My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I feel like this was the book to introduce me to historical fantasy, and for that it will forever have a special place in my heart. We follow two kingdoms trying to fight for survival, Rome and Celtic culture, young first loves etc.
From page one, I did not realize that I was about to embark on this exciting journey, filled with political intrigue and magical abilities involving animals. I was hooked on the first sentence, and was constantly thinking about what would be the outcome for these character. Truly, I cared and connected with their struggles and joys, which is a rare thing for me to usually say.
Tanner has created a bad-a*s princess from Brittanica, Catrin who is fierce and loyal and my favorite character in this book. I just love her determination to change fate/ change the outcomes of things. She has all of these hidden magical abilities that were deeply explored, and definitively satisfied what I was looking for in a character.
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 do the same 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.
This is the curse, that was said by the former queen at her first execution as to what will happen in the kingdom's future. The whole plot of the book revolves around trying to change/break this curse so that Catrin can save the ancient kingdom of Brittanica, which she loves oh so much because it's always been home. Her star-crossed lover, Marcellus who's on the other side of the conflict, and because of this it added another layer of 'why we can never be together' to their relationship.
In general, I thought that this book was just well-crafted. My only one complaint would be that there were too many storylines going on at the same time, that I often felt like I was losing track. Not only are their so many characters, but we also get to learn everyone's backstories, which can be extremely helpful for worldbuilding but can get a bit confusing when trying to connect the dots.
**This is an OnlineBookClub.org Book of the Day and you can find it here on their website.**
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