The Secret of Absalon
Twelve-year-old Cecilie is pretty special. She’s a brainy girl, and one of her passions is archaeology. But what matters most to her is her family. They live together on the top floor of a department store; her dad is the chief executive. Her eight-year-old sister, Ida, has heart trouble and is extremely frail. The doctors can’t cure her and the prognosis is bleak. Cecilie’s most fervent wish is for Ida to get better, and she is well aware that this will require something akin to a miracle.
Right now their lives are hugely affected by the approach of Christmas. Cecilie’s dad is run off his feet: the Christmas displa at the store is due to open, and this year it isa very special one: during excavations for the Metro a few years ago, archaeologists made some interesting finds, including Absalon’s palace, one of the first buildings constructed when Copenhagen was founded in the 12th century. The Christmas display will present some of the best finds from the dig, and it is right up Cecilie’s street. Although she is mad about archaeology, she has never touched a skeleton or taken part in a dig, but she dreams of doing both.
During the opening Cecilie hears somebody talking about Absalon’s Secret. The senior archaeologist dismisses it as nonsense, but Cecilie is hooked and decides to investigate the secret on her own. One night she manages to get into the sealed off ruins, to which access is forbidden as the roof could cave in at any moment. She runs into Hubert, a most unusual boy who lives in a secret den in the basement with a pair of eccentric rag and bone men. One of them has a length of Absalon’s crosier: it contains a letter penned by Margrete, the daughter of King Valdemar the Great, to Hans, a boy with a fatal illness. In it she says a healing angel has been sent to Absalon’s Palace to cure him but the angel has been incarcerated by her father and she does not know where.
Cecilie decides that if the angel has healing powers it may also be possible to cure Ida. Cecilie and Hubert set out on a journey in Margrete’s footsteps in search of the angel. Cecilie and Hubert discover that Hans was Absalon’s illegitimate son, a secret that must not be disclosed at any price as it might threaten Valdemar and Absalon’s power. Cecilie and Hubert also discover where the angel was incarcerated. And where it is today.
Cecilie and Hubert’s quest is a thrilling journey packed with peculiar, startling, fascinating experiences, and they encounter a series of strange creatures plus a horrid, mercenary archaeologist. On the way a warm, unusual friendship grows amidst the Christmas bustle.
But will Cecilie and Hubert manage to put right the misdeeds of the past? Can they find the secret entrance to the place where the angel is incarcerated? Can they set it free? And most important of all, can the angel actually cure Ida?