Dark Maiden Lindsay Townsend Book Review

“Dark Maiden” an Editor’s Choice at Historical Novel Society!

 

Dark MaidenDark Maiden by Lindsay Townsend
Book Review: My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When we first meet the Black Maiden Yolande in 1350, she is crouching behind a tub armed with bow and arrow, pretending to bathe in place of a novice who had been beleaguered by an apparition. A formidable exorcist, she apprehends a lecher mislabeled as an evil spirit. Who but Geraint, an easy-going Welshman juggler, could be a better romantic match for Yolande on her quest of tracking down and ridding evil spirits in plague-stricken England? In between facing demons, displaced souls, and an incubus, Geraint lustily woos the Black Maiden. The courtship is complicated by an abbot’s instructions that Yolande preserve her maidenhead, a barrier to a demon trying to possess her, for a time of seven, until she fulfills her duty. Not sure if the time is in days, weeks, or years, Geraint is nonetheless determined to win Yolande’s hand as they roam town from town, each of which holds dark secrets of people who live there.

Lindsay Townsend has created a masterfully written romance intermixed with the horrors of the plague and the superstitions that arise out of its chaos. The voice is heavily sprinkled with humor, making this a thoroughly entertaining story. I was hooked from the first page and could not put the book down. The dialogue is witty, the characters are well-developed, and the stories of the people whom the couple meet are heartfelt. The rituals of exorcising demons and helping displaced souls find their spiritual home base is well-researched and fascinating. Most of all, the love scenes are sensual but tastefully written.

Dark Maiden is a must-read for readers who love historical romance with unique characters and a dash of paranormal elements. Highly recommended.

I voluntarily reviewed this book for the Historical Novel Society, and the review is also posted in the Historical Newsletter HNR Issue 82 (November 2017).

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Book Review The Labyrinthine Journey

The Labyrinthine Journey by Luciana Cavallaro My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In sixth century BCE, the modern day hero and time traveler, Evan, continues his quest to recover three relics of the Mother Goddess, so that the new Christian religion does not obliterate the worship of the Olympian gods. The Labyrinthine Journey, the 2nd book in the Servant of the Gods series by Luciana Cavallaro, has an epic mythological quality similar to Ulysses in Homer’s Odyssey.

Evan, also referred as Evandros, embodies Joseph Campbell’s archetypal hero found in world mythologies. In Book 1, Evan reluctantly accepts the call by his father Zeus to travel back in time from 21st Century to Ancient Greece, so he can use his skills, insight, and knowledge to recover the first relic, the golden serpent.

In the Labyrinthine Journey, Evan embraces his leadership role and commands a group consisting of a Phoenician, a Sicilian boy, Atlanteans, and a High Priestess who are also on the quest with him. He learns from the Oracle of Delphi that he can find the two remaining relics in the Minotaur’s labyrinth. The journey to recover these relics is fraught with dangers from hostile armies, Titans seeking to thwart Zeus, and mythological creatures such as harpies, a hydra, and a sea monster. Evans meets Jason of the Argonauts and Plato who both help him on his quest. The odyssey culminates in a cliffhanger where Evan must face his greatest obstacle that threatens to obstruct his goal of retrieving the relics.

Luciana has masterfully crafted a story that weaves mythology into the backdrop of historical events. The action scenes are riveting, particularly toward the end of the book. One of the aspects I liked most about the novel is the vivid, sensory description of each of the locations. As with any myth, The Labyrinthine Journey is more than what you see on the surface. It is an exploration of how humankind adopts religion to meet their needs and to help them define their culture. Evan’s modern day perceptions are challenged by the ancient traditions. He must adapt to these ancient beliefs to survive. Ultimately, it is a universal story of a hero’s journey into his soul and the wisdom he gains by meeting the various challenges.

I highly recommend this book for readers who love adventure, historical fiction, and mythology.

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‘Apollo’s Raven’ by Linnea Tanner

I am deeply honored to share the review of Apollo’s Raven that was posted by Australian Author, Anne Frandi-Coory, on her website and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/myhomelibrary/

anne frandi-coory

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I have just finished reading Apollo’s Raven, and I absolutely loved it, every single, beautifully placed word! I didn’t want the book to end, so I am hanging out for Book Two. When I first began reading Apollo’s Raven, I had no idea of what to expect, not knowing very much about ancient Britannia, or the power of Druid magic.  Reading this wonderful book, was akin to embarking on an epic journey of love, betrayal, mysticism, and Druid’s dark magic, all of which surrounds Catrin, the Celtic warrior princess who was determined to fight for her family’s Cantiaci kingdom, no matter what.

As Catrin is struggling to interpret her mystifying connection with a particular raven, which seems to be following her everywhere, she meets the captivating Roman, Marcellus, son of a high ranking Roman official who has landed in Britannia with a cohort of reconnaissance soldiers ahead of…

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Apollo’s Raven Book Review Historical Novel Society

Cover Image Apollo's Raven

Apollo’s Raven Book Review Historical Novel Society

I am pleased to share the book review of Apollo’s Raven (Historical Fiction / Fantasy) that was posted by the Historical Novel Society (HNS) in their recent Newsletter HNR Issue 81 (August 2017) and in Goodreads. The Historical Novel Society is a literary society devoted to promoting the enjoyment of historical fiction of which I am a member and reviewer.

