5 out of 5 stars
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An ancient curse. Magical powers. A forbidden love. Within the pages of Linnea Tanner’s epic historical fantasy, Apollo’s Raven (Curse of Clansmen and Kings, Book 1), the reader is taken back in time to where Romans and Celtics once ruled.
King Amren is afraid that a curse his deceased ex-wife, Rhan, had cast will come to fruition. It involves a Raven and a Blood Wolf, who will join together to overthrow Amren and take over his kingdom. His worry is further enhanced when he realizes that his daughter, Catrin, is the Raven, and his exiled son, Marrock, is the Blood Wolf.
As he journeys to make peace with his enemies, a young Roman named Marcellus is kept as hostage to ensure the king’s own safety. Princess Catrin is to watch over and gather information from Marcellus, and Marcellus is told to do the same with Catrin. Coming from feuding families, it’s no wonder that their attraction and the love that forms between the two is kept a secret.
Will Catrin be able to change the curse’s path and help save her kingdom? Is it possible to continue her relationship with Marcellus?
This is my second time reading Apollo’s Raven, and I was not disappointed! Giving the characters distinguishable voices and written in multiple perspectives was wonderfully executed in this novel. Also, I simply loved Catrin’s connections with ravens and the magic that surrounded these connections. Along with this, the plot flowed beautifully.
Though the political intrigue moments were interesting enough, learning about the ancient curse held my interest the most. Not only was shape-shifting part of the curse, a traumatizing childhood experience played a big role in the curse. The author used her words cleverly and meticulously when describing this disturbing scene that Catrin had experienced as a child.
On the other hand, there were a couple of areas that could be improved. One particular area was the back-and-forth relationship between Catrin and Marcellus. I lost track of how many times they questioned each other’s motives and honesty. It was difficult to believe the feelings they shared for one another was love versus having feelings of lust. Another area that could be improved was the profanity used within the text, which didn’t seem accurate considering the story took place in 24 AD.
Within these pages, there were moments that I would caution sensitive readers. For instance, there were multiple moments of sexual encounters and sexual thoughts. In addition, the scenes that described blood sacrifices, both animals and humans, could be off-putting for some. None of the aforementioned scenes were lengthy, but worth mentioning regardless.
Apollo’s Raven is a unique and exciting historical fantasy in which the author has successfully created a captivating story. Every time I picked up the book, my heart leapt with excitement. The book also was professionally edited as I did not notice any errors while reading. Considering both the positives and areas of improvement, I give Apollo’s Raven five out of five stars. I am very much looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
Due to the sexual encounters and the blood sacrifices included here, I would recommend Apollo’s Raven, to an older audience. Young adults and those who are older would enjoy this one. Those who can appreciate some magic and fantasy elements in books would also benefit from picking up this book.
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