The Curse of Clansmen and Kings Series!
Travel Back In Time With Author Linnea Tanner.
Apollo’s Raven by Linnea Tanner.
Curse of Clansmen and Kings Book 1.
A Celtic warrior princess is torn between her forbidden love for the enemy and duty to her people.
5 Stars: Interesting story!
Travel back to a time in 24 AD where strong Celtic women find themselves influencing Clansmen, Kings and Queens. This ancient time is set in Rome and on the Southeast Coast of Britannia where fantasy, mythology, medieval practices, politics, religion, Celtic culture, the Roman Empire, and forbidden romance bring about this fictional tale tailored by well researched history, archaeological evidence supported with a cast of fictional and non-fictional characters artfully woven in by skilled writer Linnea Tanner.
The story begins with Princess Catrin, her horse and her raven spirit guide observing ships, possible war ships in the distance. Advice from her father “know your enemies better than your friends” along with her spirit guide and ancient powers will help Catrin through the perils that await.
I invite you into this epic tale where “Alone in Mor’s candlelit bedchamber, Catrin shifted restlessly under her blankets. Not having to share the bed with her sister, because Mor was gone most of the night with Belinus, she thought slumber would come easy. Yet an ominous fire lingered inside her and foreboding thoughts crackled through her mind about what her father had said at the family meeting during the festivities. When he announced that Mor must be prepared to wed Cunobelin’s son after he renegotiated a matrimonial agreement, she wilted like a flower denied water. The burden of keeping Mor’s secret about Belinus weighed heavily on Catrin’s conscience. If Cunobelin found out, it could unravel the tenuous negotiations for peace between the powerful tribal kingdoms.
More troubling, her father instructed her on ways she could beguile Marcellus into revealing Roman’s schemes for their kingdom. Her stomach tossed with conflicting emotions about the striking Roman. How could she carry out her father’s directive when this young man made her heart race every time, he gazed at her?”
Apollo’s Raven is a fast-paced, intriguing story with characters, situations and mystical threads sparked my interest and kept me turning the page of this award-winning book.
Editorial Review (Book Marketing Global Network).
Review by Heidi: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. What a Captivating Read – Can’t wait to read the next one! Reviewed in the United States on May 18, 2023. Verified Purchase. Sorcery? Mythology? Forbidden love? An ancient curse? Yes, please!
I fully enjoyed this epic tale of intrigue, deception, and love. The characters are developed well, while the plot leaves the reader wanting more.
One of my favorite aspects has to be the connection that Catrin has with ravens. She is able to see through her raven’s eyes, control its action when inside, and is able to call upon many ravens when she is need of help.
Also, I loved the many storylines and directions this book took. There was the ancient curse set upon Catrin’s family. Its connection to her conniving step-brother, Marrock. Then, the connection to the Druidess, Agnora, and her evil plot. Also, there was the unsettling matter of the Emperor favoring Marrock as King versus the true King Amren, Catrin’s father. I could go on and on, but I won’t. Just know that there’s even more to this adventurous read!
There were a couple of areas where this read could be improved. For instance, the back-and-forth between Catrin and Marcellus was a bit much. Then, I do question the use of modern-age profanity in 24 AD.
Overall, I was happy to have read Apollo’s Raven, and loved Tanner’s ability to tell a wonderful tale!
Review by John P: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. Enjoyable Read. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 23, 2021. Verified Purchase. (This is my review submitted to Online Book Club ARA).
Apollo’s Ravens] by Linnea Tanner is set back in the times when Romans contested the Anglo Saxons and Celts for Britain. We quickly learn that the heroine, a young Anglo princess named Catrin has two sisters and a brother, as well as the King (Amren) and the Queen as her parents. As the tale unfolds, each of these characters is embellished with secret pasts and ambitions. Even Catrin herself is unusual as we are informed, she is something of a trainee mystic with an affinity for ravens.
Early on we also encounter the Romans, Marcellus, and his scheming father Senator Lucius Antonius, who is poised to alter the balance of power in Britannia. However, things don’t go to plan. Unpredictable, inexperienced Marcellus places himself in harm’s way to avoid a fatal confrontation during hostile negotiations.
Catrin and Marcellus are thrown together and a deep relationship develops, although neither is sure whether the other is really a spy, trying to gain an advantage for their family and country.
Along with Amren and Lucius, there is a third, secret wicked party that also features, attempting to manipulate everyone involved, hoping to gain ultimate glory. The deceptive individuals concerned also have mystical powers that are likely to prove more decisive than any band of Celtic warriors or Roman legion.
