4 out of 4 stars
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An abundance of intrigue, twists, and turns coupled with historical detail, magic, and prophecy greet us in Ancient Britain within Linnea Tanner’s historical fiction tale, Apollo’s Raven.
As tensions brew among the Celtic tribes of Britannia we meet Catrin a warrior princess of one of the tribes engulfed in the political intrigues that are about to commence as the story progresses. As Catrin comes to realize just how much things are about to change in her life, she soon learns of the supernatural gifts she possesses and the ominous prophecy she was born under and in the mist of it all she meets Marcellus, the son of a Roman Senator. As a connection steadily grows between them questions of loyalty, family ties, and love arise amongst conflict. Can Catrin and Marcellus make sense of the visions and prophecies set before them? And as they face these challenges can their love survive?
Shape shifting magic ties in seamlessly and it is believable to the point where as the reader we are able to view the characters’ world as they did. The magical elements are not just superstition but very real, tangible things. One of the main things that I really liked about this story was the attention to characterization in relation to the era. I liked that it never felt as though I was reading about modern personalities in a historical setting; all of the characters and their personality traits felt true to the period and the setting.
Catrin’s character shines through and I quickly realized that there was a balance and calming presence about her that I found refreshing. Marcellus is an intriguing male lead. His relationship with his father and his position in Roman society kept me engaged and made me wonder just how his story would resolve itself. Marcellus and Catrin almost mirrored each other with their situations of divided loyalties between their families and growing affection for each other. It was enjoyable to read both Catrin and Marcellus’ characters growth as the story progressed.
The most noticeable thing that gave me pause while reading where modern expressions in character dialogue such as “Suit yourself.” I did wonder at the anarchism for a moment, but it did not occur so frequently in the book that it distracted from my focus on the story.
It is a read where I came into it expecting romance, rich historical detail, and political intrigue and ending up getting that and more. I give this quick enjoyable read 4 out of 4 stars it is the perfect book for anyone who loves historical fiction with a hint of fantasy.
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