4 out of 4 stars
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Sorcery. Deception. Mythology. Druids. Shape shifting. A prophecy. An ancient curse. Follow the Celtics and Romans in Linnea Tanner’s historical fiction/epic fantasy, Apollo’s Raven, for an exciting and unpredictable tale.
Celtic Princess and Warrior Catrin has learned something secretive and dangerous about herself, which can lead to her people’s success or their downfall. She is able to connect with ravens, which is seen as a bad omen. As she is struggling to understand this unnatural connection, she meets the captivating Roman, Marcellus, son of her family’s enemy. Torn between her loyalty to her family, her forbidden love for Marcellus, and her disturbing gift, will Catrin be able to break an ancient curse that was placed upon her family when she was a child?
This whirlwind of a ride had me captivated from page one. I was entranced by Catrin’s deep connection with ravens and her strengths and weaknesses. I was drawn to the uncertainty of the love between Catrin and Marcellus. I was pulled into the ancient curse and its mysterious outcome.
Needless to say that Tanner can certainly tell a tale containing all the necessary ingredients to an epic series. There are well-developed main characters, while the secondary characters nicely added to the storyline. Apollo’s Raven is composed of an enticing plot full of mystery and intrigue where the author cleverly drops breadcrumbs for her readers chapter after chapter, leaving them wanting more. Themes of honesty, loyalty, family, love, trust, and much more fill every page.
There were just a few minor aspects that could improve this read. In the beginning of each chapter, before the chapter started, there was a sentence or two hinting the main idea; at times, this contained spoilers, but readers can easily skip these if desired. Also, I did question the use of “hooligans” and “shenanigans” during ancient Roman times, but this only came up twice in 400 pages, so it didn’t deter from the reading. Lastly, there were less than handful of errors. For instance, “…with a of couple fingers…” (loc. 572), is something that can be easily fixed. However, nothing too major and again did not take away from my enjoyment.
For future readers, there were some sexual scenes/thoughts and a couple of disturbing scenes involving blood and death. However, the scenes were not very lengthy and simply added to the insanely awesome plot.
Overall, I absolutely loved this read. It was one that I looked forward to reading every time I picked it up, which doesn’t happen very often. Needless to say, I happily give this epic read a 4 out of 4 stars, and recommend it to anyone who enjoys an excellent epic fantasy with romance mixed in.
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