Review by Britty01 -- Apollo's Raven by Linnea Tanner

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Britty01
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Review by Britty01 -- Apollo's Raven by Linnea Tanner

Post by Britty01 » 18 Sep 2018, 18:55

[Following is a volunteer review of "Apollo's Raven" by Linnea Tanner.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Apollo’s Raven by Linnea Tanner is an historical fiction/fantasy novel.

The story opens with Catrin, a warrior princess of the Cantiaci tribe. Catrin has been disturbed by a strange dream and is seeking an omen from her Raven guide. Standing on top of a cliff edge, she studies the Raven's flight over the water. As she gazes into the distance, she sees dark shadows looming on the horizon. By melding her thoughts with her raven guide, she sees ships moving onto the shore, and soldiers marching inland. By the time she reaches the fort settlement to warn King Amren, the Roman envoy is standing before the royal dais.

During the ensuing discussions, Amren realizes that Cunobelin, King of Catuvellauni, has betrayed him and entered into a secret trade agreement with the Romans. King Amren persuades the Roman senator to arrange a secret meeting between himself and Cunobelin and for the senator to act as arbitrator. They agree to swap hostages to ensure each other’s safety. Amren tells Catrin to befriend Marcus, the senator’s son. He wants to find out the truth about why the Roman’s Emperor sent his envoy. Will Catrin succeed in her task while keeping Marcellus safe from harm?

Linnea Tanner has created a powerful story about the conflicts between ancient Celtic people and Romans. A story that is full of intrigue, betrayal, forbidden love, ancient rituals, animal sacrifices, and an evil curse. It is clear to see the author performed a large amount of research into the history of ancient Roman culture and the invasion into Gaul and southern Britain. The map is excellent. I looked up Camulodunum (now modern-day Colchester) and it is in the correct location. I like a map with a book such as this one as it enables the reader to formulate a better idea of the area of the world where the story revolves around.

There were several aspects of this novel that were appealing to me. In the book, the reader gets a peek into the customs and traditions of these Iron Age peoples. We also see how that contrasts with the political and military system of the ancient Romans. The Celts were believed to treat the women as equal to men. In contrast, the Roman’s gave higher authority to the male, and succession would pass to a male heir. In the story, we see that both Catrin and Marcellus are in fact pawns in the struggle for power between opposing parents. King Amren seems quite ready to use a daughter as a bargaining chip if it suits his quest for power and wealth.

Loyalty to the tribe clan was everything. We see this several times in exchanges between Mor and Catrin. Mor compels Catrin to keep the relationship between herself and Belinus a secret. Rhiannon fulfilled her duty marrying King Amren, a man twice her age, to gain a political alliance between the Regni and Cantiaci tribes.

The author pulls the various plot twists together in a superb fashion. The characters were complex and intriguing. The mystical elements that are included in the story help create suspicion and doubt in the minds of each of the main characters about one another. At one point in the story, Marcellus begins to question Catrin’s feelings and loyalty. This can certainly keep the reader hungry for more.

I did not enjoy the more violent parts of the story as represented in the sacrificial ceremonies. There was a missing word in chapter four. I believe the book has been professionally edited. My rating is 4 out of 4 stars.

I would recommend this book to those who enjoys historical fiction with a touch of the supernatural. However, I would not recommend it to those who are sensitive about graphic violence. Due to the mention of rape and some sexual content I believe it is appropriate for a mature audience.

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jcoad
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Post by jcoad » 21 Sep 2018, 13:03

This is a great review. I just don't think the book is for me. I'm not sure the historical fiction parts (which I love) outweigh the romance parts (which I do not like). Feels like Harlequin Romance meets Hercules and not sure I can read that. Awesome job on the review, very informative!

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Post by Britty01 » 22 Sep 2018, 13:12

jcoad wrote: ↑
21 Sep 2018, 13:03
This is a great review. I just don't think the book is for me. I'm not sure the historical fiction parts (which I love) outweigh the romance parts (which I do not like). Feels like Harlequin Romance meets Hercules and not sure I can read that. Awesome job on the review, very informative!
Thank you for reading and leaving a comment. I can understand the conflict.

