Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cybele's Secret

Cybele's Secret by Juliet Marillier

Historical fantasy. This is a loose sequel to Wildwood Dancing. It takes place 6 years later and follows Paula and her father on their merchant voyage to Istanbul to collect a rare artifact. If you liked Wildwood Dancing you will absolutely love this book. Young adult fantasy is my favorite genre to read, and I read a lot. This book is so artfully and expertly written that most other books of this genre pale in comparison, even the great ones.

The setting is historical Istanbul which Marillier portrays with bold honesty and richly woven detail. The characters are many, but very fleshed out and relatable (dashing pirates, handsome guardsmen, exotic women, fatherly merchants and the like). I find the majority of books I read to be good reads, but lacking something. The emotional depth of a story is something that takes true talent to create and sets apart good books from truly great ones. This is exactly what Marillier has given us.

The plot is complex with a healthy balance of suspense and resolution, and a beautiful, slowly unfolding love story that finally rings true (after reading a plethora of ridiculous ones). No silly romances based on instant physical attraction here. Just pure, deep, abiding love that takes time, experience, and trust to develop. I really related to this theme in the book. Especially the idea that opposites attract and can help balance each other out. It was a great reminder to me of what I hold dear and why. So sweet, so tender, and highly recommended. A definite favorite.

This is on my wish list because I already want to read it again, and looking at the delicious artwork is a journey in itself. 

1 comment:

  1. I don't know how you keep the characters, plots, settings, etc. straight considering how many books you read. After I read a few, things start blending together in my head.