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Secret of the Sirens (The Companions Quartet #1)

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  2,798 ratings  ·  182 reviews
When eleven-year-old Connie is sent to live with her eccentric aunt by the sea, she’s not expecting anything great—not to make friends with Col, the coolest guy in town, and certainly not to discover that mythical creatures still exist, that an ancient society has protected them for centuries, and that a dark and treacherous force is lurking in their midst.
Hardcover, 420 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by Two Lions (first published 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Miss Clark
Book One of the Companions Quartet. Eco-fantasy. A sometimes overtly environmental propaganda mixed with all sorts of mythic creatures and their human companions.

Connie, aged 11, is a petite, black-haired girl who is essentially a loner and an outcast. Because of her uncanny connection to animals and her ability to communicate with them, Connie has become isolated from everyone around her, including her parents and younger brother. In fact, her parents seem to regard her as more of an inconvenie
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Lily
Slow paced, but very enjoyable to read! I LOVE reading books about mythical creatures, and how they're displayed in each story.

...And I REALLY loved how they were displayed in Secret of the Sirens! If you got this book thinking you're going to be reading about 'mermaids' ('cuz of the title, 'sirens') I SHALL HAPPILY DISAPPOINT YOU BY SAYING THIS: THIS BOOK IS NOT ABOUT MERMAIDS! It's about Sirens! REAL Sirens! Bird women! HECK YEAH! It's about time someone writes about these awesome creatures. T
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Belen
Secret of the Sirens by Julia Golding is a book about a young girl named Connie Lionheart who is sent to live with her eccentric Aunt Evelyn in Hescombe. When she arrives she learns of the mysterious Society, a group that her aunt has joined that seems extremely involved with animals and the environment. When Connie tries to take the test to enter, everything gets rather crazy and she learns she has powers she never would have dreamed of. Now Connie is a unique member of the Society for the Prot ...more
Hana
Secret of the Sirens is an enjoyable environmental fantasy for young readers. What happens when Connie Lionheart realizes that she has a unique talent? She finds herself in danger because she is a rare Universal Companion to animals—she can communicate with all animals, real and mythical. The reader will encounter mythical animals such as sirens, weather giants, dragons, dwarfs, unicorns, pegasi, and more. Because Connie is so unique, a powerful enemy takes an interest in her and is trying to ge ...more
Ellen
I picked up Secret of the Sirens because a review hinted of a connection with Harry Potter's Society for the Preservation of Magical Creatures once promoted by Hermione. That review was a bit misleading. Golding takes up the *idea* of the society, but removes it from Potterworld and places it solely in our own, giving it it's own history detached from Potter. I didn't have a problem with that in the least and would likely have been disappointed if Golding had tried to be true to Rowling's world. ...more
Nicole
Secret of the Sirens is a happy fantasy book with all sorts of mythical creatures. As I am a huge fan of anything dragon, unicorn, and fantasy, I really enjoyed that part of the book. In addition, I also enjoyed the environmental message of this book. However, I felt the characters were lacking. In some ways Connie is just too all powerful, all magical. She seems to grasp everything easily, leading to a very flat character. There were a few too many inconsistencies for even a children's book whe ...more
Jehnie
This is a great kid's series. It is definitely in the spirit of Harry Potter: mythical creatures, intelligent thoughtful kids, and eccentric adults. I have to admit, I loved the environmental message that contributed to the story line. I'll definitely pick up the rest of the series.
Magda
Compared to Julia Golding's Dragonfly, this was awful.

It might be a "neat" read for a fourth-grader, but it's a bit too eco-warrior-esque and too reminiscent of Harry Potter.
Sofia
I absolutely ADORED this book. Julia Golding is an amazing author, and if you are a fantasy-lover like me, this is the book for you! Connie Lionheart discovers she has a special connection with animals-and not just any animals: mythical creatures. (sorry, I might've messed up my grammar right there!) I honestly don't know who could possibly dislike this book; I'm sure you will love it! It gives an environment message, trying to save the local wildlife. It stimulated me to do something more to sa ...more
Brown
Just another book about an "odd, strange, weird (I quit counting how many words she used in place of special after the first few chapters) freak" who doesn't fit in because she's so speci- I mean, weird.

And all the characters around her must have been so *cough* normal *cough* for ignoring her and thinking she was weird for really small, stupid things.
"She was dancing along with the hamsters?? She must have a SERIOUS mental problem!!!11"
"She has two different colored eyes?? How STRANGE!"