Hostages are exchanged between the Anglo Saxons and Romans to ensure temporary security until peaceful negotiations can be undertaken. The safety of the hostages, one of whom is Marcellus, is jeopardized as both sides scheme and plan to double-cross each other.
As the story continues, Catrin with her mystic abilities has visions that can be interpreted as dire for the outcome of Marcellus and herself, but perhaps she can no longer trust these visions as the evil mystic is also at work. An arrow of death is predicted to kill young Marcellus unless the future can be changed. The outcome is uncertain and we are kept in suspense until the final pages.
I enjoyed reading this work and have awarded five stars, the top rating, as I can see no serious flaws nor detect a reason to do otherwise. It remains to list the aspects of the book which impressed me the most.
At the top of the list must be the historical detail making the story seem very realistic. The research behind this work to achieve this effect subtly surfaces in many aspects. Light touches referring to the squalid dirt and grime, the smells, the physical appearance and much more, are sufficient to paint a vivid picture without hindering the pace of the tale.
The intertwining of Celtic and Roman mythologies into the storyline is also deftly handled so that the reader begins to appreciate how and why some of the characters are aligned. In those dark ages, the trust in the ancient Gods, reincarnation and symbolism would be paramount. These themes are firmly communicated in the book.
The mystical attributes of young Catrin are introduced in chapter one and continue to emerge and grow throughout the book. I found the author’s handling of this topic very believable and of course, crucial to the storyline.
Apart from Catrin and Marcellus, there are many other characters to be discovered. Each individual is sufficiently portrayed to allow the tension and web of intrigue to develop as hostages are taken and the climax arrives. There is love, infidelity, treachery, loyalty, jealousy, defiance, arrogance and more, interwoven within the characters.
Finally, it must also be said that this is the beginning of a love story. The emotions of Catrin and Marcellus along with their spiritual needs, the love scenes, their doubts and fears, are all well handled by the author. The outcome of their encounters is uncertain until the last pages. So even the more romantic amongst us are hooked until the end.
Perhaps I would point to one small flaw that I found as an annoyance, but by no means detracting from the five-star rating. I purchased the kindle version and checked the following observation on both the kindle and the cloud kindle app (read.amazon.co.uk). There is no table of contents or list of chapters! Other books do have this! The front cover looks great on the PC, but the lack of an index or table of contents makes it difficult for the reader to drop back to a previous chapter if they want to refer to something. This is only a format issue but in my view worth mentioning. Otherwise, a great book and I am looking forward to reading the next in the series.
- 2017 New Apple Book Awards Official Selection: Historical Fiction and Cross Genre
- 2017 Global eBooks Award BRONZE MEDAL Fantasy/Historical
- 2019 Pencraft Best Book of the Year Award2019
- Readers’ Favorite BRONZE MEDAL Magic/Wizardry2021
- The Global Book Award Gold Medal: Historical Fiction2021 Book Excellence Award Winner Fantasy
Paperback: 392 Pages
Publisher: Apollo Raven Publisher, LLC (August 16, 2018)
Fantasy (Greek & Roman)
Fantasy (Myth & Legend)
Dagger’s Destiny by Linnea Tanner.
Curse of Clansmen and Kings Book 2.
A Celtic warrior princess accused of treason for aiding her enemy lover must win back her father’s love and trust.
In the rich and vibrant tale, Author Linnea Tanner continues the story of Catrin and Marcellus that began with the awarding-winning novel APOLLO’S RAVEN in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings Series. Book 2: DAGGER’S DESTINY sweeps you into an epic tale of forbidden love, mythological adventure, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia.
War looms over 24 AD Britannia where rival tribal rulers fight each other for power and the Romans threaten to invade to settle their political differences. King Amren accuses his daughter, Catrin, of treason for aiding the Roman enemy and her lover, Marcellus. The ultimate punishment is death unless she can redeem herself. She must prove loyalty to her father by forsaking Marcellus and defending their kingdom–even to the death. Forged into a warrior, she must overcome tribulations and make the right decisions on her quest to break the curse that foretells her banished half-brother and the Roman Empire will destroy their kingdom.
Yet, when Catrin again reunites with Marcellus, she is torn between her love for him and duty to King Amren. She must ultimately face her greatest challenger who could destroy her life, freedom, and humanity.
Will Catrin finally break the ancient prophecy that looms over her kingdom? Will she abandon her forbidden love for Marcellus to win back her father’s trust and love? Can King Amren balance his brutality to maintain power with the love he feels for Catrin?
