Monday, December 8, 2008

Cybele's Secret by Juliet Marillier

For Paula, accompanying her merchant father on a trading voyage to Istanbul is a dream come true. They have come to this city of trade on a special mission to purchase a most rare artifact—a gift from the ancient goddess, Cybele, to her followers. It’s the only remnant of a lost, pagan cult.

But no sooner have they arrived when it becomes clear they may be playing at a dangerous game. A colleague and friend of Paula’s father is found murdered. There are rumors of Cybele’s cult reviving within the very walls of Istanbul. And most telling of all, signs have begun to appear to Paula, urging her to unlock Cybele’s secret. As time begins to run out, she must solve the puzzle before unknown but deadly enemies catch up to her.

In this companion novel to Wildwood Dancing, Marillier skips ahead in time six years. Told from Paula’s viewpoint this time around, readers once again find themselves bending the lines between reality and the Other Kingdom. Sent on a quest, the scholarly seventeen-year-old must follow the clues that her oldest sister, Tati, is leaving for her in the form of signs, dreams, and apparitions.

Marillier has created another remarkable story with an unusual setting. The challenges that Paula faces as a young woman in Istanbul can only rival her strong-will—a trait that sees her through to the end. This story combines every element to spin a tale that will appeal to readers of historical fiction, fantasy, and romance. Though it is not necessary to read Wildwood Dancing prior to this one, I highly recommend it simply because it is another fantastic book and it gives you the chance to get to know the family as a whole.

Reading Rating:
I read this in one day! I couldn't put it down and was sad to see it end. Maybe a third book is in the future for these characters?

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