Review by Irene C -- Apollo's Raven by Linnea Tanner

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Irene C
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Review by Irene C -- Apollo's Raven by Linnea Tanner

Post by Irene C » 22 Sep 2018, 18:16

[Following is a volunteer review of "Apollo's Raven" by Linnea Tanner.]
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2 out of 4 stars
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After reading a good review of Apollo’s Raven here at OnlineBookClub, I was excited to read this novel set in Roman Britain. I had not read historical fantasy before, and thought the genre would be interesting. I am still interested in this type of novel after finishing Apollo’s Raven, but the novel left me disappointed.

Catrin is the youngest daughter of Amren, the king of the Cantiaci, a tribe of Ancient Britons. Marcellus is the son of a Roman senator, sent to Britain with his father by the emperor to judge the political situation in preparation for an invasion. The two young people are directed by their fathers to get closer to each other in order to gather information. Amid political and mystical intrigue involving Catrin’s banished half-brother and Amren’s spiritual advisor, a tale unfolds of star-crossed love . Of course, the setting is a millennia and half before Shakespeare!

There aren’t many novels about Ancient Britain. The author balances the perspectives of the two sides, Roman and Celt, quite well. I liked how she was thoughtful about what ability each character has in Latin or Celtic, and why, and how she used that in the plot. She also shows the reader a bit of a cross section of Cantiaci society -- the novel is mostly focused on the royal court, but warriors and craftspeople also show up. The geography of Cantiaci territory is depicted well.

However, I found it difficult to get through this novel, because the characters seemed flat, and they really didn’t develop much over the course of the plot. Their emotions were also described in an overly-wrought and ultimately shallow way. Altogether it was hard to care about these characters. This made the novel hard reading at points. There’s also a lot of worldbuilding involved in historical fantasy, and I do not think the author revealed how her magic system worked with much skill at all. In fact, there was a lot of restatement of information, and it became confusing and boring. Readers may struggle, like I did, to keep straight what is old and new information about this world.

There were no typos to speak of in the novel. There were, however, graphic descriptions of violence and wounds, and somewhat explicit sex scenes. The novel is not appropriate for young teens. I would rate Apollo’s Raven 2 out of 4 stars. Which is a shame, because I really did want to like it.

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jcoad
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Post by jcoad » 24 Sep 2018, 07:24

I read the same and have read a few reviews and this is definitely not a book for me. Harlequin Romance meets Hercules, and not done well to boot. Thanks for the honest review and I will find a better book to read!

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Bonnie Shelby
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Post by Bonnie Shelby » 24 Sep 2018, 14:51

I completely agree with your review! This book left me disappointed as well, and I've been surprised at all of the wonderful reviews I've been reading.

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Post by Allyseria » 30 Sep 2018, 16:42

Thank you for your review. It's a shame that the characters were flat and didn't develop much over the course of the plot. Character development is the number one thing I look at when reading books.

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Post by Britty01 » 01 Oct 2018, 16:30

I agree with quite a few of the remarks in this review. As it was the first book in the series, I did not expect too much character building at first. I imagined these events were supposed to have happened in a relatively short space of time. I did feel that Catrin was growing in the use of her power's so I thought perhaps that was the author's focus as well as maybe to get the reader to understand this young couple and how they would be torn between family loyalties and the feelings they have for one another. I was not keen on the graphic violence and descriptions, though for that time period I expect it was reflective.

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Post by Shalomsamuels1 » 05 Oct 2018, 10:43

I felt the writing added star for me, but it definitely left me disappointed.

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Post by ea_anthony » 07 Oct 2018, 13:13

Wow, I really do like historical fiction, same with fantasy and romance, so I already plan on reading this. I do hope I will not be disappointed, but I usually am not as I am a very forgiving reader. I would take a bad book any-day over no book. All the same, a nice and helpful review.
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ea_anthony
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Post by ea_anthony » 07 Oct 2018, 13:18

Bonnie Shelby wrote: ↑
24 Sep 2018, 14:51
I completely agree with your review! This book left me disappointed as well, and I've been surprised at all of the wonderful reviews I've been reading.
I have not read this book and I had been seeing a lot of wonderful reviews, so a bit surprised at this review. I am into a lot of genres but I also have a soft spot for historical fiction especially when mixed with fantasy and romance. Anyway I hope the book doesn't disappoint considering I will be going into the read biased in favour of...
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ea_anthony
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Post by ea_anthony » 07 Oct 2018, 13:21

jcoad wrote: ↑
24 Sep 2018, 07:24
I read the same and have read a few reviews and this is definitely not a book for me. Harlequin Romance meets Hercules, and not done well to boot. Thanks for the honest review and I will find a better book to read!
I like this, I am actually a big fan of Harlequin Romance meeting Hercules, whether in ancient times, present or even a dystopian future. I am really hoping this will be my better book for a lazy day. :tiphat:
Ignorance promotes divisiveness, knowledge encourages diversity. :techie-studyingbrown:

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