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 to 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 his daughter?
The first chapter of Empire's Anvil provides a transition from Book 1 Apollo's Raven which ends at the prisoner exchange of Catrin's Roman lover, Marcellus, for her father, King Amren. The chapter begins when Catrin finds and treats her father who was wounded during the breakout of a conflict at the prisoner exchange. As the scene progresses, she reveals her ability to see the past, the present, and the future on a transitional barrier between the spiritual and mortal worlds called the Wall of Lives. It is here where she can manipulate a person's destiny and shift the future. She confesses that she saved Marcellus who wounded King Amren at the prisoner exchange. Her father accuses Catrin of treason when she slept with Marcellus and orders she be detained as prisoner until she is tried for treason. The theme of the consequences of forbidden love carries over into this book.
What happens when forbidden love and loyalty create a tangled web of deception? The Celtic Warrior Princess Catrin is swept into a political web of deception when the Emperor Tiberius demands allegiance from her father, King Amren. Catrin is drawn by the magnetic pull she feels for Marcellus, the great-grandson of Mark Antony, who is caught under the shadow of his scandalous forefathers. When King Amren takes Marcellus as a hostage, he demands that she spy on him. As she falls in love, she discovers a curse that foretells a future she desperately wants to break. Torn between her forbidden love for the enemy and loyalty to her people, Catrin urgently calls upon the magic of the Ancient Druids to alter the dark prophecy that looms over her. Will she save her lover? Will her father succumb to the Emperor's demands? Discover the truth in Apollo's Raven: An epic Celtic tale of love, magic, adventure, intrigue, and betrayal in Ancient Rome and Britannia.
One of the last sections I wrote for Apollo's Raven is when Catrin notices through her raven eyes that her half-brother, Marrock, is with the Roman army off-shore. The reason that I added this scene in Chapter 1 is to introduce Catrin's fear of Marrock and of his Druid powers. Later, the reader will learn why his face is so disfigured. Marrock is one of the primary antagonists that Catrin must face and overcome. The Apollo's Raven series is an epic Celtic tale of love, betrayal, and intrigue in Ancient Rome and Pre-Authurian Britannia.
The story introduces the main character Catrin as a princess who has the mystical ability to see into the future and to meld her thoughts with the raven. The fantastical elements of the Celtic tale immediately weave into the historical backdrop of ancient Britannia. The second paragraph foreshadows that Catrin must face life-threatening situations. The image of the raven rising to the heavens is a clue of how she will overcome the danger. The inciting incident is quickly established that she must assess the danger warships pose by seeing through the raven's eyes. The theme of forbidden love is also introduced when Catrin reveals her disdain that her sister is having an affair with a common warrior.
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