4 out of 4 stars
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Apollo’s Raven is a sweeping tale about the youngest daughter of a Celtic king, gifted with powers from the Gods, who is torn between her loyalty to her people and her love for a young Roman in a time where war is on the horizon. Full of conflicting emotions, revelations, and interwoven plot elements, this novel gives readers an authentic experience of a time during the Roman empire and the setting of the Celtic tribal lands.
I enjoyed reading this novel. It’s as simple as that. The details brought this novel to life. Characters prayed to Apollo with offerings, others were quick with weapons. Some of them were cunning, thinking differently from how they acted towards other characters. Most of the individuals were multi-dimensional in the novel world: they showed various characteristics, different bias, past life experiences that affected how they reacted in the novel. I never liked any character throughout the entire book because they all made mistakes, just as it should be in life.
The romance in the novel I was not expecting, but I was pleased that it managed to retain a certain level of “class”. Though the time of this novel forces boundaries to be broken for the sake of authenticity, I did not find any scene too detailed to require skipping.
Unfortunately, I was slightly disappointed by the ending. No spoilers here, but I will admit I expected a bit more of a conclusion. What I received was less of a conclusion and more of a cliff-hanger. Cliff-hangers can be enticing to readers, but I find in novels it is best to reward the reader with a little bit of a story wrap-up. The reader didn’t sign up to read both books, they agreed to read the first. Thank them with a little wrap up before going to commercial break, and they will be ever so grateful.
The setting of this novel was a powerful element of the plot. Any person that enjoys symbolism will delight in the pages of Apollo’s Raven, chock full of spirit animals and white cliffs. I love how the story used the setting to craft the atmosphere and the emotional roller coaster of the POV characters. This made my interpretation of each scene more natural and forthcoming.
As such, I rate Apollo’s Raven 4 out of 4 stars for being a top-notch novel. There is no reason this book couldn’t be adapted into a movie, other than “they would probably mess it up”. I highly recommend this novel for a gratifying fiction read.
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