4 out of 4 stars
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Enthralling. Exciting. Mystery. Betrayal. Forbidden love. Power struggles. Magic. Sorcery. Blood thirst. War. Revenge. It's all here. Beautifully written. Bathed in the deep enthralls of mystic historic language and deep seated power struggles, Apollo's Raven unfolds with spells that encapsulates you in a mystic cocoon, shocked with secret after secret like bullets in warfare. Celtic fantasy lovers unite! It'll be worth the journey. I proudly rate this one 4 out of 4.
The tale begins with Catrin, a celtic warrior princess who’s discovered she can meld her mind with a special raven, to see through its eyes; an ancient druidess power that had been frowned upon in her land in Britannia. However, this power has helped her to foresee a great terror that is on the doorstep of the land she has sworn to protect and is grave with danger from the Romans alongside someone she had tried time and time again to erase from her mind for fear of what happened the last time she was in his presence; her half brother Marrock. With imminent danger around the corner, and a sense of urgency, Catrin rushes to her father King Amren’s side, only to find him already in chambers with a Roman senator Lucius Antonius. Antonius claims to be there under the command of Emperor Tiberius of Rome and has come to challenge King Amren’s choice of heir to his throne, claiming that the other rival king Cunobelin of Rome believes that Marrock, should be the heir.... but there’s more behind that veil.
In the fight of keeping his throne and trying to keep peace between rival nations, his daughters become pawns, one of which, Catrin namely, ends up falling for the son of Lucius. But this son, has his own agenda, as does Catrin, and neither knows the whole story. And that’s not all. The king has his own secrets, as does his queen, his right hand knight and even his most trusted advisor. Added to, the turmoil for power is complicated by a curse cast on King Amren by a powerful Druidess; King Amren's former queen. It prophesises that a raven shall descend and together with Blood Wolf, will destroy him. Catrin, after finding out about the prophesy, quickly realises that she is the Raven. Can she use the powers of the druids to thwart the curse that descends upon her father's head and save Britannia? Or will she succumb to her love of the enemy's son and betray her kingdom? Or is there more to it than that?
The mystery unfolds in a well thought out plot of magic, love and betrayal. I loved it! There was suspense from the start of the 400 page novel to the end. There were so many plot twists, that sometimes I had to take a break to collect my thoughts and go over what i just read. So many sub plots between Lucius’ own private agenda for power, budding forbidden love, clandestine affairs, the fight for power between kings, Marrock’s transformations and his blood thirst, that the story builds with layers and layers of suspense, all of which contribute effortessly to the larger narrative.The author also paid impeccable attention to the detail of this historic period and built her characters with just as much esteem. What I also liked was that though this is part of a series of novels, and there was a bit of a cliffhanger, there was enough in the Interlude to satisfy me .It just has me anxious to read what comes next.
The novel was well thought out and each layer created a cocoon for the next to unfold. Celtic fantasies have never been my thing, but it was refreshing to read about a strong female warrior in a historic period and the trials she undertook throughout her journey.If you’re not a fan of historic fantasies with celtic language, this may not be the book for you, but if you like tales of love, power and betrayal and don’t mind a little history, then Apollo's Raven is a worthy read.
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