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Summary

Can a curse control ancient Britannia?

The world is in turmoil. Celtic kings hand-picked by Rome to rule are fighting each other for power. King Amren's former queen, a powerful druid, has cast a curse that foretells Blood Wolf and the Raven will rise and destroy him. When Roman envoys unexpectedly arrive with a cohort of legionaries and demand King Amren's fealty, his rule begins to implode.

King Amren reveals to Princess Catrin, the grim prophecy that his former queen pronounced at her execution for treason to him:

The gods demand the scales be balanced for the life you take. If you deny my soul's journey to the Otherworld by beheading me, I curse you to the same fate as mine. I prophesize your future queen will beget a daughter who will rise as a Raven and join your son, Blood Wolf, and a mighty empire to overtake your kingdom and to execute my curse.

As his daughter, Catrin is trained as a warrior and discovers she is the Raven and must find a way to block the curse of the evil former queen. Torn between her forbidden love for her father's enemy Marcellus, the great-grandson of Mark Antony, and her loyalty to her people, she must summon the magic of the ancient druids to alter the dark prophecy that awaits her.

Will Catrin overcome and eradicate the ancient curse? Will she be able to embrace her forbidden love with Marcellus? Will she cease the war between Blood Wolf and King Amren? Will she save ancient Britannia?

Apollo's Raven sweeps you into an epic Celtic tale of love, magic, adventure, intrigue, and betrayal in ancient Rome and Britannia.

©2017 Linnea Tanner (P)2017 Linnea Tanner

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    5 out of 5 stars
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The original game of thrones in ancient Britannia

There is a great deal of wonderful ancient intruigue in this book. There are detailed touches that make it feel authentic- many of them are bloodthirsty as this time was reputed to be and so are in context. The is a beautifully written struggle for power. It is an exciting story and the paranormal twist of a dark prophecy adds an extra dimension to a classic tale that has been replayed in history in every era. The paranormal abilities of the young protagonist are forbidden or at least severely fround upon. Within an atmosphere of political plotting and manoeuvring you will find this is also the touching story of a young girl, Princess Catrin, who is trying to come to terms with her magical abilities, the aforesaid prophecy which directly involves her, whilst addressing her obligations as a valuable bartered bride burgeoning womanhood and dealing with a mother who is infuriatingly unsympathetic and creates some unnecessary problems for Catrin. Her fatalistic father - King Amren is no help and you feel her frustration at her lack of control over her own destiny. Enter the handsome Roman and sort of prisoner, Marcellus who catches Catrin's eye, and whom despite being the enemy seems to be the most heroic and courageous of them all. We all want Catrin and Marcellus to get together but you will enjoy the obstacles that get in their way as well as the details of their beliefs back in the time of the Celtic tribes, druids and Romans. This cleverly written epic tale needs your full attention. There is a lot background information that is relevant to the plot. Definitely worth reading. Narrator Kristin James does a good job voicing the accents - regional English accents are a challenge for any actor.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Review.

This is such a riveting story and so excellently read it made the story come to life. There was so much going on, so many plots and counter plots that I had to concentrate really hard to keep up with what was going on. Those were terrible Times and people were so brutal. The parts with the sacrifices are hard to get through but I know are integral to the story. Ignorance and fear caused a lot of mistakes and so did anger. As a fly on the wall observer I found it fascinating, and the authors expertise made it possible for me to do that. She is an amazing historical writer with expert knowledge and imagination. Hats off to her! I really want to listen to the next audio book to find out what happens next.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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.One For The Ages

Intrigue ,status seeking,betrayal ,mystical magic are rife in this Masterfully written tale.The intrigue,campaigns and the politics drive the story.I thought the way the Clans interacted with the Romans was superbly written.How to trust anyone when you don't fully trust your allies.The story, the characters, the pace -- everything is perfect a. There are so many other things left unsaid, only a fraction of the story told in this installment, in spite of its overall complexity. Apollo's Raven has the potential to become a worldwide phenomenon and the series has the potential to become a representative of a unique and daring wave of literature. This being said, the sequel cannot come fast enough! The narration is near-perfect for that style and the combination of author and narrator produces some powerful moments.I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.I received this title for free in exchange for an unbiased review.As always this is my honest opinion .

