4 out of 4 stars
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Princess Catrin, the youngest daughter of King Amren, discovers that she possesses the unique ability to connect with and see through the eyes of ravens. With this, she can glimpse into the past, future, and even the spiritual world. With the nations at the brink of war and curses that threaten to destroy everything she has ever known and loved, it does not take long for Princess Catrin to realize the weight of responsibility her position and powers bring. Hopelessly in love with the enemy's son (Marcellus, son of Sen. Lucius Antony and Mark Antony's great-grandson), she must now choose between love and loyalty to her family.
Apollo’s Raven by Linnea Tanner is an enthralling historical fiction novel that hurls readers’ full-force into the happenings of Ancient Rome and Britannia. It is the first book in its intended sequel - with Book 2: Empire’s Anvil said to be released soon. The narrative of the first book has a nice mix of romance, politics, and mysticism, bound to reel in different types of readers.
To me, the most impressive aspect of the book had to be the masterfully drawn historical setting, events, and characters. The occurrences, mannerisms, and characters were incredibly believable, and the politics, practices, and beliefs were intriguing and enveloping as well. I liked that the author incorporated all these aspects together as it helped to create a multidimensional world. Undoubtedly, much research went into writing the book.
The narrative is told in the third-person point of view, which takes readers through the in-depth perspectives, thoughts, and feelings of Marrock, Lucius, and other principal characters, as well as the actions of our protagonist, Catrin. This enriches the story and gives a deeper understanding of all the characters and their rationale. Additionally, all other minor characters introduced to the story were necessary for driving the story forward.
Another aspect I enjoyed was the plot. There was a gentle, steady incline in the intensity. From Catrin's brewing romance with Marcellus and the threat of the ancient curse and conflict, to anxiously wondering if she would master her powers before it was too late — all this kept me wanting more with each chapter. The only issue I found was there were specific words used, such as ‘wench’ and ‘shenanigans,’ which I think do not work with the ancient setting of Rome and Britannia.
I highly recommend Apollo’s Raven to those who appreciate the genre, and anyone who loves an intriguing tale of love, betrayal, politics of war, and the supernatural. The level of violence and death in the narrative is not for sensitive readers. Also, there was some sexual content, which makes the book an appropriate read for a mature audience. Overall, I enjoyed the narrative, which is why I rate the book 4 out of 4 stars.
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