1. In r
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Christalle Luneta,  Huntress
Hmmmm, First off I will say this book wasn't bad by any means, I enjoyed it even if i didn't think it was amazing. I am a fan of Julia Golding and she is an amazing author. The problem wasn't really with the book's plot and story, it was more of the main character is pretty young, practically still considered a child. This being said there was also no romance, which I like having in a book.
So this is a book I would maybe recommend to younger readers or even older ones who can look past how young
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Eleanor
Secret of the Sirens is about 11 year old Connie Lionheart. She's been sent to live with her eccentric aunt, where she discovers a mysterious group of people called the Society...

Frankly, I enjoyed this book. It was an easy read, though as the bookworm of a 13 year old I am the plot was a little predictable and the characters those of a children's book. This contrasted greatly with the vocabulary used, which caused me to always keep dictionary.com on hand.

Let's start with the characters:
Connie
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Melanie
When I added this book to my to-read list and finally got it from the library, I had no idea that it was a children's book :p At first I did not want to go on reading it because of that. But I had already started and I should say it was a good read though a longer one. The story is about a girl named Connie Lionheart: a strange 11 year old girl who recently moved into the small coastal town of Hescombe with her aunt. Connie's life is anything but normal.She can talk to animals. Her aunt isn't to ...more
Colleen
This book started out quite promising but ended up quite boring. It wasn't a bad story, but a lot of the pages felt wasted. Parts of it, I thought should have had more breath than they did while others left me fighting the urge to skip pages because they were utterly pointless.
The characters weren't very fleshed out, either, which was a disappointment. Connie was discribed as 'shy' but I never once saw her portrayed as such, which made the parts when the author randomly pointed out said 'oh but
...more
Lolly's Library
A very Harry Potter-esque book, involving mythical creatures instead of magic, and with a female as the lead, complete with an uber-rare gift and subsequent celebrity status in her circle of fellows known as the Society for the Protection of Mythical Creatures. And let's not forget a dark and deadly enemy, a shapeshifter known as Kullervo, who has grown in power over the years and wants to use our heroine, Connie, to destroy the society and all humans in order to give the world back to the mythi ...more
OCLS Staff Picks
I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy books or mythology. It is written for middle schoolers and brings a lot of mythology into their modern world. The protagonist is Connie Lionheart, who moves in with her Aunt Evelyn. Her aunt is in an “environmental society” and Connie is eager to join, but knows little about the Society in the beginning. After it becomes clear that Connie is special and has a wonderful gift, she is invited into her aunt’s society and learns that it is so ...more
Sara
My Take:
I really enjoyed this book – Connie is a great character, fully fleshed out and relate-able, especially for kids. It draws you in right from the beginning and captures your imagination. The story line is interesting – I love the resurgence of mythical creatures, both “good” and “bad.” The sirens are murderers, but like wild animals they are neither good nor evil – it is just their nature. I like that as a Universal, Connie has access to all of the creatures, and that she has the power to
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Trish
This book was recommended by my daughter. She found it, read it, and then dutifully left it on my pillow to read a couple of days ago. She has since read the second book and passed it along, too, and we just got it at the library yesterday.

These are very quick reads. I especially like that the author chooses to transition very quickly. When we know that the character needs to be at a certain location, the very next paragraph finds him/her there. Little is spent on descriptions of the setting (bu
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Lauren
Kind of dumb. I'm barely staggering to finish at this point. A couple of issues:
A) It's a FREAKING SEAGULL!!! Get over it!
B) Hardly any charecterization past the initial labels she manufactured for all her characters.
C) almost no physical description of the human characters, though the imagery on the mythical creatures is very nice.
D) She is missing something obvious. Kullervo is a shapeshifter. This is not usually just used for impressing people. it is the ultimate spy power. Kullervo could
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Lyrical
I’m a huge fan of the pencil sketch at the start of every chapter – it’s one of my favourite aspects of Angie Sage’s Septimus Heap series – so when I opened up this book and saw the first pencil sketch I was immediately inclined to like it and I have to say the actual words in the book didn’t dim my inclination at any point. In fact, they enhanced it. What I particularly like about Julia Golding’s writing is that it’s peppered with beautiful turns of phrase and wonderfully original metaphors. Ju ...more
Bea Turvey
For three years my daughter has been urging me to read the series (more so since Finding sky by Joss Stirling [alias pen name] became a hot favourite of mine) and I finally agreed. After the very first chapter I went to her and asked, 'Are you sure I'm going to enjoy this? I mean, the main characters are in Year 6!'
Her reply: 'Mum, you're always asking me to give things a go, so please do the same. Go away, read and don't come back until you've got to chapter 8. Anyway, the kids grow up!' She di
...more
Hannah
I found this book to be very interesting. It had good plot and was thorough. Some of the book really hit the ground hard.... and dragged. You know that part of the book where you look around to make sure no one is watching and then you hastily skip a couple pages just so you can make it through the chapter without falling a sleep... other than those few parts the book was excellent. Quickly about the characters... I liked the protagonist, for once, Connie was her name, though i did not appreciat ...more
Forgotten Realms Queen
This series is basically the adventures of a female Percy Jackson, minus the mythological parentage.