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Very disappointing

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

No - This is only the second book I have been unable to finish. I got it because I liked another work, the narrator had done and because the time period is one that I have done a lot of research in.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

I appreciate that this is fiction not fact but a number of things stood out as not right. Unfortunately for me it was too distracting and made the story too unbelievable.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

I felt the narrator was wrong for this story. An american accent did nothing to help the inaccuracies the author had written into the story. I have enjoyed other narration by Kristin James but it did not work in this case.

Could you see Apollo's Raven being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

No.

Any additional comments?

If the author had not tried to base this story in a given time period in British history but instead invented her own world then the story might have fared better. I have read other reviews that say the story gets much better further in - I might give it another go later. I admire what the writer was trying to do, maybe reading, rather than listening will be better?

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  • DubaiReader
  • Holsworthy, Devon, United Kingdom
  • 21-06-17

Romance, intrigue and sorcery.

One of the great things about receiving free audiobooks for review is that I get to sample genres out of my comfort zone. Although I am a fan of historical fiction, I have never read anything set in Roman times.
Apollo's Raven is fascinating, not just from the point of view of the belief systems of those times - curses, wolf spirits and sorceresses, but also for its insight into the way negotiations took place - with a hostage left in the enemy camp to ensure a serious attempt at peace.

Amren, King of Britannia, needs to broker peace with the invading Roman legions. While he is off negotiating with their ambassadors, Marcellus, son of one of their number, stays behind as 'guest' to the Celts, while one of Amren's daughters effectively becomes hostage to the Romans at their camp 100 miles away.
Unfortunately, there is an instant spark between Catrin, Amren's youngest daughter, and Marcellus. This is fueled by her father's instructions to act as host to him, all the while extracting valuable information about the enemy. It is a relationship with no hope of a future, as both parties are pawns in their parent's power struggle and an alliance forged by marriage is too good a bargaining tool. As negotiations break down and the danger level rises, so too, does the attraction between Catrin and Marcellus.

The book was well narrated by Kristin James, although I found it a bit too breathless in the exciting parts. There were also phrases in italics at the beginning of each chapter, which I wasn't even aware of until I saw them mentioned in another review. Apart from that she was clear and easy to understand.
Although I learnt a fair bit from this novel and it was obviously well researched, I didn't find it calling to me and although I see many other reviewers gave it 5 stars, I felt 3 stars was more representative for me.
For readers of Fantasy and lovers of Romans in history, this would be an excellent read, the first in a series in which Catrin and Marcellus may (or may not) manage to make a future together. It would also appeal to those who like strong female characters.

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  • AudioBook Reviewer
  • 28-08-17

a story that is solid and action packed

A vicious and vengeful power struggle ensues between the Celtic Kings with Rome waiting in the background for the results.  Catrin, a young warrior princess who have powers from her Raven must not fulfill the horrifying prophecy and ancient curse.  Catrin pits her strength and unworldly powers of the Raven against her banished half-brother, Merrick to save her kingdom, her family, and her true love, Marcellus.  Is her power strong enough to defeat ancient druids and alter the ancient curse?  Will the god Apollo save her or will she be left alone to suffer?

Linnea Tanner creates a world of dark magic, true love and delicate threads of each life Catrin encounters. Combined with myth and legend, the world of Tanner’s ancient Britannia is fascinating and exciting.  Shape shifters and witches, druids and gods – all in one story told with clarity and passion.  An epic tale of ancient lore, gods, and magic mixed with love and action.