5 Stars: Epic Tale!
I invite you to continue this epic tale as Dagger’s Destiny takes up where Apollo’s Raven left off. It is July AD in Southeast Britannia and main character Princess Catrin kneels by her father’s bloody and bruised body reassured that the King is still alive.
Fast moving drama with the characters, you came to love or hate in Apollo’s Raven finds Princess Catrin torn between loyalty to Marcellus and her father. “How could Catrin continue living if her heart was split between Marcellus and her father? Losing Vala was the fatal wound in her already bleeding heart. She trembled, recounting her father’s words. Would you bet your own life on the gamble that Marcellus will release Vala?
Catrin’s love for Marcellus and his failure to release Vala had condemned her as a traitor in her father’s eyes. She looked around the stark receiving chamber and stared at the skulls looking down on her in judgment. She remembered the dark tale that her father had told her when she was a child.
A mermaid, who had saved a sailor from a shipwreck, swam to shore, cradling his head above the water. Though she desperately wanted to stay with the sailor, she realized she was a sea creature and would die on land. Heartbroken, she stabbed herself in the breast with a knife and turned the water red with her blood. Grief-stricken, she floated on the waves until her body dissolved into its foam. As the sun’s rays radiated on the cold foam, delicate fairies sparkled over its surface.”
A test of loyalty that no daughter, father or romantic suitor would want to engage in. Find out what happens as this story continues from book one and prepares the reader for book 3 in this Celtic Tale. Like me, you will keep you turning the page as author Linnea Tanner skillfully weaves fantasy, romance, mythology, history, and the clash of Celtic culture and the Roman Empire into the Curse Of The Clansmen and Kings series.
Editorial Review (Book Marketing Global Network).
Review by BloomKai: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. This is a well written Historical Fantasy. Reviewed in the United States on May 27, 2020. Verified Purchase.
Dagger’s Destiny (Curse of Clansmen and Kings) written by: Linnea Tanner, is the second book in this Historical Fantasy series about a curse, treason, betrayal, and death. That revolves around a young girl, named Catrin, who fell in love with a Roman, named Marcellus, who is the clans enemy.
Her father King Amren believes, due to the information that he was given, that his daughter is a traitor. King Amren believes that Catrin was seduced into giving sensitive information to Marcellus. With war brewing King Amren feels he has no other choice but to put his daughter on trial. King Amren gives Catrin one more chance to prove her loyalty. This involves Catrin making the hard decision of breaking the curse, and becoming a warrior or choosing love. She must make a difficult choice before it is too late.
This is a wonderfully written story full of thoughtful descriptions on how life was in 24 AD Southeast Britannia. On how magic and the mythical beliefs were handled and believed in this era. The use of magic mixed with the earthly elements felt like they were real and could easily exist in the modern world. The use of historically accurate beliefs really helped to bring this story to life and showed the depth the author went to in order to make this story feel real. In doing so the events and the characters felt like they could have been real historical events and people living in that point in time.
The way that the two different belief systems are interwoven was wonderfully done. You could see how different they are and how similar. This helps to keep the story entertaining and believable. The action is almost non-stop but for some slow periods that help to make the action more fleshed out and understandable.
I enjoyed the way the wedding ritual was described. It felt alien to me and yet familiar. The way that Catrin’s people believe that the woman represents a goddess and the man, represents something that is mortal. That was a lovely description that matched the lore for that era. I liked how there were some twists and turns in the story line. It kept me guessing as to what was coming next.
This is not suitable for the younger readers as it does have some very mild sexual descriptions and the use of profanity. This is a great book for those who enjoy the historical fantasy that centers around the Celtic and Roman myths. The story was professionally edited. I found very few errors. I give Dagger’s Destiny a 4 out of 4 stars. The reason for this score is for the great editing and the blending of the magical and the earthly elements to make a great story.
Review by L.C.: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. Dark magic, familial revenge, and an illicit romance. Reviewed in the United States on September 27, 2018. Verified Purchase.
Dark magic, familial revenge, and an illicit romance. This story packs a punch and the author doesn’t hold back on the intrigue or the mystical power of the druids. You may have heard the phrase ‘absolute power corrupts absolutely’, then this story has it in spades. Dagger’s Destiny by Linnea Tanner is the second book in her series, Curse of Clansmen and Kings, a historical fantasy set in Ancient Britain.
