Post by Ashley
The secret is out! This is a great book! A companion novel to "Wildwood Dancing," which is a story based loosely on the fairytale of the twelve dancing princesses, "Cybele's Secret" follows the adventures of Paula, an independent younger sister and scholar who dreams of one day owning her own book-selling business. She accompanies her merchant father to Istanbul to act as his assistant, even though it's a society that frowns upon women even being seen, let alone taking on professional positions.
On the way to Istanbul, a chance crossing of ships introduces readers to the dashing, flirtatious, bad-boy pirate, Duarte: love interest number one. In Istanbul, Paula and her father hire a bodyguard to protect them while they pursue the purchase of a rare and historic artifact. Enter Stoyan---tall, strong, extremely loyal, proud, and uneducated---and love interest number two.
Though the first half of the book felt a bit slow for me, once I reached the second half---whoa! The wait was definitely worth it. Juliet Marillier tells another fantastic story that blends the real and the fantastical into a totally believable and seriously exciting world that will leave readers hoping the youngest sister also has an adventure in store. And as an aside, the cover artwork is great. I love recognizing as I read all of the characters depicted on the front and back and the part they play in the story. I definitely recommend "Cybele's Secret."