Its the fun story of a society that was created ages ago to protect all the mythical creatures from mankind. Basically it was this society that spread the word from pulpit to tap room that creatures such as unicorns, dragons, and the like do not exist. Over time, the rest of humanity believed them, and the society has been shuffling the creatures around ever since.

But of course after a few centuri
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Pamela ☼what?!? you want more gruel☼ Tee
There are middle-grade books and there are middle-grade books. By which I mean the SECRET OF THE SIRENS is a book I would NOT suggest for adults to pick up as a read for themselves. It's simply not got a plot line nor characters that are going to engage our jaded 'been there, done that' tastes.

I know that I could certainly foretell what was apt to happen in the next few chapters. But then again I've been reading for decades and decades, and to a more nascent reader this fantasy is going to be ju
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Jennifer
I don't know what it is about this novel, but it reminds me of the books for 4th-5th readers from ten years ago. It's slower-paced than many of the childrens fantasy novels that have come out recently, and it seems like a slow start to a series, but the series seems promising. I'll probably pick the the rest since they're such quick reads, and see if the series fulfills that promise.

I like the fact that the protagonist of the series is a girl, but she doesn't act stereotypically girly, nor is sh
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Beth Dean
To take a break from the Fifty Shades madness I decided to read some younger fiction as I'm now more involved with the children's section in Waterstones, where I work. I always feel uncomfortable recommending something I haven't read and someone suggested I re-start my 9-12's knowledge with some Julia Golding. This I did. Which you guessed because you, dear reader, are clever.

This series is about Connie a girl who gets on reaaallly well with animals, which is emphasised about every sentence on e
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Secret of the sirens (The Companions Quartet #1), 2007, Julia Golding
Characters: Connie Lionheart (11 year old girl), Colin (Col) Clamworthy (11 year old boy), Skylark (A young Pegasus), Evelyn Lionheart (Connie's Aunt), Lavinia Clamworthy (Col's Grandmother), Aneena Nuruddin (Connie's best friend), Jane Benedict (Connie's best friend), Mack Clamworthy (Col's father), Dr. Brock (Society member), Jessica Moss (Society member), Ivor Coddrington (Society member), Shirley Masterson (Society member),
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Mary
May 30, 2008 Mary rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 3rd-5th graders
Shelves: children-s
Connie Lionheart is living with her aunt in a remote English fishing village when she discovers that she is a "Universal Companion" to mythical creatures. This means that she can communicate with a plethora of mystical beings that most humans believe are fairy tales or myths including Sirens, Pegasi, dragons, unicorns and the Kraken. This talent is important since the Sirens have been killing men working on a new, nearby oil refinery because it threatens their habitat, and someone needs to stop ...more
Meggen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maria M. Elmvang
I was utterly charmed by this very fascinating first book in a new quartet by Julia Golding. I only "discovered" Julia Golding about a year ago, but if she continues in this fashion, she'll soon become a new favourite fantasy author.

What I really loved about Secret of the Sirens is that it's not as much about magic as about special abilities, and it takes place in our world. Too many fantasy authors invite new worlds, and that is occasionally necessary, but I think it takes a special talent to w
...more
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1332
Julia Golding grew up on the edge of Epping Forest. After reading English at Cambridge, she joined the Foreign Office and served in Poland.

On leaving Poland, she exchanged diplomacy for academia and took a doctorate in the literature of the English Romantic Period at Oxford. She then joined Oxfam as a lobbyist on conflict issues, campaigning at the UN and with governments to lessen the impact of c
...more
More about Julia Golding...
Dragonfly The Diamond of Drury Lane (Cat Royal, #1) The Gorgon's Gaze (The Companions Quartet, #2) Mines of the Minotaur (The Companions Quartet, #3) The Chimera's Curse (The Companions Quartet, #4)

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“There is no mythical creatures just creatures man ran in to hiding.” 13 likes
“How about,” Jane suggested, “some dumb question as to what a refinery does?” “Good idea,” fired back Col. “What does a refinery do?” Connie asked. Anneena and Col groaned.” 0 likes
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