Verdict: APOLLO’S RAVEN is a soaring epic that carries its audience on an adventure full of ancient magic, passionate romance, and political intrigue.
In Ancient Britannia, a patchwork of Celtic kingdoms still rule the lands, though the threat of the Roman Empire looms across the water. Catrin, a young princess and warrior, finds herself in the middle of a dangerous game of love and politics when Marcellus, the handsome son of a Roman senator, is taken prisoner by her people. As uneasy negotiations take place and Catrin and Marcellus’ secret romance blossoms, an ominous prophecy foretold before Catrin’s birth is set in motion. To stop it, Catrin must learn to connect to the powers bestowed upon her by the Ancient Druids—but can she choose between the love for her people and the love of an enemy?
APOLLO’S RAVEN offers a compelling blend of history and fantasy that feels natural to the story. Given the ancient setting steeped in mythology, it’s almost as if one can’t exist without the other, which only enhances the narrative’s masterful worldbuilding. Author Linnea Tanner provides a rare look into the beliefs of the Celtic people interspersed with the Roman mythology that many already know. Tanner’s impeccable research and attention to historical detail lay a solid foundation for a richly woven tale.
The novel has all of the right elements for an adventurous epic starting with its heroine, Catrin. She’s allowed to be both vulnerable and unflinchingly brave. She shows strength in the most difficult of situations, as her resolve and love are tested time and again. Her mystical powers, which she grows into over the course of the narrative, allow her to connect with a raven spirit. Through the raven, she has powers of foresight that aid her in making tough choices. In an ancient culture that paints men and women as equals, Catrin is both a warrior and a princess, and a heroine worth rooting for.
Catrin is surrounded by a great supporting cast, including Marcellus, her love interest who harbors a troubled past of his own. The two of them are swept into a delightfully messed up web of ancient politics that dishes out some surprising twists to keep the pages turning. The narrative switches to key points of view throughout, offering a well-founded story while maintaining suspense.
~Jessica Thomas for IndieReader