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Cybele's Secret by Juliet Marillier

Cybele's Secret (2008)

by Juliet Marillier

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5073019,998 (3.97)49

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The characters are not very realistic, well developed or dimensional and yet somehow the stories stick with me and keep me interested. Many people have said that you have to remember that this series is for children/YA but that shouldn't be an excuse -- there are many books written for young people with excellent, well rounded and well developed characters. This author is a superb story teller though, even with that flaw. I listened to the book rather than read it, though, so some of my criticism may be due to the reader's job of portraying the characters.

I did not enjoy this one as much as the first book in the series. ( )
  LauraBLough | Dec 26, 2013 |
This was my second attempt at reading Cybele's Secret; the topic refuses to grab my attention. ( )
  lynnwords | Aug 29, 2013 |
I loved it. Paula is an excellent heroine with wit and intelligence to aid her toward her goal; however, that's not to say she doesn't learn many lessons. Her two love interests were great as well - both were unique, well-drawn characters that I had trouble choosing between. I especially liked how Paula openly admitted to not being beautiful and clearly charmed both men with her intelligence. Too often in books with strong heroines, the heroines still manage to get the boy because they're beautiful. Paula really only had a good heart and a scholarly way that intrigued these men. I hope Marillier writes another companion novel with these five sisters and The Other Kingdom. ( )
  IAmChrysanthemum | Jun 8, 2013 |
I didn't read this - maybe someday.
  ELEkstrom | Jun 6, 2013 |
To my surprise, I actually enjoyed Cybele's Secret more than Wildwood Dancing. The main problem I had with Wildwood Dancing was the predictability, and maybe the tortuous way everything went wrong, and so the pacing... For the most part, Cybele's Secret was better, in that respect. I didn't figure out the whole plot in the first fifty pages as I did with Wildwood Dancing, so it didn't drag so much for me -- and when it got to the last part, I was hooked, toes curling with excitement, grinning like an idiot: the lot.

My main criticism of Cybele's Secret is how very, very similar Paula's tone was to Jena's. The two sisters are alike, but... Not so alike, I'd thought. I might have been reading the same narrator, though, or so it seemed to me... And the separation of Paula and her father, the way she got on the ship... Once she was on the ship, she acted in character, but there was nothing level-headed about going to confront a man she believed to be violent, unscrupulous and cruel. I didn't believe that as something she would do. Which is unfortunate, because part of the plot hinged on that.

I predicted who would be following them, too, and even how she would end, so it still didn't keep me on my toes -- but the feeling of utter familiarity wasn't there.

It's hard to say, after that, what I did like so much. Duarte and Stoyan, mainly. I believed in both their characters, and in their different loves for Paula. And I believed in her affection for them. The end made me smile a lot. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
Marillier's graceful prose—reminiscent of Patricia McKillip—and wonderful characterizations are frank, not florid. (Still, Harlequin junkies would be advised to try this more sophisticated confection, whatever their age.) [...] Paula's struggle with her emerging attraction is never tiresome but, rather, the glue that holds the whole caper together. One is every bit as interested in the fates of Marillier's lovers as they are in the scenes of piracy, pursuit, and tests of bravery—of which there are (thrillingly) plenty.
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A companion novel to Wildwood Dancing
To my granddaughter Katy
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The deck tilted to port, and I tilted with it, grabbing at a rope to keep my balance.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 037583365X, Hardcover)

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.

Meanwhile, Paula doesn’t know who she can trust in Istanbul, and finds herself drawn to two very different men. As time begins to run out, Paula realizes they may all be tied up in the destiny of Cybele’s Gift, and she must solve the puzzle before unknown but deadly enemies catch up to her. . . .

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:40 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Scholarly eighteen-year-old Paula and her merchant father journey from Transylvania to Istanbul to buy an ancient pagan artifact rumored to be charmed, but others, including a handsome Portuguese pirate and an envoy from the magical Wildwood, want to acquire the item, as well.… (more)

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