Well told, Tanner engages her listeners with a story that is solid and action packed.  Mystery and intrigue with each word, Tanner is a master wordsmith.  Her vivid imagery and imagination are captured in her story and character development.  She doesn’t just say you won’t like Merrick, she makes you hate him with her well-chosen plot and vivid imagery.

The narrator, Kristin James performs the book well.  Her performance is captivating; smooth and passionate.  With her voices, she draws the listener in until they are carefully snagged within the web of the book and her talented reading.  Both Tanner and James make a great pair.

I cannot wait for book two!

There were no issues with the audio production or quality of this book.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Claire
  • 24-06-17

Totally absorbing, I was spellbound!

I got so lost in this book that I didn't realize how much time was passing, I only noticed the time when the book ended... 2am... oops!

So it probably now goes without saying, but I loved this book and I'm definitely getting the next book int he series to find out what's going to happen next.

The story is beautifully crafted, it took me on a journey along with Catrin (the main character) who is coming into her Druidic powers and discovering that she is the subject of a prophesy and what that means for her and her people. Her growing relationship with Marcellus a roman and therefore and enemy of her people allows for many twists and turns. I don't want to give anything away, so I'll just say, if you like this type of book, you'll love this one.

The narration was excellent, Kristin did a fantastic job with the character voices and the overall flow and pace of the narration. The only thing that I noticed is it sounds like some on Marcellus' parts were re-recorded, there's a slight change in the sound for some of his thoughts, but it's only a minor shift.

This book was supplied free by the author/narrator/publisher and I voluntarily wrote this honest review.

If you found this review helpful would you please take a moment to click yes below, thanks.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Adriana B
  • 19-06-17

Great Historical Fiction

This is a fairly new genre for me. I don't read many historical fiction books but I thought I would give this one a shot. I'm really glad I did. The story is well written and I was sucked into it from the beginning.

Narration was excellent and brought the story to life.

The story gripped my attention and kept me on the edge of my seat. I was really taken by the twists and turns and some parts were very frustrating to see all the doubt and confusion between Catrin and Marcellus.

The characters were well developed and I loved some and hated some. It is a great story with many ups and downs. I'm looking forward to the next book to see what will happen to Catrin & Marcellus. The book ends in a bit of a cliffhanger but I'm ok with how everything wrapped up. This is a great series and I can hardly wait to see what will happen next.

The story is told in multiple points of view so you really get a good glimpse at everything that is going on.

"I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kitty ranma
  • 09-10-18

Magic and visions.

A great beginning for a series.
I can't wait for more of this series, I want to say more about this story but I absolutely hate spoilers, so I won't do it to you by going into details. I wish we could give half stars I'd have given this a 4 1/2 stars.
The narrator brings the story to life.
Reasons I enjoyed this audio book:
Witty, Romantic, Wonderful characters, Page-turner, Great world building, Unpredictable, Original, Easy-to-read/listen, Entertaining, Action-packed.
This Audio book was given to me at my request from the publisher, author or narrator and I provided this unbiased voluntary review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Nickie
  • 14-09-17

A Decent Story

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

For A Fantasy It Was Okay... Alittle Drawn Out But Good Enough To Keep Your Attention..

Which character – as performed by Kristin James – was your favorite?

The Main Character.... The Witch Was Interesting As Well...

Any additional comments?

“I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.”

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 18-07-17

Worth listening to this book.

I received this book free from ebalst, and the author, and publisher. this is my unbiased opion. good story worth listening to it a little slow in a place or two. But a good story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Heather North
  • 04-07-17

Fantastic historical fantasy

What made the experience of listening to Apollo's Raven the most enjoyable?

The narrator is excellent and the story is very interesting.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The final fight scene is very intense.

Any additional comments?

Very interesting story that combines history and fantasy. Using elements of ancient Druid and Celtic beliefs and some Roman, all coming together to make one of the most interesting books I have listened to this year. I requested a free copy of this audio from the producer via Audiobook Boom which I have voluntarily reviewed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lidia Chymkowska
  • 25-06-17

You can love your enemy but can you trust them?