The author recaps well on the final events from Book 1, Apollo’s Raven, and the main character, Catrin, has to make amends for her interference at the prisoner exchange. Her actions, is the beginning of catastrophic outcomes for herself, her father–the king, family, and her clan. As the story progresses, Catrin, with the ancient powers of the druids, tests her gifts and is duped into believing she can alter the curse as beset by her father’s first wife, a sorceress with dark powers.
Her lover, Marcellus, a Roman who had accompanied his father to Britain to establish Roman rule and alliances, is an unwitting patsy, used by his father and Catrin’s father. Marcellus’ father is set on proving to the emperor, Tiberius, how great his family is and to dispel the misdeeds of his famous and once distinguished pater familia, Marc Antony. Lucius will do anything to restore his family’s name.
In the meantime, Catrin’s half-brother Garrack, is bent on revenge. His father had exiled him after he tried to molest Catrin. Garrack seeks support from Lucius and a rival Celtic king, however this alliance backfires, and now he and his reincarnated mother, use dark magic to wrest the kingdom away from his father.
The author’s knowledge on Celtic Britain shines through in the story, her grasp on the magic of the druids, the landscape of Ancient Britain and of the many tribes is a testament to the research involved. The intricate political scene of Celtic tribes and the invasion of the Roman’s shows the author’s skill in weaving an intricate story that melds history, mystique, and romance. What I particularly enjoyed was the interaction between the characters and how well developed they are. I am curious to see how Catrin, the heroine in the story, develops and whether her gifts will be her undoing… or not.
Dagger’s Destiny is a well written historical fantasy that takes the reader on a whirlwind adventure through Ancient Britain. I highly recommend this book for those who enjoy British and Ancient Roman history, and for those who appreciate what is really good storytelling.
Review by Wine Cellar Library: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. Part 2 of an Epic Saga. Reviewed in the United States on January 12, 2020. Verified Purchase.
Dagger’s Destiny is the second book in Linnea Tanner’s remarkable Curse of Clansmen and Kings series. It is imperative that you read Apollo’s Raven prior to embarking on this novel. Not only does Dagger’s Destiny pick up right where Apollo’s Raven ended, but only minimal summary is provided of the events that occurred in the first book. There are numerous conflicts at play in this series, and I do not expect the majority of them to be resolved until the series concludes. At the time of this review, five books have been promised by the author for this series!
In comparison to the first book, Dagger’s Destiny is overflowing with action sequences. I was really impressed by the ruthlessness of the author in the narrative. It was reminiscent of scenes from George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. The brutality may be difficult for some readers, but it gives the book a realistic quality. Whereas most fantasy novels try to give every character a “happily ever after,” this author will not spare your feelings. Consider yourself warned!
Like the first book, this book ends abruptly. It ends so suddenly, in fact, that I did not realize it had even ended until I reached the endnotes! This may be something that turns off some readers, but I quite enjoy it. It can become irritating when every book in a series spends time winding down at the end of one book and then reiterating events for several pages at the beginning of the next book. In contrast, this series reads like one large epic saga broken into several parts.
If you enjoy historical fantasy, Roman history, Celtic history, and/or epic sagas, you will treasure this series!
- 2019 Readers’ Favorite GOLD MEDAL Fiction: Magic/Wizardry
- 2019 Global eBook Award GOLD MEDAL Fantasy/Historical
Paperback: 350 Pages
Publisher: Apollo Raven Publisher, LLC (September 26, 2018)
Fantasy (Greek & Roman)
Fantasy (Myth & Legend)
Amulet’s Rapture by Linnea Tanner.
Curse of Clansmen and Kings Book 3.
Although Catrin is the rightful heir to the Celtic throne in Britannia, she is lucky to be alive. After witnessing the slaughter of her family at the hands of her half-brother, who was aided by the Romans, she is enslaved by a Roman commander. He disguises her as a boy in the Roman Legion with the belief that she is an oracle of Apollo and can foretell his future. The sole bright spot in her miserable new life is her forbidden lover Marcellus, the great-grandson of the famed Roman General Mark Antony.
But Marcellus has been wounded and his memories of Catrin and their secret marriage were erased by a dark Druidess. Though Marcellus reunites with Catrin in Gaul and becomes her ally as she struggles to survive the brutality of her Roman master, he questions the legitimacy of their marriage and hesitates to help her escape and retake her kingdom. If their forbidden love and alliance are discovered, her dreams of returning to her Celtic home with Marcellus will be shattered.
