Synopsis according to Goodreads:
“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.“
Cybele’s Secret is the companion novel to Wildwood Dancing, which I adored. It has the trademark voice, magical realism, and romance of Juliet Marillier’s earlier YA novel, though it lacks the depth and complexity of Wildwood Dancing.
This story focuses solely on Paula, who reminded me so much of myself (once upon a time) that I found myself clucking my tongue and shaking my head at some of her behaviors and assumptions. It has less of a fairytale retelling bent to it, and more of a coming-of-age with magic and mystery.
Nonetheless, it was thoroughly enjoyable, and I am officially sold on every Marillier novel ever. Yay for finding new favorite authors!
It also bears noting that the audiobook was narrated by Justine Eyre, who did a fine job of it, especially the accents and pronunciations.
I highly recommend this for fans of Wildwood Dancing. And if you’re a fan of fairytales, fairytale retellings, unique settings for YA fiction, journeys, magic, mystery, romance, and complex ensemble stories….start with Wildwood Dancing, and then read Cybele’s Secret.
(I’d have gone with Duarte, myself. *swoony*)