What did you love best about Apollo's Raven?

The book is both intriguing and captivating. The political game of trusts and mistrusts, machinations and manipulations, with "plans within plans within plans" (as Frank Herbert once wrote:)) serves as a magnificent background for Catrin and Marcellus's love story. The elements of the Druids' magic (which I really don't know much about) are woven expertly into the picture, mixing historical with mystical into a wonderful blend of magical narration. The main characters have complicated pasts, most of them have their issues and reasons for behaving in sometimes shockingly hasty ways - all that makes them believable and true-to-life.

What other book might you compare Apollo's Raven to and why?

Although the two come from two completely different fantasy genres, the level of intrigues in "Apollo's Raven", the way the story develops, as well as Catrin's attempts to defy the prophecy remind me a little of "Dune" by Frank Herbert - thus my quote above:) The similarity is there on some level although it's not really that big and that obvious, still, as I said, "plans within plans within plans" are there somewhere - which I like, cause "Dune" is one of my favourite books and one of those I frequently come back to...:)

Which scene was your favorite?

There are a lot of scenes in the book which will stay in the reader's / listener's mind, some are quite haunting, like the scene in Catrin's reminiscence of what happened between her and her half-brother when she was young and taken to the forest by him... I think this scene will stay in my mind for a longer time... (I can't give you details to avoid spoilers:)).
I also liked the last scene, and the last exchange between Marcellus and Catrin (again, no details for the "no spoilers" reason:)).
There are quite a few emotional scenes between Catrin and her mother which will make you cringe, and a few romantic moments between Catrin and Marcellus..

As I said, there are a lot of memorable moments in the book which you will love (or hate:)).

Any additional comments?

I have to say, it was a long audiobook to listen to... 12 hours, 7 of which I did in one setting... Yes, you've read it right:) I've spent the last SEVEN hours listening to "Apollo's Raven" non-stop on this beautiful Sunday, all thanks to Ms Kristin James, the narrator:)

With such a long audiobook I would normally take some breaks and maybe listen to it in parts, for a maximum of 3 hours a day, but Ms James' interpretation of the book made it impossible for me to stop... I just had to listen on to find out what happens next, how the story develops...

I know the praize first and foremost goes to Ms Linnea Tanner, the author of the book, for creating such a wonderful, exciting story, but Ms James' interpretation changed this magical book into an even more magical listening experience:)

Ms James is now officially one of my favourite narrators - she's brilliant in every aspect of her work: diversifying voices (both male and female), adding elements of acting in the right places, making emotions characters display ring true... I can't praize her enough, really:)

I only hope that when the next book in the series comes out, I will have a chance to listen to it in Ms James' interpretation:)

DISCLAIMER: I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Susan
  • 14-06-17

Epic love story with magic !!

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. I thoroughly enjoyed this book! The characters were well written and entertaining. The narriator did a great job bringing me into this world! Can't wait to see what happens next!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • J. Booth
  • 12-06-17

Great Setting and Characters - Stilted Dialogue

I love the setting and culture of this book with tribal Britania and the Roman empire. The story set up is good and interesting, and the plot is action packed with lots of twists and turns.

My one problem with this story was that character dialogue seemed stilted and the two main characters kept erratically changing how they felt about things and one another (for instance, one moment they would pledge themselves to one another, and the next one completely mistrusted the other - over and over again). Perhaps a contributing factor to this was that the narrator, despite the good voice changes, was very stilted in her reading, which caused my mind to wander periodically.

One other quick note - romance scenes were a little awkward with terms used, and many descriptions were a bit "on the nose."

Great concept and fun story. I hope the next installment has better character dialogue and is more consistent with character behaviors and emotions. The first one definitely made me want to pick up the next installment though, especially with that ending.

"This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review."

1 of 1 people found this review helpful