5 Stars: Epic Series Continues!
Those of us following The Curse of Clansmen and Kings series by Author Linnea Tanner continue this Celtic Tale in book three titled ‘Amulet’s Rapture’.
Books One and Two cover the (4 AD to 24 AD) war between tribal rulers and the Romans (over political differences) that put Britannia in peril. Revenge, accusations of treason, kidnapping, tests of loyalty, romance and even shapeshifting brings us to where we are now in the saga.
Amulet’s Revenge begins in Northern Gaul, Late Autumn, 24 AD as Catrin “Still, she held out hope. Her dead father had appeared in a dream and told her that a young raven would teach her how to gain more powers from the ancient Druids.”
Let me bring you into the story at Chapter 26, titled The Black Sphinx and set in Durocortorum, Gaul, August, 26 AD. I quote:
…Catrin’s world had been turned on its head. After a week of traveling inside a wagon, she couldn’t connect to her caged raven, though it was in close proximity next to the driver. Unlike before, she couldn’t travel to the Wall of Lives in the raven’s mind and visit Marcellus in his dreams. It was as if her second sight had vanished. For the first time in her life, she was blind, in darkness, desperate to find the light out of her dilemma. She had already made several attempts to latch onto the image of the white raven in her mind and shapeshift to its form. Her wits were in a whirlwind, trying to figure out what was blocking her magic. Was the stress of being a condemned gladiator taking a toll on her mystical abilities?
…The click of the opening door and Verus’s voice barking, “Get out,” jolted Catrin out of her grim contemplations. She and the other shackled prisoners shuffled out of the wagon onto a rampart. To her dismay, she recognized the slave quarters at Durocortorum, where Decimus had previously threatened to imprison her.
…Panic coursed through her veins as guards escorted her into the graystone building, where they passed rows of cages holding slaves. To the rear of the structure was a splintered wooden table on which a black cauldron had been set. Log benches lined the back wall. A disheveled female slave, whose front teeth were missing, scooped porridge into bowls, handing one to each of the prisoners.
…Warily glancing around, Catrin wondered if this was a temporary stop or would they be retained here. She sat on a log bench beside the other shackled men. Though queasy, she lifted the bowl into the palms of her hands and shook it to dislodge the porridge into her mouth. Most of the pasty cereal adhered to the surface of the rust-colored bowl. With shackles restricting her movement, she scraped the upper edge of the bowl with her fingers and licked the pasty substance off her fingertips. It tasted salty and a little sour. Her stomach clenched when she observed green tinge of mold on the porridge. She retched what little she had eaten. A dark-skinned, shackled prisoner scooted away from her with a look of disgust.
… “It’s moldy,” she explained, scrunching her face in disgust. The shackled prisoner shrugged and gobbled his glob of porridge down.
…Catrin then noticed Verus approaching with the caged raven. Next to him was the disgusting slave dealer, Rufus, whom she remembered from her previous visit to the site with Decimus. He was furiously scratching red sores on his neck—a tell-tale sign of lice infestation.
…Verus set the caged raven at Catrin’s feet. The bird, in obvious stress, shrieked and flapped its wings against the wooden bars. She leaned over the cage and said softly, “Calm down. No one will hurt you.”
…The raven quieted and gawked at her, opening its beak as if begging for food.
…Rufus handed Catrin a couple strips of bloody flesh. “Here. For the raven.”
…Not sure if the tissue was animal or human, Catrin pushed it between the wooden bars for the raven to eat. The creature clasped the tissue in its beak and gobbled it down. After that, it pressed its black-feathered body against the cage. Although she wanted to stroke the raven’s plumage, hoping she could connect with it, the metal shackles restrained her.
…Verus and Rufus then began talking about Catrin, as though she were not there. Their discourse disquieted her as she closely listened.
…Rufus remarked, “She would bring top coin as a personal slave to a politician in Rome. He would enjoy taming the wild creature in his bed.”
… “She’d slit his throat before that happened,” Verus retorted. “I watched her fight Centurion Priscus. She held her own.”
…Rufus’s eyebrow cocked. “Pity. Who will she fight in the arena? Another woman?”
…This book is a must read for those who love Historical Epic Fantasy. Enjoy each book in the series, as we wait for ‘Skull’s Vengeance (Book 4 of the Curse Of Clansmen and Kings series.
…Author Linnea Tanner researched this historical time period very well, and her excellent story telling brings this drama to life, keeping the readers engaged and turning and the pages. She includes maps of Britannia and Gaul along with a complete list of characters (even a downloadable PDF).
