4 out of 4 stars
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The novel Apollo's Raven by Linnea Taylor is the stunning story of Catrin, a Celtic princess growing up at the beginning of the common era. Catrin's family must protect their land at all costs, especially from the evil Romans. The Romans are persevering to take the family's land, and hostages are a common occurrence on both sides. One Roman hostage of Catrin's family named Marcellus is tasked to gain intel from the family, and the storyline develops into one of mystery, romance, and violence. With her brother Morrock being banished after unspeakable acts, Catrin is expected to lead the future generation of her family.
As the story progresses, it is apparent that Catrin is a strong woman with no intention of backing down from perilous situations. Her older sister Mor is given the responsibility to rule the kingdom and break the evil curse given to her family, but it becomes apparent quickly that Catrin is more suitable for this task. Catrin relies on her pet raven to help show her the way out of captivity, to break the evil curse, and show her the truth about her relationship with her father's enemy Marcellus. Will the raven show the correct prophecy to reward King Amram's family?
This story is labeled as historical fiction, and the storyline is fascinating. Set in 24 A.D., the author has done her research on Rome during this time and makes for a captivating story. This book is the first of a series, and I look forward to reading what adventures Catrin and Marcellus experience next. The connection between the two main characters is definitely Romeo and Juliet like and does not disappoint romantically.
I enjoyed this book immensely. Catrin is such a relatable character, and I felt connected to her as a strong female. The fantasy and personification used with the raven and also the brother Morrock as a half-wolf made for exciting reading. The author did an excellent job providing vivid imagery, and the writing flow was superb. I usually do not like fantasies, but this historical fiction during the Roman empire is an excellent piece of work.
I give Apollo's Raven 4 out of 4 stars, for its excellent writing flow, wonderful scenery, and a phenomenal main cast of characters. I recommend this book to any reader looking for their next book series that involves fantasy, historical fiction, personification, violence, and romance. I do not recommend this book for younger readers, as the book includes violence and is sexually graphic in nature.
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