Sunday, April 4, 2010

Goddess Awakened

Cybele’s Secret

Written by: Juliet Marillier

Released: September 9, 2008 by Random House Children’s Books

Summary: For Paula, accompanying her merchant father on a trading voyage to Istanbul is a dream come true, and even better, he is allowing her to act as his assistant. They have come to this city of trade on a special mission to purchase a most rare artefact, a gift from the ancient goddess, Cybele, to her followers. It's the only remnant of a lost pagan cult. But it soon becomes clear they are playing at a dangerous game.
A colleague of Paula's father is found murdered. There are rumours of Cybele's cult reviving within the very walls of Istanbul. And most telling of all, signs have begun to appear to Paula; signs that can only be coming from the mystical Other Kingdom, urging her to unlock Cybele's secret.
Paula doesn't know who in Istanbul she can trust and finds herself drawn to two very different men: a mysterious, dashing pirate and her bodyguard, Stoyan.
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.

I have to say first that I absolutely love Juliet Marillier’s writing style. It’s so fluid and descriptive that you can really picture everything in your head as you read. Plus, it’s just plain beautiful. That being said, I’m not surprised that I loved this book. I had read the previous accompanying book in the summer – Wildwood Dancing – and I had fallen in love with the use of The Frog Princess and The 12 Dancing Princesses as fairy tale inspiration.

This book was different, though, from the previous. For starters, I couldn’t detect any fairy tale persuasions within it; of course that may have just been from my lack of knowledge of all fairy tales. Or maybe I just wasn’t paying close enough attention to that while trying to practically devour this book. I loved the love story between Paula and Stoyan and though I adored the character of Duarte I wasn’t rooting for him like I was Stoyan throughout the entire novel. Still, it was a fairly nice love-triangle. Besides, what fun is love if there aren’t any obstacles along the way?

Plot-wise, I think that compared to Wildwood Dancing it was lacking a little. However, for a “sequel” this was amazing and it would have been hard to top the first one anyways, though this does come close. I liked how it played itself out and there were enough turns that caught me off-guard that it was entertaining and non-predictable in the non-romance plot points.

I’m wildly waiting a third novel in this series (if you can call it a series with only two books) that ties up the mysteries of Tati and the Other Kingdom and I think that I may be devastated if there’s not one in the future. However, for now, I’m giving this particular book a 9/10 since it’s truly amazing.

Summary taken from Goodreads.

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