Please make welcome to the Tavern the lovely and talented author, Linnea Tanner! We're celebrating her blog tour for APOLLO'S RAVEN, Curse of Clansmen and Kings series! Grab a cup of mead and let's here what Linnea has to say about her story...
A Message from Linnea Tanner
How Does the Relationship of Catrin and Marcellus affect the story?
Apollo's Raven (Book 1 Curse of Clansmen and Kings) is a sweeping historical fantasy in which a Celtic warrior princess must choose between love for a Roman hostage under her charge and loyalty to her family and her people. The epic tale is set in a politically volatile Britannia on the brink of war with the Romans.
King Amren of the Cantiaci tribe is the father of warrior princess Catrin, who he fears may be the embodiment of a curse placed on him by his former queen. According to a curse cast by Amren’s former queen on the date of her own beheading, the Raven and Blood Wolf will bring about the downfall of his kingdom. Catrin has a psychic connection to a raven that marks her as a sorceress and the potential downfall of her father’s kingdom. Her shape-shifting half-brother, Marrock, also poses a threat and has been banished.
Senator Lucius Antonius, a grandson of Marcus Antonius (Marc Antony) and son of Iullus Antonius, has arrived in Britannia with a legion to exact tribute from Amren. He has also brought his impetuous son, Marcellus, to mentor him in diplomacy. The Antonius family legacy is cursed by the act of damnatio memoriae (condemnation of memory) for Marcus and Iullus Antonius, both of whom fell on their swords in disgrace as a consequence of their liaisons with women. After being exiled to Gaul for almost eighteen years, Lucius Antonius is clawing for political power to restore is family’s legacy out of the ashes of what he considers are Rome’s maligned heroes. He expects his son to restore his family’s legacy with the same fervor as himself.
And thus, the curses of both families set up a scenario for a tragic love story similar to Mark Antony Cleopatra and Romeo and Juliet.
At a volatile meeting with Amren, Lucius Antonius declares his plans to investigate a rival clan's claims to the legitimacy of Marrock, Amren's banished, son, as rightful heir to the throne. When the talks devolve into violence, Catrin orders the life of Marcellus be spared, incurring the wrath of her father.
Both sides reluctantly agree to a hostage exchange—Marcellus for Amren’s eldest daughter—to ensure peaceful negotiations. King Amren charges Catrin, his youngest daughter, to guard Marcellus, though her true role is far more complicated—she’s tasked with uncovering Rome’s true interest and cajoling Marcellus into revealing their deeper intentions for Amren’s kingdom and Britannia.
Marcellus receives similar instructions to spy on Catrin, using seduction if necessary. While Marcellus is retained as a hostage in Catrin’s village, the King travels to negotiate with his rival and banished son.
Catrin has learned something secretive and dangerous about herself, which can lead to her people’s success or their downfall. She is able to connect with ravens, which is seen as a bad omen. As she is struggling to understand this unnatural connection, she is romantically drawn to the captivating Roman hostage, Marcellus—her family’s enemy. However, Catrin's growing feelings for Marcellus threaten her success.
Likewise, Marcellus is confounded by Catrin’s mystical ability to travel to other worlds through her spirit guide, the Raven. She co-exists in the realm of mankind and in the Otherworld of the gods and the dead which empower with the ability to see through the eyes of a raven, foretell the future, and hear his thoughts. Nonetheless, he is intrigued that she is equal to him in horsemanship and skill in weaponry. His intimate relationship with the enthralling Celtic princess could unravel the tense political negotiations.
Catrin and Marcellus inevitably fall in love, despite their cultural differences. As they become immersed in political intrigue and dangerous adventure, their love is tested. Torn between her loyalty to her family, her forbidden love for Marcellus, and her disturbing gift, Catrin must also break an ancient curse that was placed upon her family before she was born. Can she break the ancient curse and still embrace her forbidden love for Marcellus? If she lifts the curse, can she stop the impending war between Blood Wolf and King Amren to save her kingdom?
"Political schemes . . . twisting on each other, [and] not what they appear at first glance," is a summation of this tale that combines the elements of sword and sorcery, Celtic mysticism, romance, and historical details which are based on historical accounts and Celtic lore and mythology. The book explores the pagan traditions of the ancient Celts and Romans. The Cantiaci's polytheistic and naturalistic deities (the animal warrior spirts of raven, horse, and wolf, and Mother Goddess) is juxtapose against the paternalistic hierarchy of Roman social and religious circles. Character development also champion feminism. The Cantiaci women show strength and unity of purpose in their actions and thoughts. Men in the story, while competent with their displays of physical strength, demonstrate an almost brutish impetuosity, and their "damsel-in-distress" nature requires timely women's interventions.
A Celtic warrior princess is torn between her forbidden love for the enemy and duty to her people.
AWARD-WINNING APOLLO’S RAVEN sweeps you into an epic Celtic tale of forbidden love, mythological adventure, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia. In 24 AD British 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 Blood Wolf and the Raven will rise and destroy him. The king’s daughter, Catrin, learns to her dismay that she is the Raven and her banished half-brother is Blood Wolf. Trained as a warrior, Catrin must find a way to break the curse, but she is torn between her forbidden love for her father’s enemy, Marcellus, and loyalty to her people. She must summon the magic of the Ancient Druids to alter the dark prophecy that threatens the fates of everyone in her kingdom.
Will Catrin overcome and eradicate the ancient curse. Will she be able to embrace her forbidden love for Marcellus? Will she cease the war between Blood Wolf and King Amren and save her kingdom?
Sex, Violence, Sacrificial Rituals
Apollo's Raven (Book 1) available from these worldwide online retailers HERE!
Dagger’s Destiny (Book 2): https://books2read.com/u/bxQQro
Amulet’s Rapture (Book 3): https://books2read.com/u/mdddX5
Meet the Author
Award-winning author, Linnea Tanner, weaves Celtic tales of love, magical adventure, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia. Since childhood, she has passionately read about ancient civilizations and mythology. Of particular interest are the enigmatic Celts, who were reputed as fierce warriors and mystical Druids.
Linnea has extensively researched ancient and medieval history, mythology, and archaeology and has traveled to sites described within each of her books in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings series. Books released in her series include Apollo’s Raven (Book 1), Dagger’s Destiny (Book 2), and Amulet’s Rapture (Book 3). Skull’s Vengeance (Book 4 Curse of Clansmen and Kings) is anticipated to be released in late October 2022.
A Colorado native, Linnea attended the University of Colorado and earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry. She lives in Fort Collins with her husband and has two children and six grandchildren.
Connect with Linnea here ~