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Cybele's Secret
ISBN: 9780375933653
Author: Marillier, Juliet
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Published: September 2008
Retail: $19.99    OUR PRICE: $2.99
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Binding Type: Library Binding
Annotation: 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 artifact-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 rumors 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.

"From the Hardcover edition."

Additional Information
Physical Information: 1.40" H x 8.30" L x 5.60" W 432 pages
Bargain Category: Fantasy, High School, Middle School, Mystery, Myths & Legends
Grade level(s): 7th, 8th, 9th
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.
Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2009 Spring)
Paula (Wildwood Dancing) sails to Istanbul with her merchant father. A series of magical signs lead her on a perilous quest, calling on her scholarship, wits, and bravery. Marillier's exotic Istanbul, with its rich blend of musical languages and bright costumes, is a plausible threshold to the magical Old Kingdom and a vivid backdrop for Paula's thrilling journey. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2008 #6)
The studious sister of Wildwood Dancing (rev. 3/07) emerges from the background as the engaging hero of her own romantic adventure. Paula sails from Transylvania to Istanbul with her merchant father to help him acquire a valuable artifact known as "Cybele's Gift." As her father's business assistant, Paula stands out in the traditional Muslim society and attracts the attention of the dashing Portuguese pirate Duarte Aguiar. She gains entrance to a renowned library, where she discovers secrets about the earth-goddess Cybele and her pagan worshippers. A series of magical signs, including the apparition of her sister Tati (who left Paula's world for the Other Kingdom long before), lead Paula on a perilous quest alongside her devoted bodyguard Stoyan -- big, strong, kindhearted -- and the enigmatic Aguiar. Each has his own secret, and each seeks Paula's affections. As in Wildwood Dancing, the reigning powers of the Other Kingdom set a difficult and dangerous task, calling on Paula's scholarship, wits, and bravery. Marillier's exotic Istanbul, with its minarets, markets, and rich blend of musical languages and bright costumes, is a likely threshold to the magical Old Kingdom and a vivid backdrop for Paula's thrilling journey over land and sea. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.
Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2008 September)

Gr 8 Up— Several years have passed since the passageway to the Other Kingdom closed for the five sisters introduced in Wildwood Dancing (Knopf, 2007). Two are married with children, and Tati still has not been seen since she followed her true love into the other world. Cybele's Secret is told by scholarly Paula. Following an accident, she is required to travel with her father to Istanbul in order to assist him in procuring a mysterious religious artifact. Upon their arrival, it becomes clear that there are many who desire Cybele's Gift; not only is the artifact valuable and viewed as a good-luck charm, but also a new cult that practices ritual sacrifice to Cybele is rumored. Soon Paula embarks on a quest to an unfamiliar part of the Other Kingdom. At stake are the life and happiness of her sister, the unfulfilled debt of a friend, and the possibility of true love. Although the fantastical elements of this tale are brief until the last quarter of the book, the plot holds together, providing a sufficient complement to Wildwood Dancing . Paula is not featured extensively in the first book, and although her fierce independence, intellect, and physical attributes are similar to those of the previous narrator, Jena, it is still a pleasure to hear her voice. The Turkish culture is well researched and skillfully incorporated, bringing a richness to the scene in which the plot effortlessly arcs.—Heather M. Campbell, formerly at Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO

[Page 192]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.