Monday, September 15, 2008

Cybele's Secret by Juliet Marillier

Paula, though a young girl of seventeen, is a scholar. She is very intelligent and loves to learn. So when her father needs someone to accompany him to Istanbul for his trading business, she is the perfect person. Being her father's secretary may be unorthodox, especially in the Muslim culture of Istanbul, but when Paula discovers that her father is trying to bid for a valuable religious artifact, she becomes even more excited. What she doesn't know is that The Other Kingdom, a magical realm that Paula and her sisters used to visit, has a quest for her, involving the artifact called Cybele's Gift. Paula must face riddles and puzzles, pirates and sea chases, true love and betrayal in order to complete the challenge set before her.

Cybele's Secret was an interesting book. At first, I didn't like it. In the beginning it was slow-going, because the writing was thick and flowery, which made it a chore to read. But as I continued and the plot presented itself, I started to get into the novel. I really liked the protagonist Paula, because she didn't let the barriers of her time stop her from pursuing her one true love: learning. The book could have been a lot shorter, but the ending tied up all the loose ends nicely. It even had a bit of romance, which made the book a lot better. All in all, a good read. Also, make sure you read its companion novel, Wildwood Dancing, which was actually written first.

Reviewer Age: 16

Reviewer City, State and Country: Aston, Pennsylvania United States

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