way to while away a few hours.
montano on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved Cecelia (the first book of this series) but this one failed to hold my interest.
francescadefreitas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I didn't enjoy this book as much as the first one. While each couple was sweet on their own, they were tedious together, and it was difficult to tell the men apart.Telling the story through depositions and diary entries took away the charm of the original story, and it also led to a great deal of repetition. While it was occasionally played for laughs, for example, varying opinions on the opera, this book lacked the chaotic sense fun I had hoped for. I will read the third book, but my expectations have been lowered.
libraryofus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
(Amy) The long-awaited sequel to Sorcery and Cecilia, and well worth the wait. Our heroines are, with their new husbands, off on their wedding trip. But of course things cannot go so smoothly as that...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My least favorite of the 3, but still fun. I reccomend this one reading this one last. The style wasn't as natural as the letters--the deposition seemed gimmicky. Still fun, gossipy writing.
CraftyNightOwls More than 1 year ago
This is the 2nd book in the series. I find the characters to be charming and fantastic. these 2 sets of now honeymooners journey through europe and find yet another adventure thrust upon them. Love how well the plot is written and how well the characters work together. this was a fun read. one that I had a hard time putting down and at the same time looking forward to the next book.