I wasn't planning on fixing up a review for this particular book, because it was a sequel/companion story. But it really does deserve a place of its own. I loved Wildwood Dancing the second time through, but adored Cybele's Secret from the first experience of readage.
Recalling the Jena/Tati conflict of the previous book, it was refreshing to focus on Paula, everyone's favorite scholarly sister. Due to her knowledge of languages and persistence, Paula is permitted to accompany her merchant father to Istanbul, a city full of secrets and danger. The prize is Cybele's Secret- a cult idol for an ancient earth goddess. But there is more to the simple figurine than meets the eye.
Upon arriving in the city, they discover that the previous owner has been brutally murdered. Paula is immediately put under the care of a bodyguard. But even he cannot protect her from pirates, ancient mysteries, and the darkness of the Other Kingdom. She must use her love of knowledge and growing knowledge of love to survive the cult of Cybele.
Okay. Shevraeth moment. As in, I completely and utterly fell in love with the male characters of this book. Stoyan, the bodyguard, was that excellent and almost familiar stoic type while Paula's other interest, a piratey (word?) rogue was fawesome as well. Le swoon. Okay. Recovered.
I loved the progression of the mystery. There were so many elements that I never guessed at and the twists were extremely... uhhh... twisty. And there were alot of them. You'd get settled into the rhythm and then BAM something crazy and unexpected occurred and threw you for one huge fictional loop. Also, the character development was great. Everything fit together. I may have even enjoyed Cybele's Secret more than it's predecessor. All the same, Juliet Marillier's writing is stunning!
6.7 out of 7 evil priestesses! Highly recommended! Plus, there are all sorts of little things in the cover art that correspond to the story. Look for them as you read through.
Hoping for a 3rd Wilwood Dancing story,
7 months ago