4 out of 4 stars
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Apollo’s Raven is the first book in a new series by Linnea Tanner. It is a historical fiction/fantasy. It mixes the historic cultures of the Celtics and the Romans with a mythical twist. Our heroine, Catrin, has been blessed with ancient power. She must learn to use this power to save her family, her kingdom, and the man she loves. Her family has been cursed, and it is up to her to find a way to break it. Her kingdom is on the brink of war with Rome. It becomes all the more dangerous when her power shows her that her exiled brother is plotting against them alongside the Romans. She must navigate through forbidden love and family expectations, and find a way to make these opposing sides trust her.
I have nothing but good things to say about this book. I feel that the story stayed true the historical culture of the two peoples. I love that women could be seen as warriors and leaders in the Celtic tribe. The element of magic that is introduced in the book coincides with the religious beliefs of the people, so it flows very well throughout the story. The various love stories throughout the book are all believable. I liked the classic love story between Catrin and Marcellous. It felt very much like a young woman that is in love for the first time. The relationships between the other couples in the book are also very believable and different from each other. I also like how this book ended. There was a definitive close to the story, even though the story isn’t over. I can see where the story can and will continue, but I also don’t feel that the story was cut short.
There were only a couple of things that were a little off to me. There were some times when Catrin’s parents did things that I felt were a little dim witted, which didn’t align with their characters. They both believe Catrin has these powers, but when she tells that things that she sees, particularly about Agrona, her father’s spiritual advisor, they dismiss her. The Queen also makes some rash decisions that have disastrous consequences. While emotionally understandable, these actions don’t seem to line up with her usual cool and reasonable decision making. However, these can still be seen as mistakes the characters are making and not mistakes themselves.
As a word of caution, there are some parts that can get pretty gruesome in the book. There are some violent, erotic, and sacrificial scenes throughout the book that might be overwhelming for some people. Some of these scenes include children.
After devouring this book, I rate it a 4 out of 4 stars. I highly recommend it to anyone. With so many genres being covered, Apollo’s Raven can appeal to many readers. I particularly recommend it to those who have an interest in reading about ancient cultures. I would only say that you shouldn’t read this book if you would struggle with the graphic elements. I am looking forward to reading the rest of this series.
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