4 out of 4 stars
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If you’re looking an electrifying historical fiction filled with sorcery, illicit romance, a curse and battle axe wielding Celtic warriors, I’d say that Apollo’s Raven is the book for you. Because it has all of that.
When her half-brother Marrock in the forest abandoned Celtic Princess Catrin, she never knew that the events that had transpired in those woods had altered a curse placed upon her kingdom. Left with no memory of the incident and a strange connection to black ravens, her duty is to break the curse and understand her relationship with her raven. But soon the Romans arrive, bringing with them the threat of war, the reappearance of Marrock and the enchanting Marcellus’s invasion upon Catrin’s heart. In danger of losing her family and her people, she must find a balance between her loyalty to her family and her love for Marcellus.
Through her complex and well-developed characters, Tanner manages to weave a tale of deception, love and family. She keeps the readers on their toes with added tidbits of information that thicken the juicy gravy that is the plot.
What I loved the most about this book was the strong female characters, both primary and secondary. Characters like Catrin and her mother, Queen Rhiannon, both warriors at heart who would fight for their kingdom and who face the challenge of the Romans head on. In fact, it is Catrin’s strength and her determination that shapes her bond with Marcellus, another aspect of the book that I enjoyed. Their relationship is tentative which makes it seem a lot more realistic, especially considering their circumstances.
Along with the refreshing characters, the readers are provided with an excellent snapshot into the era. The detailed research of the setting, the customs and traditions of both the Romans and the Celts are clearly visible throughout the novel. However, one feature that can be improved is the small sentence placed before each chapter that tip-off the events of that chapter. Quite a lot of the time these sentences gave a small spoiler of what might occur.
Apollo's Raven was a rollercoaster, taking the reader on a tumultuous journey filled with twists, turns and loop-the-loops. Although much like a rollercoaster, it can be a little confusing at times, however the thrilling feeling you get as the story progresses is more than enough to want more. I am glad to have had the opportunity to read this book and I give it a rating of 4 out of 4 stars.
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