4 out of 4 stars
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Apollo's Raven by Linnea Tanner is a story about 24 AD Britannia which is in Turmoil. The problem is Celtic Kings, hand-picked by Rome to rule, are fighting against each other for power. The King's former wife casts a spell, before her demise, that a blood wolf and a raven will rise and destroy the King. Catrin, the King's daughter, born with a raven's spirit is the only one who can block the curse. Although trained as a warrior, Catrin must strengthen her powers to block the curse from coming true. Torn from a forbidden love, the enemy, and the loyalty to her people, Catrin must summon her powers to change the prophecy that awaits her in the first book in the series full of magic, adventure, intrigue and betrayal in Ancient Rome and Pre-Arthurian Britania.
Fortunately, there appeared to be just a handful of errors that did not hinder the overall story or my rating. I did find a few grammatical errors, only a couple, that I'm sure the author could resolve. However, one thing that I did find cumbersome was the beginning of each chapter. The author provided a couple of sentences under the chapter title that, at times, gave away the main point of the chapter. I was unable to ignore them myself. Yet, I am sure that others could possibly bypass these if they did not want a mini spoiler.
Tanner certainly mastered the art of telling a compelling story. The women in Apollo's Raven champion feminism. They show strength and unity. Apollo's Raven embodies the perfect amount of Celtic Mysticism romance and historical fact to create a cohesive and creatively constructed narrative. I was drawn to the forbidden love between Catrin and Marcellus as well as the ancient curse. This was a book that I had to tear myself away from. I was absolutely captivated how the story was full of layers. There were individual stories as well as collectively that overall added to the main story. The story was fast paced. At no time did I ever feel like the chapters were taking too long or that the story was at a standstill. It was an amazingly captivating story.
This is a book that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys an epic fantasy with romance mixed in. I would also advise that only mature audience reads this as there are a few sexual scenes and thoughts that are not appropriate for a younger audience. There were also some disturbingly graphic death scenes that were described in such detail the reader could taste the blood. These scenes were not long in length and added to the amazing plot.
I would give Apollo's Raven a 4 out of 4 star rating. I absolutely adored this book and was completely captivated by all of the twists and turns the author led me thru. I cannot wait to read the next book and continue the journey with Catrin.
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