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Post by Cotwani » 22 Sep 2018, 23:34

Thanks for the thorough review. I'm amazed that the Celts gave women equal rights to men. Very commendable.
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Post by Irene C » 23 Sep 2018, 09:50

Thanks for this review. You seem to have enjoyed the novel more than I did. I think you and I agree on the elements of the story that had potential. I just don’t think the author ended up handling them well.
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Post by Britty01 » 01 Oct 2018, 16:43

Irene C wrote: ↑
23 Sep 2018, 09:50
Thanks for this review. You seem to have enjoyed the novel more than I did. I think you and I agree on the elements of the story that had potential. I just don’t think the author ended up handling them well.
I think so too. Feel free to email if you would like to discuss the elements you think might have been handled better. I read your review and commented. It is unfortunate to try out a new genre and it does not turn out to be quite as interesting a story as you might have expected. I like historical fiction, preferably if it has interesting geography, architecture, scenery, good characters and plot. It takes away from my enjoyment if there is a lot of graphic violence. A book I read, which had probably been one of the first Historical fiction books I had looked at in quite some time and quite different from the ones I had read in the past, was "Strong Heart". It did contain a story within a story, but it is so well laid out and they both intertwine so well. Near the end, all the pieces fall into place. I am looking forward with anticipation for the next book. The scenery was described so well, I wanted to be there.

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Post by Britty01 » 01 Oct 2018, 16:45

Cotwani wrote: ↑
22 Sep 2018, 23:34
Thanks for the thorough review. I'm amazed that the Celts gave women equal rights to men. Very commendable.
Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

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Post by ea_anthony » 07 Oct 2018, 13:08

This is quite an interesting review, well-done. Historical fiction is usually one of my things, so also is fantasy. I should be reading the novel sometime soon.
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Post by LV2R » 07 Oct 2018, 20:08

Britty01 wrote: ↑
18 Sep 2018, 18:55
[Following is a volunteer review of "Apollo's Raven" by Linnea Tanner.]

Linnea Tanner has created a powerful story about the conflicts between ancient Celtic people and Romans. A story that is full of intrigue, betrayal, forbidden love, ancient rituals, animal sacrifices, and an evil curse. It is clear to see the author performed a large amount of research into the history of ancient Roman culture and the invasion into Gaul and southern Britain. The map is excellent. I looked up Camulodunum (now modern-day Colchester) and it is in the correct location. I like a map with a book such as this one as it enables the reader to formulate a better idea of the area of the world where the story revolves around.
I agree with you that the author researched well on the ancient cultures in writing this book. The facts mixed in with a fictional story made it believable. I liked learning about the customs as well.

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Post by Rick Swan » 07 Oct 2018, 22:06

I love this part of history - where Rome and the Celts collide. I'm reading Caesar's Commentaries, recounting his campaign in Gaul, and I think I'd like this book. Thanks for the thorough review.

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Post by Fozia-Bajwa » 10 Oct 2018, 11:39

Apollo’s Raven by Linnea Tanner is a book about the love story of Catrina and Marcellus. They are two members of a pathway but belong to two different Estates which are opposite to each other. You have explained well in your review.

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Post by teacherjh » 11 Oct 2018, 17:18

It is not a story I normally pick up, but it sounds really well written. Great review.
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Post by Fozia-Bajwa » 26 Oct 2018, 11:39

Linnea Tanner has created a powerful story about the conflicts between ancient Celtic people and Romans. A story that is full of intrigue, betrayal, forbidden love, ancient rituals, animal sacrifices, and an evil curse. It is clear to see the author performed a large amount of research into the history of ancient Roman culture and the minvasion into Gaul and southern Britain. The map is excellent. I looked up Camulodunum (now modern-day Colchester) and it is in the correct location. I like a map with a book such as this one as it enables the reader to formulate a better idea of the area of the world where the story revolves around

This is the main point you have mentioned it the story because the whole story is based on this theme of Celtic and Romans.

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Post by Espie » 01 Dec 2018, 21:05

A multi-faceted piece of historical fiction like this is quite notable. Thank you for your interesting review.
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