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Cybele's Secret

(Wildwood #2)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  11,152 ratings  ·  903 reviews
FOR PAULA, ACCOMPANYING her merchant father on a trading voyage to Istanbul is a dream come true. 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 no sooner have they arrived when it becomes clear they may be playing at a dang
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published September 9th 2008 by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published November 1st 2007)
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Teagan In an interview she said she put it to her publisher but it got turned down for now, so hopefully in the future!
Cari "Cybele's Secret" is not directly connected to "Wildwood Dancing." This novel provides enough background information about the previous one that it is…more"Cybele's Secret" is not directly connected to "Wildwood Dancing." This novel provides enough background information about the previous one that it is not necessary to read it, if you don't want to.(less)

Community Reviews

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4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  11,152 ratings  ·  903 reviews

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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Jan 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
3.5 stars. In this Renaissance-era sequel to Wildwood Dancing (a wonderful fantasy that I highly recommend!), Paula, one of the younger sisters of the heroine in the first book, travels from Romania to Istanbul to help her merchant father with trading goods. Various adventures and a love triangle ensue.

I've talked with a few people who liked this one better than Wildwood Dancing, but it didn't quite do it for me. It felt a little bit by-the-numbers. I bogged down about 2/3 through and had a fair
Sep 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012-reads, ya
LOVED, LOVED, LOVED THIS even better then the first book in the series (Wildwood Dancing). Perhaps more importantly (at least from my perspective), this book is not only a 5 star read, but is making me a big fan of two genres that I typically have major issues with and generally don't enjoy reading (YA and fantasy).

Marillier blends exotic fantasy with solid writing and creates worlds and characters that I admire and believe in. Her heroines are smart, resourceful and independent but still manage
Jan 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-fantasy
Whenever I pick up a sequel book, I’m always hesitant, fearing the book simply won’t be as good as the first one. Thankfully, Cybele’s Secret lives up to the standards set by Wildwood Dancing. All the charm and wonder of Wildwood Dancing is here, and Marillier expertly builds on the magical framework she established in the first book, this time weaving in pagan cults and pirates. Unlike Wildwood Dancing, Cybele’s Secret doesn’t build off of any particular fairy tale, but instead uses the trials ...more
Aug 25, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ya-fantasy
I was terribly disappointed with this book. I got the impression that the author spent a lot of time and thinking on Wildwood Dancing, but she had neither of these to spare for Cybele's Secret.

1. We were constantly told that Paula was super smart. What we saw was that she was a bit of a ninny.
At one point, Paula (the heroine)'s father is severely beaten and left unconscious in an alley. Paula believes she knows exactly who did such a heinous act. So what does she do? She leaves her bodyguard b
Aug 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I don't think Juliet Marillier wants me to get any sleep.

When I read _Wildwood Dancing_, the accompanying first volume in this series, I ended up staying up quite late to finish the book, something I've almost never done as an adult. (I can count on one hand the number of times) Well, true to form, book 2 also left me stifling a late-night yawn with one hand, and flipping pages with the other.

The book is well-written throughout, but when Paula is in Istanbul, it starts to drag just a little bit
While not as spectacular and engrossing as Wildwood Dancing, this second installment in the series was still very enjoyable to me, and is on the whole a more than correct follow-up.

After this, I'm starting to think Marillier has a couple of authorial quirks she would gain much from if improved on: her tendency to write dramatic love triangles, that thankfully don't wander into full-blown soap opera melodrama, to be fair, so for the most part can be taken as just peculiarities of her storytellin
Jan 23, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Josie by: Katie
Shelves: young-adult
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
I was so close to giving this book 1 star because I started to dislike it so much towards the end. But no, I reserve one star for books that have horrid sentence structure, improper grammar, and just poor story-crafting skills. This book has no issues in terms of those three things.

However, I did not like this book. It was okay, but I can't say I liked it. The plot was too contrived. I was not engaged. The mystery and intrigue about the artifact wasn't interesting enough - I didn't care about it
Feb 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I picked this book up mainly because of its beautiful cover. When I opened it up I was very disappointed to find out this was actually the sequel but as I started reading it, I realized that you don’t need to know anything about the previous book at all. It can stand up very well for itself.

