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 take Marcellus s a hostage, he demands that she spy on him. As she falls in love with him, 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.
Chapter 1. Raven’s Warning (Catrin)
“What if Father learns that I've taken this next step? Will he punish me for disobeying him … for ignoring his warning?”
24 AD, Southeast Coast of Britannia
Princess Catrin reined in her horse at the edge of the precipice overlooking the sea below to study the pattern of her raven’s flight, seeking an omen. Her dream of the skull-faced moon, bleeding crimson, still plagued her. It was as if she had glimpsed both into her soul and into the future, yet she did not know how to interpret it.
The raven shot like an arrow into the thickening mist partially obscuring the sun when the sudden nip of a cool, salty breeze made her shiver. Longing for the disappearing sun’s warmth, she nestled into her plaid cloak and focused on the bird’s aerial acrobatics, first diving at the sheer cliff, then darting up. This close to the edge, one misstep of her horse could dash them both onto the jagged rocks below. Only her raven, a divine messenger, had the power to overcome such a fall and rise into the heavens to soar with the gods.
The raven disappeared into the fog and suddenly, out of the haze appeared the red-striped sail of a flat-bottom ship. Driven mainly by oars, it thrust to and fro in the turbulent water; it was unlike the deep-hulled vessels of seafaring merchants powered by air currents over their sails. At the bow of the ship was a strange looking beam shaped like a bird’s beak.
Catrin’s eyes followed the raven’s movement beyond the white cliffs where more striped sails were emerging from the mist. She counted ten, but there might be more. A chill feathered up her spine.
From the distance, she could not determine the total number of ships or the country of their origin. She needed to see through her raven’s eyes for that. To do so, to meld her thoughts with the creature’s, she had to be alone. Uneasy that her sister, Mor, and their companion, Belinus, might disrupt her connecting with the bird, she scanned a clump of brambles, some distance down the grassy slope, where she had left them. The couple met at Beltane’s spring festival, a few weeks back, and had become intoxicated with each other.
Follow Catrin and Marcellus in their epic Celtic tale of love, magic, adventure, intrigue, and betrayal in Ancient Rome and Britannia. Don’t miss Book Two of the Apollo’s Raven Series— Empire’s Anvil—coming soon.
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. The Celtic warrior princess Catrin is accused of treason for abetting her Roman lover, Marcellus. To redeem herself, she must prove her loyalty to her father, King Amren, by forsaking all men and defending their kingdom, even to her death.
Forged into a fierce warrior, Catrin must overcome tribulations in her quest to break the curse that foretells their kingdom will be destroyed by a great empire. She is tested and her mettle hardened on the brutality of the Roman Empire’s anvil. Yet, when she again reunites with Marcellus, she must face her greatest challenger that could destroy her life, freedom, and humanity if she succumbs to the fires of his love.
APOLLO’S RAVEN is an epic historical fiction series weaving Celtic tales of love, magic, adventure, intrigue, and betrayal. The story follows two star-crossed lovers from vastly different cultures—Catrin, a Celtic warrior princess, and Marcellus, the great-grandson of Mark Antony. Celtic mythology is woven into the historical backdrop of Ancient Rome and Britannia spanning from 24 AD when the young couple first meet to 40 AD just prior to Emperor Claudius’ invasion.
The heroine, Catrin, is inspired by historical and legendary accounts of Celtic warrior queens in Britannia where women were held in higher esteem and could serve as warriors and rulers. The Celtic noble warrior society was heavily influenced by Druids and rival rulers fought each other for power.
Marcellus is based on the infamous legacies of Mark Antony and Iullus Antonius, both of whom were brought down as a consequence of their liaisons with powerful women. In Rome, the male head, the paterfamilias, had complete control over his family—wife, children, and slaves. If they disobeyed him, he had the power of life and death over them.
The series is ultimately a heroine’s odyssey where Catrin must face life-or-death trials to understand the true essence of her soul. On her life’s journey she learns to embrace her Celtic heritage, to cherish those she counts as friends in her rise to power as a Celtic warrior queen, and to harness the dangerous mystical forces of the Ancient Druids without losing her soul. Her destiny is forever entwined with Marcellus—her first lover, soul mate, and ardent ally.
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