Sunday, July 19, 2009
Rating : 4.5/5
Number of Pages : 410
Series : #2 Wildwood Dancing
Format : Teenage Fiction, Fantasy Novel
Reason for Reading : 999 Challenge, to continue with the series
Continuing the story from after the events of Wildwood Dancing. This time the story is led by Paula, the scholar of the family. She has travelled with her father on a business trip to Istanbul. They are following a lead on a mysterious artifact, a statue of Cybele who was an earth goddess. Her cult is reported to be being revivied in the city much to the chargrin of Islamist leaders. There is a secret auction being held by invitation only which is even more hidden than usual after Paula's fathers business partner was murdered just before their ship landed.
Being an Islamic city, Paula must be careful how she is seen in public and cover her hair with a scarf at all times. Her father lets her choose her own bodyguard and she picks Stoyan who worked for the business partner who was murdered. The two quickly become friends and Stoyan helps when Paula starts seeing things from the Other Kingdom. Her sister Tati who went to live their with her true love is appearing to Paula and she keeps finding clues about Cybele around the city. It looks like she has been chosen to go on an Other Kingdom Quest and that Stoyan is wrapped up in it too.
In their way seems to be Duarte, a pirate with a dubious reputation. He seems to take a liking to Paula although she is not sure if it is just to get information on Cybele or genuine. He becomes mixed up in their quest and the three end up on an adventure together as very unlikely travelling companions.
This was a fantastic tale neatly blending mythology and fairy tale elements to craft a very enjoyable fantasy tale. You don't need to have read the first, Wildwood Dancing, to enjoy this novel (although it might help explain Tati and Paula's other sisters). Anotehr hit from Marillier in pulling the reader in and immersing you in a different time, place and culture.