4 out of 4 stars
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Apollo’s Raven is the first book in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings series by author Linnea Tanner. It is an exciting adventure in a time two-thousand years ago when the Roman Empire still ruled what many considered the entire civilized world. This land full of magic and mysticism is the setting where Catrin, youngest daughter of the Cantiacian king, explores her magical gifts and her place in the leadership of her father’s kingdom. During an official assembly, Catrin crosses paths with a young Roman, Marcellus, grandson of Marc Antony. Marcellus is also trying to navigate the path he needs to take in order to please his father and stake his place in the Roman Empire. The two young characters soon find out that their fated courses are meant to cross and their lives to intertwine.
One of the things I liked about Apollo’s Raven is the strong female main character. She is not so independent that she doesn’t recognize her position in the royal family. She respects the structure and doesn’t rebel against her teaching. However, she has enough intelligence and authority to use situations to her advantage. I also liked the thorough descriptions of the setting of the Celtic community in which the story takes place, including the rough-edged feasts and the brash warrior characters. And, the author adds something I always find is a plus in historical fiction: a map! Tanner includes a map of Britannia, showing the locations of the settlements important to the story.
I wasn’t thrilled about the sex scenes. Discretion and the imagination can go a long way, and I would have preferred that the author had left the sex to our imaginations. But, I also know that some readers are not put off by that.
I rate Apollo’s Raven 4 out of 4 stars. I found that it was much better than a 3-star book because everything came together. The dialogue seemed natural. The plot was woven together tightly but was not predictable. The descriptions created clear images. And there were not many grammatical errors. It seemed to be professionally edited.
This book will appeal to readers who love historical fantasy, especially that of the Celtic culture. Catrin discovers a lot of mystical wonder in this book, and I imagine that she learns more in the next book in the series. That said, if you don’t like historical fantasy, this book is not for you. I, on the other hand, can’t wait to read the second book!
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