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

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

Post by lavellan » 01 Oct 2018, 19:08

[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 is the first installment in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings series written by Linnea Tanner. The novel mainly follows Catrin, a Celtic princess, and Marcellus, a Roman nobleman. Set in 24 A.D. in Britannica, the threat of Roman conquest looms over the various Celtic tribes. Adding to this fear is a prophecy that pertains to Catrin; she is destined to aid her half-brother, Marrock, in overthrowing their father, King Amren, and help the Romans in conquering the island. However, there is still hope for Catrin: the prophecy is malleable, and her druidess powers may be the key to her saving her homeland. To make matters more complicated, Catrin begins to fall in love with Marcellus after she is tasked when overseeing him. Will the pair be able to balance their budding relationship with their familial duties?

Tanner has done an excellent job of blending fantasy with historical fiction. I did not know much about Celtic or Roman culture, so it was fascinating to read about the differences and similarities between the two. I appreciated that the Celtics viewed women as equals and allowed for them to follow whatever lifepath they desired. This contrasted sharply with the highly patriarchal Roman society. Tanner took this one step forward and allowed for these differences to help color the dynamics between Catrin and Marcellus. I enjoyed that the pair did not automatically click and suffered from their own petty squabbles. For instance, Marcellus underestimates Catrin’s physical prowess on multiple occasions, giving Catrin the chance to best him and show him the truth worth of women. Additionally, the fantasy elements included in the novel had me engrossed and curious to learn more about the world Tanner crafted. For instance, the logistics of Catrin melding minds with the raven, the animal that her druidess powers allow her to connect with, were fascinating.

In terms of faults, there were a few minor issues that I had with the novel. One involved the off-handed mention of Catrin having a twin sister that died when she was a young girl. This popped up around the halfway point of the book and came up during one of Queen Rhiannon’s, Catrin’s mother, musings. The fact that Catrin had a twin sister was never discussed again. I’m not sure if this was just foreshadowing for future books in the series, but the off-handed mention left me confused as to the importance of this tidbit. Additionally, there were some instances where the characters seemed to act unreasonably just to advance the plot. Without giving away spoilers, I feel that Queen Rhiannon acted completely unreasonably and impulsively in a tense diplomatic situation, something that a woman of her stature and experience would never do.

Apollo’s Raven only contained a handful of errors. Most errors dealt with incorrect word or homonym usage. One example involved the use of “discretely” instead of “discreetly”.

I rate Apollo’s Raven 4 out of 4 stars. The novel was action-packed and expertly blended historical and fantasy elements. The errors I noted were minor and did not detract from my enjoyment of the novel. I would recommend the book to readers who enjoy Roman and Celtic culture. Additionally, romance fans will enjoy the love between Marcellus and Catrin. More sensitive readers may be put off by the mentions of sexual assault and gore.

Apollo's Raven
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Post by Wa_hu » 02 Oct 2018, 02:10

Thanks for this review, it is very detailed and infornative. I'll be sure to read the book as soon as it becomes available to me.

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Post by inaramid » 10 Oct 2018, 02:57

From this (and other reviews as well), this book sounds epic. The sheer number of details make my head whirl. I like how you mentioned that "the prophecy is malleable." It certainly gives another dimension to the story. Thanks for this review.

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Post by Fozia-Bajwa » 10 Oct 2018, 07:30

This is the story of Rome and Celtic people. It contains political issues, government, war, and love relationship between Catrina and Marcellus. Good review. I enjoyed it

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Post by gali » 08 Nov 2018, 08:05

An Epic Celtic tale revolving around forbidden love, intrigue, and magic is just my cup of tea.In fact, I have read the book and liked it. I agree that the author has done an excellent job of blending fantasy and historical fiction. I also wondered about the twin sister. Thank you for the review!
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Post by cpru68 » 08 Nov 2018, 08:13

I read this book when it was book of the month in September, and your review hits the nail right on the head in regard to the author bringing to the forefront the Celtic culture. Like you, I had no knowledge of any of their history, and I found myself pleased to see that the women had freedoms to a certain extent. The arranged marriages were a bit tense! Your review makes me want to read it all over again because the book was so good. I think the twin sister was mentioned to be brought up in another book. The second one is out, but I haven’t read it as of yet. Great job on this review. It sounds like you enjoyed the book as much as I did!
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Post by Sirajuddin » 08 Nov 2018, 08:24

My favorite character is Catrin and her portrayal as an immature princess who has lost her heart for a Roman enemy who wants to conquer the Island of Celtic tribes, but she wants to protect her kingdom.

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Post by Ferdinand_otieno » 08 Nov 2018, 08:28

This is an amazing Celtic fantasy book that opens an interesting series by Linnea Tanner. I enjoyed reading and reviewing the book and i rated it 4 out of 4 stars. The OnlineBookClub review was masterfully written and Congrats on being the BOTD.

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Post by Ruba Abu Ali » 08 Nov 2018, 08:32

Action combined with historical fiction is a winning combination. Thank you for the thorough and insightful review.

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Post by Misael » 08 Nov 2018, 08:33

Though not a fan of historical fiction/fantasy, the book seems promising of an epic story of different kinds and levels of love. Congrats!

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Post by fernsmom » 08 Nov 2018, 08:39

Well written review. I like fantasy books, the druid part of it sounds good to me. Not too fond usually for a book to be that far back in time, but at least the women were treated equally. Again, great review! :tiphat:

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Post by LV2R » 08 Nov 2018, 08:47

It is interesting to blend historical facts with fantasy. Marcellus, a Roman soldier, and Catrin, a Celtic princess are on two sides of a threatening situation and in love with each other. Catrin's ability to see through her raven's eyes, not only the present but also the future, adds an element of fantasy and danger.
The book is action-packed and interesting to read.

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Post by bb587 » 08 Nov 2018, 08:59

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The mix of history with fantasy was tantalizing. I especially enjoyed the forbidden yet inescapable love between Catrin and Marcellus.

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Post by Kareka88 » 08 Nov 2018, 09:04

This book has been the book of the day more than once as well as book of the month, and it is still not my cup of tea. I learned a little more about the book from your review though, so thank you.
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Post by charity muthoka » 08 Nov 2018, 09:11

this book is very enjoyable I have really liked it.I learned very important things from the book.I really appreciate

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