Apollo's Raven, by Linnea Tanner, follows a young Celtic warrior on a journey of self discovery. After having an ominous vision of impending war, Catrin feels compelled to fight for the truth, no matter what her family believes. With her kingdom facing threats from all side, Catrin is determined to do everything with her power to save her the ones she loves.
This book is fairly well written. There were only a few poorly worded sentences that I had to reread to fully understand what Tanner meant. I loved Catrin. She was a very strong-willed, honest and independent girl who was constantly underestimated. Catrin fights for what she believes in and trusts her gut. We should all aim to be more like her. While she is naive, she is also young and that should is to be expected. This story had some unexpected twists that I enjoyed, and some rather gruesome scenes. Tanner did an excellent job of describing the gore without making me nauseous. Just enough to set the scene. I appreciate that.
Marcellus, the main male character, is an interesting man. I can never fully decide if I like to trust him. In that regard, Tanner did a great job with him. Romans are always stabbing each other in the back, so it stands to reason that this Roman would be no different. If he had just been an honest, trustworthy and straightforward guy, it would not have been believable.
It took a little while for this book to get moving. I was about a quarter of the way through it before I started to genuinely care about the characters. Once the story got moving, though, I couldn't put it down! Tanner attempts a few sex scenes, but falls short. It feels like she's not very comfortable with writing the scenes and wanted to get them over with quickly. Some scenes felt very awkward, while others seemed more clinical. They were decent, but clearly not the author's forte.
Tanner created a unique world with this book. There's a wonderful balance between what is historically accurate and fantasy. That is not an easy line to walk, but Tanner does it with grace and ease.
This is a great book for anyone who enjoys a little magic with their historical fiction. I appreciated the author's efforts to maintain social accuracies. The Romans treated women as lesser beings meant to be used and discarded, while the Celts treated women as equals. As a historian (of sorts) I respect the honesty and historical accuracy of it. As a woman, I wanted to punch the Senator in the throat many times. I enjoyed this story and I'm anxious to dive into the sequel to learn what happens next after that intense cliffhanger!
This book is easily a 3 out of 4 bolts