Editorial Review (Book Marketing Global Network).
Review by Mounce574: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. An amazing sequel in this series. Reviewed in the United States on June 1, 2023. Verified Purchase.
Catrin has been renamed and dressed as a boy slave to Decimus. Marcellus is caught with Elaine and must serve as a soldier for Decimus. He discovers Cartrin and she becomes pregnant. However, Decimus is determined to keep them apart. Marcellus is sent to fight rebels and Cardin is sent to be trained as a Gladiatrix.
This is an epic story that pulls at the hope of a forbidden love. I was overwhelmed with the need to continue reading and plan on continuing the series.
Review by Karen Ingalls. 5.0 out of 5 Stars. Excellent. Reviewed in the United States on December 14, 2019. Verified Purchase.
The author, Linnea Tanner has done extensive research into Roman history, mysticism, anthropology, and religions. For those that had not read books 1 and 2, the author brings the story-line forward smoothly. I had read the previous two books, but it was good to have a little refresher.
This trilogy is one of my favorite books of the year.
Review by Barbara Harrison: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. Action-Packed Political Historical Romance. Reviewed in the United States on June 29, 2023. Allow a full long day for this action-packed PG15 political historical romance set between AD 4-27 in Rome, Gaul, and Britannia. I had an ARC from NetGalley that got lost in the queue and this is my voluntary review.
Review by Brianna DaSilva: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. Tale of mystical intrigue and a love that transcends all! Reviewed in the United States on October 4, 2022.
If you love Celtic mythology and Roman mythology then this is the book for you! This book is reminiscent of the wonderful show Britannia as it too shows the merging of the two cultures and the clashes they face when Rome and Britannia meet each other head on. With lore, magic, and action you can’t hope for much more in a book. While this book is the third in the series, you don’t have to worry about having read or remembering everything from the first two books because the author has done what more should, and given a synopsis of what has taken place. The scene has been set perfectly with the synopsis and jumps right into the happenings of this portion of the series. This is a tale of mystical intrigue and a love that transcends all the interferences and traumas that take place. While there are some trigger warnings to give due to some sexual situations and violence the book still puts the story together in a way that doesn’t glorify or shine a positive light onto those situations. This book also has strong female characters who rise to face their challenges with determination, resilience, and power! I give this book a 4 out of 4 for the plot, the characters, the mythology, the history, the way it has been written, and honestly for the little things the author thought to include such as the synopsis, the glossary/index, and the attention to historical details!
Paperback: 347 Pages
Publisher: Apollo Raven Publisher, LLC (October 26, 2019)
Fantasy (Greek & Roman)
Fantasy (Myth & Legend)
Skull’s Vengeance by Linnea Tanner.
Curse of Clansmen and Kings Book 4.
“[An] epic tale of love, betrayal and political intrigue.” InD’tale Magazine
“The requisite fantasy elements of magic and mystery abound…Tanner also does an admirable job weaving in the politics and mythology of a bygone people.” Kirkus
“Part fantasy, part historical fiction, Linnea Tanner has woven together a wonderful tale of romance, intrigue, mystery, and legend to create an entertaining and complex story.” The International Review of Books
“[A] captivating tale of triangles; love, lust and espionage, friend, foe, and spies., barbarians, civilized Rome and spiritual-supernatural beings.” 2019 Pencraft Book of the Year Award
A Celtic warrior queen must do the impossible—defeat her sorcerer half-brother and claim the throne. But to do so, she must learn how to strike vengeance from her father’s skull.
AS FORETOLD BY HER FATHER in a vision, Catrin has become a battle-hardened warrior after her trials in the Roman legion and gladiatorial games. She must return to Britannia and pull the cursed dagger out of the serpent’s stone to fulfill her destiny. Only then can she unleash the vengeance from the ancient druids to destroy her evil half-brother, the powerful sorcerer, King Marrock. Always two steps ahead and seemingly unstoppable, Marrock can summon destructive natural forces to crush any rival trying to stop him and has charged his deadliest assassin to bring back Catrin’s head.
To have the slightest chance of beating Marrock, Catrin must forge alliances with former enemies, but she needs someone she can trust. Her only option is to seek military aid from Marcellus—her secret Roman husband. They rekindle their burning passion, but he is playing a deadly game in the political firestorm of the Julio-Claudian dynasty to support Catrin’s cause.
