4 out of 4 stars
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Two worlds collide in Apollo’s Raven by Linnea Tanner. It is empire against empire, as well as tribe against tribe. The ancient yet modern patriarchal culture of Rome meets the ancient barbaric culture of the Cantiaci in Britannia. The goal is peace but with a cursed past, tribes at war, and an unknown amount of betrayal, Rome is asked to intervene. With the Roman intervention betrayals are unmasked as a love story to rival Marc Antony and Cleopatra unfolds. It is through this dangerous star-crossed love that the mystical forces of the ancient Celtic druids and the Gods and Goddesses of each empire awakens in this thrilling and ritual filled tale. Will the newly discovered love between the Cantiaci king’s daughter, Catrin, and the Roman senator’s son, Marcellus Antonius, unite empires and create peace, or will their budding love continue to wage war as betrayals burn bright? Only their choices can enlighten us as they fight against fate and curses forged long before their time.
I give this book a 4 out of 4 rating. I thought the book was and excellent read. I even found the book to be refreshing and invigorating, it brought two cultures together in a way that is, in my opinion, never been seen before. Another enjoyable feat, was the fact that although at moments you had red herrings you are not so easily able to guess what will happen next as the story unfolds. As I read I found no grammatical errors or typos. The present and past tenses, easily discernable, made the book easy to read and understand. The way the story was wrote to formatically flow on the pages helped in my decision on what rating to give Apollo’s Raven by Linnea Tanner.
There are many things that I enjoyed about the book wrote by Mrs. Tanner, but I will only discuss my top three reasons. First, I loved the fact that there was a blending of two ancient cultures that you do not normally see. Roman and Celtic cultures are diverse on so many things. One thing, for example, is that Rome is patriarchal, seeing the male word as law, while the Celts are not. The Celts do not see their women as just property and ways to carry on the family lineages but rather honor and respect their women as equals, often acknowledging them as warriors or in some instances sole rulers to their kingdoms. Due to the cultural growth in Rome much is known about the Romans, who did not just orally pass down their history they wrote it down as well. The Celts were not as culturally diverse as the Romans and most of their culture was orated, which died out as their lands were pillaged and conquered, which brings me to my second point for why I like this book. The book has a historical foundation. Although it is just a story based on cultures and myths, it still has a bit of truth and real life to it. Britannia truly did once exist. My top third reason to why I enjoyed the book, is that it is a love story with many twists and turns, and it keeps you wanting more. In my opinion, it is important that a story keeps you so interested that you never want it to end. That one statement is the true reason why I loved this book.
Just as there are many things I enjoyed about this book there are things that I disliked about it as well. Again, I will only discuss my top three dislikes about Apollo’s Raven. My first reason is that although I understand the formatted need of chapters I felt as though there were too many. A few, honestly, could have been combined. In my opinion, the combination of the chapters could have added to the suspense of the story’s details instead of dragging out the story in short clipped momentary details. Secondly, although stated previously with no grammatical errors or typos, I found the use of the word cathos in chapters 35 and 36 frustrating. I state this because in the context of what I understood the word to mean in these chapters, which was a burning rage, the true meaning is detestation or hatred. I only discovered this true meaning after reading the author’s note at the end of the story. My final dislike that I wish to discuss is the fact that as much as I liked the twists and turns of the story from beginning to end there was much left to question. The biggest questions I faced were things such as the following. What does the signs in the last paragraph of the story mean for Catrin and Marcellus? Why was Catrin’s sister Mor spoke of more than her sister Vala? What is Vala’s role in the storyline and will she make more appearances in the future? If her father King Amren dotes on Catrin the way he does, although knowing about her role in his curse, why does he and the queen shirk her opinions? Why did Rahn want to dispatch the king before she curses him and what does she truly add to the storyline? But, the biggest question I faced was, why does mistrust and betrayal seem to be the leading hand and theme in this story, what of understanding, loyalty, and love, and most importantly what does this mean for the next story in this series? However enjoyable the book may be, leaving me with burning questions such as these leaves the bitter taste of dislike in my mouth.
There are many authors in this world, but I find Mrs. Tanner to be brilliant. Refreshing enough to bring something new to the world of literature. So much so that even the dislikes about Apollo’s Raven has me wanting to read not just more of this series but more of what she has wrote in general. My ultimate conclusion of this book and Linnea Tanner is that I would recommend this special book to family and friends, whom enjoy the spectrum of genres presented in Apollo’s Raven.
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