You know. I’m going to say it, and this is very rare, but I absolutely loved this book. It was just the kick I needed. Cybele’s Secret is a mesh of awesome adventure, fantasy, romance, and excellent writing.
Mar 02, 2009 rated it liked it
I have come to realize I need to explain my three-star-rating here, because it is lower than many others rate this book. To begin with, I enjoyed the story - it was fun, and despite a slightly slow start, there was a lot of action and the all-important romantic angle to be enjoyed as well. Paula and both her love interests (I can't remember their names and don't have the book here with me) were very likable characters, and everything turned out well.
It wasn't a page-turner for me, however, eve
Mar 08, 2009 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: anyone who genuinely likes Twilight
In an unprecedented move for me, I have decided to stop reading this book halfway through. At 55%, I am the most interested I have been thus far and I still neither know nor care about ANY of the characters. After loving Wildwood Dancing, I was eager to jump into the second book, but this doesn't even feel like it wasn't written by the same author. Where Wildwood Dancing was breakneck from page 5 to the end and had some beautifully haunting lines, Cybele's Secret is sedate and boring with absolu ...more
Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantástico
Se já tinha adorado o primeiro livro desta série, este deixou-me ainda mais encantada. Arrebatou-me por completo. Ainda há pouco o acabei e já estou cheia de saudades das personagens e das suas valorosas aventuras.

"O Segredo de Cibele" permite-nos reencontrar Paula, uma das 5 irmãs que faziam parte do livro "Danças na Floresta", e acompanhá-la juntamente com o seu pai, o mestre Teodor, numa viagem comercial até Istambul. Teodor é um reputado comerciante que viaja até às terras do antigo império
(review in english below)

4* bem merecidas!

Ainda bem que reconsiderei e decidi ler este 2º volume das Danças na Floresta. É muito diferente do primeiro, para melhor! Um cenário envolvente (Istambul), personagens interessantes e bem caracterizados, uma história com livros, intriga, aventura e romance - incluindo um pirata português do qual se diz que "ninguém merecia ser tão bonito" - fizeram com que me reconciliasse com a autora.

Devorei os últimos capítulos (o último nem tanto, é um anti-clímax a
Erica (daydreamer)
I fell in love with Wildwood Dancing, the story of five sisters caught in an enchantment, living in a fairytale retold beautifully and captivatingly by brilliant author Juliet Marillier. And when I found there was a sequel, I knew I must acquire it soon, so as to not have to leave this enchanted world just yet. With an intriguing premise, and the promise of enchantment and romance, Cybele’s Secret called out to me, beckoning. I was prepared to not love it utterly like I did with WD, as I’d heard ...more
Ashley Daviau
I'm quite disappointed to say that I enjoyed this nowhere near as much as I enjoyed the first book in the series. I found it slow and boring until about halfway through when things started picking up. I don't know if it was the setting or the plot but this book just lacked the magical, spellbinding aspects of the first. After the halfway point I did enjoy it a remarkable amount more but there was still just something missing.
Jul 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
My favorite book that I keep coming back to re-read over and over again!
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing

I knew I would like this book, right after I read the first few pages.
I really like adventure books and this one was just amazing.
From captivating characters (among them a Portuguese, commander of a pirate ship), to a simple but at the same time complex story, full of great dangers and tricky challenges.

“If a man truly loves,....He does not consider the obstacles, the restrictions, the reasons why his choice may be flawed or impratical. He gives no heed to what others may think. His heart has no
Clephiro (The Book Coven)
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, fantasy
While not my favourite Marillier book (That award goes to her spectacular Heart's Blood), this is a strong follow-up to her YA debut, Wildwood Dancing. Cybele's Secret follows the younger sister of the main character of Wildwood Dancing as she journeys to Istanbul from Transylvania to help with her father's trading business.

Since Paula and her sisters lots their access to the other world, she has been looking for a way back. By journeying to a land of scholars, Paula may have access to some boo
May 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
Such a disappointment. Cybele's Secret had none of the magic and strong female character Wildwood Dancing presented. Paula's attempts to look smart are laughable at best. I managed to read 300 freaking pages and it got painfully obvious how this will going to end. When I realized the lack of enjoyment those 300 page brought me I decided there's no use to read the remaining 130.

Long review will follow.
Edit: here it is

Being book smart and street smart are 2
Aug 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
See this review and more reviews at

This book was a surprise for me! I expected it to take place in one of Juliet Marillier's usual settings: a mysterious forest, a mountain glade, high cliffs battered by an ancient ocean. Instead, I found myself among the colorful bustle of the "Golden Horn"- Istanbul. I stepped off the boat with Paula into the enticing markets filled with a thousand spices to tempt your nose and mountains of silks to catch your eye. I've never
Jill Myles
Dec 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Can I just say how much I love the Kinuko Craft covers? Because seriously, when I grow up, I would love to have a Kinuko Craft cover. Look at how gorgeous that is! And is that Stoyan in the corner? *swoons*