Ultimately, in order to defeat Marrock, Catrin must align herself with a dark druidess and learn how to summon forces from skulls to exact vengeance. But can she and Marcellus outmaneuver political enemies from Rome and Britannia in their quest to vanquish Marrock?
5 Stars: Human skulls hung over King Marrock’s stallion, dangling from a rope like ornaments.
Travel back in time with award-winning Author Linnea Tanner to 26 AD where Skull’s Vengeance (book four) continues The Curse Of The Clansmen and Kings series. This series weaves a Celtic tale of forbidden love, magical adventure, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia.
I am struck by the immense research and accuracy that went into this series. Linnea’s gift of storytelling will draw you into this historical time period drama. “Most of the fantastical elements are based on magical abilities of heroes and heroines from Irish and Welsh mythology and legends. The abilities of Catrin and Marrock to shape-shift and to harness the forces of nature. In Celtic mythology, the dragon is a gatekeeper to other worlds and was believed to influence the land. Areas frequented by dragons were believed to possess special power.
To get the most of the series, the author shares a link where you can download a PDF of all the Major Celtic Characters, Roman Characters, and Mythological Deity. She also includes a map of Britannia and Gaul.
Fast-paced drama, suspense, and magic will carry your thoughts into the life and times of Catrin (Cantiaci queen, druidess, warrior, and gladiator) and Marcellus Antonius—Roman military commander (ranks include tribune and praetor) and nobleman).
Catrin (warrior queen) must defeat her Marrock (sorcerer) in order to claim the throne. She must summon forces from skulls to exact vengeance strike vengeance from her father’s skull. Passion and lust burns between Marcellus (Roman military commander) and Catrin, even on the battlefields where they encounter enemies from Rome and Britannia.
Book Four begins at White Cliffs in Southeast Britannia, Eve of Samhain, 31 October, 26 AD where three human skulls hung over King Marrock’s stallion, dangling from a rope like ornaments.
Chapter 16: Theater of Marcellus Rome, 20 March, 28 AD. “The theater where Catrin was to meet Marcellus reminded her of the area around the gladiatorial coliseum where she had fought in Lugdunum. Sensing a slight charge in her fingertips, she felt a thread lacing around her fingers. She recalled last night’s dream, when she’d visited the Wall of Lives. There, she’d meticulously tied Marcellus’s crimson life thread with her raven-black strand, securing it into a knot so they could stay together forever.”
Chapter 37: Killing Fields: Antonii Villa, Gaul, 8 August, 28 AD. “Marcellus sat on the bed, reminiscing about the bittersweet moment when he’d been with Catrin the previous fall, before leaving for Rome. He picked up a cushion on which she’d laid her head while recovering from her wounds. The whiff of stale odor dispirited him. Before, he had always sensed her essence, even when they were far apart. But now, he felt empty, not knowing what had happened to her since she escaped Rome. It was as if the world, the fates, and the gods were against their love. Negasi’s advice for Marcellus to assuage his father’s anger and remove the threat on Catrin’s life weighed heavily on his mind.”
When the last page of book four is closed, you will wait with anticipation for book five “Dragon’s Anvil” to arrive.
Editorial Review (Book Marketing Global Network).
Review by Wanda Fischer: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. Another Beautifully Written Tale. Reviewed in the United States on February 13, 2023. Verified Purchase.
This is the fourth book in a series about Catrin and Marcellus, star-crossed lovers whose backgrounds as royalty forbade them from coming together. I have read all four in the series, and, once again, had trouble putting this book down. This author’s ability to bring characters alive is extraordinary. Her research into the world of Celts and Romans is superb.
Catrin is fighting her half-brother, Marrock, to become queen of her country. She has married Marcellus, who’s a Roman patrician. Marcellus’s father has betrothed him to a young girl, whom he wants Marcellus to marry for political reasons. Marcellus’s brother, Brutius, hates Marcellus and begins scheming against him. Meanwhile, Marrock has sent an assassin to kill Catrin. The intrigue builds and builds, as Catrin attempts to gather an army to fight against Marcellus. Her efforts are complicated by the fact that she becomes pregnant by Marcellus.
I won’t give readers any more details; however, the way the author establishes intrigue and weaves magic and backdoor deals to complicate what might have been a relatively easy situation is masterful. She portrays the cruelty and horrible way slaves were treated at the time, and, through her characters, demonstrates either humanity toward slaves or utter disrespect for them. A reader will be able to determine how a character acts based on how he or she treats slaves.
