4 out of 4 stars
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Apollo’s Raven by Linnea Tanner is a literary masterpiece that captures its audience from the first few pages. Although this book is marketed as a historical fiction, it reads more like a historical romance novel. I was pleasantly surprised by just how good this book turned out to be. There were so many interesting twists in the book, with no plot holes which showcased the skill of the writer. It was very hard to predict what would happen next, and every new page contained a new piece to the puzzle. The writer’s attention to detail was spot on, with great imagery that transported me into this fantasy world.
The book is about a Celtic princess Catrin, who was charged with being a host, which was really just a spy for her father. He had taken a Roman nobleman as a hostage, whom she later fell in love with. The hostage was taken, as her father, King Amren needed to leave his kingdom to make political decisions, to settle several disputes with the Romans, and keeping the Roman was leverage for his security.
The novel explores the princess’s mystical abilities as they develop, and her being torn between duty and love as her world is beginning to crumble around her. It drew on major themes observed such as deception, love, nature, fear and revenge. I especially loved how well developed each character was, whether they were primary or secondary, there was sufficient information provided about them for you to feel connected. Although the story was centred mostly on Catrin, each named character was given a few moments in the spotlight that greatly added to the quality of the book.
There was nothing I did not like about this book. I loved and appreciated just how much research went into the writing of this book. The flow of the book was great, which made it even more enticing, and I was left with no unanswered questions. I loved how women were portrayed in the book, as equals versus being inferior to their male counterparts.
Overall, I happily rate this book 4 out of 4 stars because it was a very great read. It was well written and there were no errors detected. I would definitely recommend this book to my friends who like historical, romance, fantasy or just a combination of the three genres, as this book certainly involves many different audiences. It would certainly make a good read for any book club as it contains many points that could be discussed and enjoyed with friends.
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