4 out of 4 stars
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Apollo's Raven is a gripping, vivid page turner from the very start of the novel. Taking place in roughly 125 B.C., approximately 70 years after Julius Caesar attempted to invade the Celtics, Apollo's Raven tells is a spell-binding account of Catrin, the daughter of the royal Celtic family who is torn between duty to her country and the star crossed love affair with a strapping, young Roman named Marcellus.
Linnea Tanner has created a thrilling novel full of historically accurate details of Celtic life and traditions as well as rich imagery to make the reader feel deeply connected to the complex characters and their struggles. From the beginning, Tanner paints a fierce profile of the brave and fearless warrior princess, Catrin, who is steeped within mystical Druid magic and political chaos.
Tanner employs metaphors and vivid imagery to detail Catrin innermost feelings about everything from her magical, mysterious connection with a raven to her forbidden, yet politically charged romantic attraction to the Roman named Marcellus. Catrin’s character, like many others in the novel, is one of depth and intrigue. The book is written so that is feels as though the characters could have been real people that difficult lived lives in the time and region of ancient Celtic Britannia.
One of the most intriguing threads of the book is Catrin's romantic affair with Marcellus. Catrin and Marcellus are both pressured by their parents, who each have political standing in their respective territories, to seduce one another with the intent of drawing out as much information as they can about each other's kingdoms, which could be used as an advantage in an possible approaching battle. In the midst of political upheaval they find out that they have a lot more in common than they initially thought. Despite Catrin’s attempts to resist her undeniable, magnetic attraction to Marcellus, she finds herself being drawn to him. Throughout their scandalous courtship, both of their troubled pasts and threats of uncertainty about each of their futures loom above their heads, making it nearly impossible to put the novel down as each chapter blends in seamlessly with the next one.
I give Apollo's Raven, by Linnea Tanner, a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. The depth of the characters, detailed imagery and historical accuracy combined with mysterious forces and Druid magic, make this novel a riveting read. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in a coming of age, Romeo and Juliet type of story that they will not be able to put down until the last page has been turned.
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