I recommend this book highly; however, I think that it makes sense for anyone who wishes to read this to begin with the first book and read all four. I am anxious to read the next book. Prior to this series, I would never have thought to read this genre. Because of this author’s skill, her characters, and the way everything is presented, my mind has been opened to another genre. I am grateful for that.
Review by Mounce574: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. Gaining headway. Reviewed in the United States on July 2, 2023.
This is the 4th book of the series and each book just keeps getting better. There are a lot of lost lives in this as well as an additional romance built outside of Catrin and Marcellus. I question why Marcellus takes the risk of getting Catrin pregnant when he can’t seem to take care of his own personal issues.
I swear that Marrock gets uglier despite the change in his appearance. The most interesting character is presented in the form of an assassin that refuses to be a mindless murderer. I definitely recommend this series and this book.
Review by Pat Garcia: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. Skull‘s Vengeance. Reviewed in Germany on February 27, 2023. Verified Purchase. SKULL’S VENGEANCE is the fourth book in the series CURSE OF CLANSMEN AND KINGS.
It is Historical Fiction combined with fantasy and paranormal elements and presented with a great plot.
The title mirrors what happens in the story. Written in a time when the Roman Empire dominated the world, we get a good look at a smaller nation, the Celtics, who are determined to break Rome’s rule.
Thus, Skull’s Vengeance depicts the continuing conflict between the Romans and the Celtics, the hatred and enslavement of people, and the love of a Celtic woman for a Roman soldier who was the father of her dead baby daughter. Will they reunite again? That you must read.
The romance came too short for me, but I understand why. Wars and vengeance demand their tribute.
Filled with dark magic, “the Other World,” the ancient druids, and shape-shifters, each paragraph builds upon the other, and I kept turning the pages, desiring to know what would happen next.
The intertwined plot raises the tension throughout the story as the mixture of fantasy, brutality, visions, dreams, undying love, and intrigue transforms and changes the characters. I
By the time the story ended, I wanted more, so I look forward to reading book five of this series.
Review by L.C.: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. Visceral storytelling. Reviewed in Australia on October 30, 2022. Verified Purchase.
We follow the life of Catrin, the true heir to the Cantiaci tribe, and her love for Marcellus, a Roman aristocrat and commander of a Roman legion. Their love for each is strong but can it overcome the battle of their familial destinies, that are set to drive them apart?
The love between the two main characters is evident on every page, yet there is the underlying threat of Marrock, Catrin’s half-brother, who tried to rape her when she was a young girl, and Marcellus’s father, who is determined to expunge the taint of Marc Antony’s legacy and romance with Cleopatra, and in his mind who ruined the family’s reputation. Catrin is determined to unite the Cantiaci tribe but her brother has the backing of Roman forces, who is intent on becoming the king of all the Celts, and uses dark magic to destroy his opponents, and eliminate Catrin. From the Roman side, Marcellus’ father Lucius Antonius, has arranged for his son to marry a twelve-year-old girl, daughter of a senator to gain a political stronghold in the Roman senate. Marcellus tries to refuse, but is bound to follow his father’s orders in spite of his devotion and love for Catrin.
Review by Julie Whitley: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. An exciting continuation of Catrin’s journey. Reviewed in Canada on January 13, 2023. Verified Purchase.
An historical fiction story set in the early years of the 1st millennia AD, when Rome ruled with an iron fist and sought to strengthen control over Celtic Britain. The story continues with Catrin freed and seeking a way to return home and reclaim her rightful place as queen. Her supernatural Druidic powers are dampened by her pregnancy, she is vulnerable until the birth of her son. Will she be strong enough to fulfil the prophecy that she will defeat her evil half-brother? I can’t wait to find out!
Paperback: 402 Pages
Publisher: Apollo Raven Publisher, LLC (August 12, 2022)
Fantasy (Greek & Roman)
Fantasy (Myth & Legend)
Award-Winning Linnea Tanner, weaves Celtic tales of love, magical adventure, and political intrigue into the backdrop of Ancient Rome and Britannia. Since childhood, she has passionately read about ancient civilizations and mythology which held women in higher esteem. Of particular interest are the enigmatic Celts who were reputed as fierce warriors and mystical Druids.
Depending on the time of day and season of the year, you will find her exploring and researching ancient and medieval history, mythology and archaeology to support her writing. As the author of the CURSE OF CLANSMEN AND KINGS series, she has extensively researched and traveled to sites described within each book.
A native of Colorado, Linnea attended the University of Colorado and earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry. She lives in Windsor with her husband and has two children and six grandchildren.
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