3 out of 5 stars
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Apollo’s Raven — Details, Details
Apollo’s Raven is the story of Rome versus Brittania in times of yore. Druid warlocks and witches roam the lands, some learning how to use their powers – some using their powers for revenge against their enemies – some using their powers to regain kingdoms lost. Author Linnea Tanner shows her knowledge of the Celts and their Druidic beliefs. Fierce, tattooed warriors who may be more than a match for Rome’s armies are central to the theme.
Catrin is a teenage Celtic princess trained to use a sword but not her Druid witch powers. At first she feels she must hide her powers from her father, the King. To make matters worse, Author Tanner introduces a handsome young Roman, Marcellus, who does nothing but make Catrin’s teenage hormones jump into high gear.
A Roman Senator appears with a mysterious purpose backed by an army of Roman soldiers. Catrin must now deal with her growing Druid witch powers, teenage love, over-protective parents, and the return of her half-brother, a brutish thug with Druid powers banished from the Kingdom by her father for unspeakable crimes involving a very young Catrin (who can’t remember what he did, but what he did must have been bad.)
The story weaves back and forth, up and down, and sometimes sideways in an effort to stitch together the tale. Think Game of Thrones and you will be close to understanding how the story weaves several plot lines into a hot, woolen sweater of a tale. It becomes obvious Author Linnea Tanner is heading somewhere toward the future of Rome versus Brittania.
I noticed my interest waning in the story about halfway through it, and I put the book down for a few days. Deciding to see where it went, I began reading the story again. Thinking about why I decided to stop, I concluded the detail in the story had become a little long in the tooth. Frankly I could care less about plaid pants, undershirts under leather chest armor, whether leather straps are tightly tied or loosely tied, how someone smells after taking off his armor, etc. Also the need to give minute details about vomiting after drinking too much escapes me. I notice that Time seemed to lengthen inordinately during the story. You would suddenly learn that a key-person had been locked up in a pig sty or a witch’s hovel for over a month with no indication that time had passed except for some line in the book saying it had been over a month of captivity. Puzzling to say the least when the first of the book is awash in minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour descriptions of what characters see and hear.
I rate the book, Apollo’s Raven, as an overall 3 out of 5. I did not give a rating of 2 because writing is difficult and time consuming. The editing and punctuation were excellent. I did not rate the book higher than 3 because it was a frustrating read at times. The last third of the story seemed rushed and the ending screamed buy the next book in the series to find out what might happen.
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