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Cybele's Secret (Bello) Paperback – 24 Oct 2013

4.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Tor (24 Oct. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1447256069
  • ISBN-13: 978-1447256069
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 3.1 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,204,675 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

Starred Review, Booklist, July 1, 2008: "Teens who didn't know Marillier when they started this sandalwood-scented adventure will rapidly place her alongside the likes of romantic-fantasy idols Shannon Hale and Sharon Shinn." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Juliet Marillier holds advanced degrees in music and languages, and has had a lifelong passion for both Celtic music and Irish folklore. She resides with her family in Perth, Western Australia.


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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was keen to receive my copy of the second in this trilogy - but I honestly can't say I enjoyed it as much as it's predecessor, Wildwood Dancing. But then WWD is a hard act to follow! Anything as-magical as a tale set in an "eldritch" wildwood, and castle, with characters from the Nature Kingdom abounding, and a romantic thread constant throughout, is a difficult tale to write!
I must admit I lost a bit of interest in the middle of the story, but then reconnected again, as Paula and her friends worked their way through the clues which led them to completing their task, each learning something important about themselves (and life) at the same time. I also liked the touch near the end, where we realise that the female "baddie" had been in love with her henchman (a eunuch) just before she was trapped inside a mountain with his lifeless body! ....or was she? ...maybe book three will tell!
Extending the story into the 3rd book seems simple - for Stela, youngest sister of the original five, will soon be just about the right age to find her way back to the Wildwood, taking maybe a few of her nephews/nieces (at present toddlers) with her? I must admit I'd love to get back to the world of the Fairy-folk and re-acquaint myself with all of them - so here's hoping J.M. thinks so, too! It'll probably be a wait of 18 months to 2 years, though - but I've got two fascinating books to read through again, to keep the story fresh in my imagination.
Ignore any suggested "age-range" for this series - and treat yourself to a bit of magic!
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Format: Hardcover
Having read all of Juliet Marillier's books I was extremely excited when Cybele's Secret was released, for it had seemed like years since Juliet Marillier's last book was published. While Wildwood Dancing (Cybele's Secrets predecessor) was enjoyable, Cybele's secret eclipses it. In this book, set six years after the previous books events we are once again introduced once again to scholarly Paula. She and her merchant father are on a quest in Istanbul for the ancient religious artefact known as Cybele's gift rumoured to grant its beholder luck and untold knowledge. Unlike some other reviews of this book I would argue that Cybele's Secret is in no way a love triangle, at least not in the traditional sense (which is good, if like me you find those books slightly annoying.) Juliet Marillier makes it clear from the beginning, both in her writing style and events in the plot, who Paula will come to love, the other male character (not wanting to ruin it) is merely a plot device for the ending of the book (not that his character isn't interesting, eye candy is always fun.) Unlike Marillier's other books Cybele's Secret is the first to be set in such an exotic location, Istanbul is brought alive and the aspects of its Muslim culture, which today are often so villainised, are shown the respect they deserve while still regaining their uniqueness. As with all of Marilier's books it is the small detail and minor characters which add reality to the story, from the ever watchful eunuch, to Stoyans intimidating mother, this is a plot moved by the characters character. This book explores the importance of wisdom in contrast to intellect, and as in all of Juliet Mariliers books has a strong heroine, a dusting of ancient magic and a romance which compliments the plot instead of drowning it (unlike all those bodice rippers on the market.) Truly it is a rare gem among Juliet Mariliers crown
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Format: Hardcover
Paula couldn't be more excited to be arriving in Istanbul with her merchant father, where she'll be assisting him in obtaining a valuable and mysterious artifact of the ancient goddess Cybele. If all goes well, she may finally be able to pursue her dream of starting a book-trading enterprise.

To her dismay, trouble awaits them the moment they disembark. Her father's trusted trading adviser has been murdered, and the secrecy surrounding the artifact has grown even more difficult to penetrate. If Paula's suspicions are correct, the glimpses she's caught of her sister, who vanished into the Other Kingdom several years ago, mean the folk of magic and myth have their own stake in the unfolding events.

Complicating matters are a dashing ex-pirate with an intense interest in Paula, who may or may not be as ruthless as he is charming, and the powerful yet gentle bodyguard Paula's father hires to watch over her, whom Paula cannot help feeling drawn to despite knowing they are worlds apart. As Paula struggles to make sense of the signs her sister sends her and to help her father obtain Cybele's Gift, the three are pulled into a quest more dangerous than any of them could have imagined.

Not all friends can be trusted; not all enemies are what they seem; and the folk of the Other Kingdom don't often give second chances. It's up to Paula to get her companions through this adventure alive, and to find the right path for her own heart.

Fans of Marillier's WILDWOOD DANCING will enjoy catching up with the family via Jena's younger sister, and happily devour this new tale of the Other Kingdom. Though somewhat slower-paced than WILDWOOD DANCING, CYBELE'S SECRET doesn't skimp on adventure or romance.
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