4 out of 4 stars
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Apollo’s Raven by Linnea Tanner is a historical fiction/fantasy book that captivates readers with each turn of the page. It takes place in 24 AD in Britannia with a Celtic civilization and its battle to keep peace with the ancient Roman Empire. It’s a blend of history, mythology, forbidden romance, and political intrigue. Follow Catrin and Marcellus in omens, premonitory dreams and the power of magic to overcome their troubles.
Catrin is a princess warrior who learns that she has magical powers with help from her raven. She can shapeshift, prophesy, and call upon nature’s forces to help her overcome her enemies. Her father is King Amren of the Cantiaci Celtic warriors. His late wife Queen Rhan was beheaded in front of her son Marrock because she committed treason. She had put a curse on Amren for his next daughter, who happens to be Catrin. Amren and the late Rhans’s son Marrock is banished out of the family due to what he did to Catrin and two other kids in the woods. Marrock’s thirst for revenge against his father leads him to seek support from the Roman Empire.
When Marrock tries to get the Roman Empire to go against the Celtic’s he creates lies and causes a whirlwind of troubles. He uses his power as husband to the eldest daughter of Cunobelin, the ruler of a rival Celtic kingdom to try and overthrow Marrock father’s thrown. Marcellus, son of the Roman Senator Lucius Antonius is held captive by Amren during negotiations about the Cantiacis’s future. He plans on marrying his daughter Vala to Cunobelins’s son in hopes of creating peace for Amren’s homeland. But Marrock has other plans in place to try and cause a war between the two kingdoms and the Roman Empire.
The shifting points of view in the book give us the chance of plunging into different characters’ innermost thoughts and emotions. Making the story even more intriguing and captivating. The language and descriptions help this story come alive. Showing the connections between the characters helps the story flow easily. There are some parts of the book where the language used, and descriptions would be unsuitable for a younger audience. There were some sexual scenes and some fighting scenes. But personally, I thought that those scenes heightened the story even more. Showing those few scenes also helped the relationships between the characters become stronger.
Also, the use of history and mythology in it was amazing. I loved how it helped the story become more like a movie. I could not put the book down, and it was a page turner. It was not complicated with the history and mythology and was easy to understand. Even though some of the people, places, and such I did not know; I enjoyed reading and had an easy time understanding it. I learned a lot from the book as well, it was fun. My dad is into history books, and I am sure he would enjoy this one as well.
There was not much about Apollo’s Raven I did not like. In fact, the only thing there was is that it was not long enough. I kept reading and reading until I realized there were no more words. I cannot wait to start the next book in the series. I love that she added a few of the chapters for her next book to the end of the Apollo’s Raven. If there were any grammar or spelling errors I did not notice. It was a very smooth read that I enjoyed it tremendously. The map and artwork throughout the pages was a nice addition as well. I adored the different roles woman played in each kingdom as well.
The thing I loved the most about the book was the love connection of Catrin and Marcellus. Catrin is in charge of finding out information from Marcellus while she watches him as they await the return of the king with their decision. Marcellus’s father Lucius has demanded that he seduce Catrin to gain more information for him about the Celtic Warriors. But at first sight they feel a connection unlike any other for each other. As the story continues, you are invited into their forbidden love and the adventure it takes them on. They both go against what they were taught to help each other during these hard times of negotiations. With her powers from the ancient Druids, she tries to control the future and learns from the past. With Marcellus’s sun God Apollo and Catrin’s sun God Bel and his consort, Belissama, they fight for what they feel is right. They love each other so much that they both go against everything their family says. Their love is like Romeo and Juliet, but much more adventure and captivating to read about.
I rate Apollo’s Raven a 4 out of 4! I would recommend this book to anyone looking for something to keep them “on their toes.” The story plot, characters, and events are well written. I felt like a movie was playing in my head while I was reading. I did not want the book to end but wanted to know what was coming next. I cannot wait to read the next book in the Apollo series. I highly recommend people to read this book and share it with everyone they know.
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