I'm giving this one 4 stars instead of 5 because while the characters were amazing and the storyline fun and detailed and the romance as wonderful and sweet as I expected, I struggled with the setting a little. I set this book down about a year or so ago at the 20% mark because it was slooooow
Dec 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
This book is probably 4 1/2 stars, close to a five but not quite. I really loved the authors portrayal of gender roles. I loved how it showed that men and women are capable of great things independently, but that we really need each other at the same time. I loved how the book showed that true love is measured by the caring and sacrifice, and not just by physical attraction, charm, and wit. I loved the subtle message put in their that true love, children, and family are more important than any o ...more
Jul 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Loved the setting - Istanbul. This story reminded of an Indiana Jones type adventure. I enjoyed the first book in this series but I liked this one, #2, a lot more. FYI book club girls - Tati did have part in this story, but she didn't drive me crazy like in book #1. :)
Lea Bourg'
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
French & English reviews

A partir du moment où j'ai vu un pirate portugais sexy et ambigu, j'ai SU que c'était mon livre <3

Ce que j'ai particulièrement aimé :
- l'univers au coeur d'Istanbul à son âge d'or, avec les descriptions, les mélanges de cultures, l'ambiance ... J'ai adoré <3
- le côté légende et conte de fée avec les épreuves, les énigmes ...
- les différents personnages qui m'ont enchanté !! J'ai adoré l'héroïne Paula une érudite mais aussi une rêveuse qui a soif d'aventures mais
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
I didn't get very interested in this book until about 60% through it. I read it in hopes of learning more about the other kingdom that is such a prominent setting of the first book, wildwood dancing. I was left disappointed. It felt like this was wrote by a completely different author. The characters were so bland and not very relatable, likeable or complex even though I think all those character attributes is what the author was actually aiming for. Just for me personally, she missed the mark.
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
What an adventure! Hoping that one day there is a third book with Stela in this series. Really enjoyed the characters and the colorful setting of Istanbul. The ending was a bit too drawn-out-Jane-Austen and heart wrenching, but eventually left me feeling satisfied.
Sep 16, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: good-uns, ya, fantasy
Cybele's Secret is the sequel to Wildwood Dancing-- Juliet Marillier's first young adult novel. I have been a huge Marillier fan ever since picking up her first novel, Daughter of the Forest, to take with me on a trip to Italy. The wonderful thing about Marillier is that her sequels are always as good as, if not better than, her first books. So even though I liked Wildwood Dancing well enough (it didn't wow me), I was really looking forward to Cybele's Secret to see where she took her charact ...more
Brittany (finally graduated and can once again read for fun)
I really enjoyed this one. Juliet Marillier is becoming a favorite of mine. Her ability to incorporate folklore into her novels is absolutely fantastic. I'm beginning to think there must be something in the water Down Under because it seems like every book I pick up from an Aussie author is just fantastic.

Wildwood Dancing (the 1st book in the series) followed the story of the five sisters, but was mostly about Jena and Tati, the 2 eldest. This book follows the story of Paula, the 4th of the 5 d
Sep 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
To my surprise, I actually enjoyed Cybele's Secret more than Wildwood Dancing. The main problem I had with Wildwood Dancing was the predictability, and maybe the tortuous way everything went wrong, and so the pacing... For the most part, Cybele's Secret was better, in that respect. I didn't figure out the whole plot in the first fifty pages as I did with Wildwood Dancing, so it didn't drag so much for me -- and when it got to the last part, I was hooked, toes curling with excitement, grinning li ...more
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Admirers of Julie...: Cybele's Secret 16 38 Oct 16, 2012 09:18PM  
Young Adult Book ...: Cybele's Secret (spoilers) 8 37 Dec 11, 2009 07:04AM  
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Juliet Marillier was born July 27, 1948 in Dunedin, New Zealand and grew up surrounded by Celtic music and stories. Her own Celtic-Gaelic roots inspired her to write her first series, the Sevenwaters Trilogy. Juliet was educated at the University of Otago, where she majored in music and languages, graduating BA and a B Mus (Hons). Her lifelong interest in history, folklore and mythology has had a ...more

Other books in the series

Wildwood (2 books)
  • Wildwood Dancing (Wildwood, #1)
“If a man truly loves,....He does not consider the obstacles, the restrictions, the reasons why his choice may be flawed or impratical. He gives no heed to what others may think. His heart has no room for that, for it is filled to the brim with the unutterable truth of his feelings.” 87 likes
“Water and stone
Flesh and bone
Night and morn
Rose and thorn
Tree and wind
Heart and mind”
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