3 out of 4 stars
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Linnea Tanner’s historical fiction novel, Apollo’s Raven, is a thrilling adventure with supernatural elements. The story focuses on a Celtic princess named Catrin, who can connect to ravens and has visions of the future. Her father, King Amren, rules Britannia and works to negotiate peace with the invading Roman forces. Before Amren leaves his kingdom to complete this task, he reveals that he has been cursed by his former queen. It is believed that his daughter, Catrin, is the subject of the prophesy. The novel follows Catrin as she tries to harness her supernatural abilities and use them to benefit her family against their enemies.
Marcellus is a Roman citizen held in King Amren’s castle until the Romans and Celtics can reach an agreement. One of Amren’s other daughters is held by the Romans until negotiations are complete. Catrin is ordered by her father to seduce Marcellus to get information to benefit their kingdom. Similarly, Marcellus is ordered to do the same in order to obtain information from Catrin. During the impending war between the Romans and the Celtics, Catrin and Marcellus fall in love. The lovers are forced to keep their feelings secret as tensions rise between the opposing forces.
This novel was well-written and creative. The author included elements of sorcery and mythology that engage the reader. It was evident that the author did extensive research into mythology and history for this time period. The descriptions of the people and places were vivid and transported the reader. I enjoyed the author’s writing style and the well-rounded characters. The interaction between the characters was entertaining, especially when there was a language barrier.
There are several different themes, but this book is primarily a love story between two people of very different backgrounds. These differences are discussed by the characters in detail evidencing the author’s historical research into the setting of this novel. The historical aspects of this book were very interesting and assisted with creating the details of the story. The supernatural theme of this book keeps the reader captivated. Shape-shifting characters that take the form of a wolf or a raven are unexpected. In a different form, the characters are able to see and experience new perspectives to the story. This was a very creative way for the author to provide information and insight to the readers.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The romance, historical elements, and supernatural aspects were very entertaining. It was very well-written and I give it a rating of 3 out of 4 stars. Although it is a very creative and interesting book, I think it focuses too much on the romance between Marcellus and Catrin. It would have been interesting to see more of the negotiations that were taking place between the leaders, but that storyline was overshadowed. I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys historical fiction with supernatural aspects or romance novels.
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