Apollo’s Raven

By

AD 24. Catrin, a Celtic princess, and Marcellus, a Roman, were ordered to gather information about each other’s families. They were never supposed to fall in love. Marcellus is the great-grandson of Mark Antony, and he fears his budding affection for a foreign princess will lead to his own early death as befell his infamous ancestor. Catrin is a warrior princess with the powers of ancient druidesses running through her veins. There is a dark prophecy hanging over her family, and Roman support of her brother, banished for beheading two children and physically attacking Catrin, casts the curse into their midst. As Catrin begins to harbor feelings for her family’s enemy, will she be able to overcome the dark magic which threatens to destroy her homeland? Or will Catrin’s and Marcellus’ forbidden love incite a war for which her brother, the Blood Wolf, will lead the charge?

Apollo’s Raven is a historical fantasy with strong elements of romance, political intrigue, and magic. Many surprising twists enrich the historically-drawn plot. Points of view shift between different characters effectively, heightening the tension from one moment to the next. I love the scenes contrasting the cultures of Celtic Britannia and Rome, during which Tanner’s research really shines. My only complaint is that some of the dialogue is marked by modern words and expressions. Overall, though, this is an intriguing story with multifaceted characters, including confident and intelligent women protagonists, along with high-stakes situations that will keep you turning the pages. Recommended.

REVIEWED BY J. Lynn Else

Special Offer Apollo’s Raven e-book

The Apollo’s Raven e-book is being offered as a special deal of 99 cents at various online sites for a limited time until Aug. 6th.  For further information, visit Bargain and Free highlighted on Uvi Poznansky’s website or click on one of the following sites: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Kobo.

As always, I would greatly appreciate your honest review of Apollo’s Review on the site where you purchase the book. Reviews are one of the best ways readers can help support an author.

Readers in Hitchin UK

Below are photos of special friends and supporters from Hitchin who helped me celebrate the launch of Apollo’s Raven when I visited the United Kingdom in July 2017.

Clara Holding Apollo’s Raven

 

Celtic Irish Friend, Liz, with Apollo’s Raven

Pete with Apollo’s Raven

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pete Reading a Twist in Apollo’s Raven

Courtney and Linnea Celebrating Launch Apollo’s Raven

 

Thank you for your continued support.

Best wishes,
Linnea Tanner

Book Review: The Tattered Box

Book Review: The Tattered Box 

Below is my Goodreads book review: The Tattered Box by Paul Schumacher, a Colorado author.

The Tattered BoxThe Tattered Box by Paul Schumacher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Tattered Box by Paul Schumacher is a memorable coming of age story of John, a young man coming to grips that his own father left him when he was a young boy. However, his elderly grandfather Bill leaves him a tattered box full of items evoking memories of his past. After John is hit by a baseball and knocked unconscious, he mysteriously time travels to 1941 when he again meets his grandfather as a young man the same age as him. It is as if the past, present, and future join into one time. All of the items in the tattered box are still left intact at the beginning of John’s journey in the past. As he adjusts to the pre-WWII culture, he becomes friends with his grandfather whom he fondly calls Bill and shares the moments that the items in the tattered box represent. By learning more about his grandfather, John learns about himself and the importance that memories have for the future.

This is a beautifully written story that is multi-layered with rich symbolism. One of the more poignant scenes is when John and Bill observe an eagle protecting their helpless eaglets in the nest. John comments, “Their father would teach them everything he knew, then suddenly push them out of the nest, forcing them to flap their wings in one death-defying leap.” This is a pivotal scene that will tie into the heartfelt ending, leaving a visual memory that will forever be embedded in a reader’s mind. I highly recommend this book for the rich message it offers that moments of the past, present, and future co-exist between generations.

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Awakening by D N Frost Book Review Fantasy

AwakeningAwakening by D.N. Frost
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book 1: Awakening by D.N. Frost is an unique, world-building fantasy structured around a prophecy in four movements. The book is mythical, almost dream-like, as the tales of various characters from different fantastical realms unfold and they meet to fulfill their destinies.

In the first movement, the fantastical tale introduces Larin, a young women with mystical powers of foresight and healing. She is sold as a sex slave to an evil elf, but is later saved by Jorn who later plays a pivotal role in the prophecy. From a desert region, another character, Tirrok, begins an odyssey and meets Kingard, a strong mage who drove all evil from the land in past times. And finally, the young Darek, a shape-shifter, joins Kingard to embark secretly to A’lara. It is here the empress has darkmages in her employ that slaughter shifters. The tales of the various characters weave together in the next three movements as the prophecy is fulfilled. The most ominous prediction is that one of them will rise as a daemon and betray them. Only the life forces of A’lara gives hope of overcoming the evil that has encased the city.

The world-building and surreal descriptions of magical feats are original and unique. For example, the healing powers of Laren are vividly described as follows: “Faster and faster, the light rushed until Laren felt her body eroding with the flow of it.” Maps are sprinkled throughout the book to give a visual image of the various regions. At first, I thought the prophecy of Vyedik Ndeloh Dynde is taken from previous legends, but I realized after doing research that the prophet was conjured in the author’s imagination. The story is told from multiple points of views which at time makes the story confusing, particularly in the beginning. However, Jorn and Larin are engaging characters when the story is told from their point of view. The climatic ending is fast-paced and takes unexpected turns. I recommend the book to fantasy readers who love world-building and vivid imagery of how magic works. D.N. Frost Awakening

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Book review – Apollo’s Raven by Linnea Tanner

It is a pleasure to reblog the Book review of Apollo’s Raven posted by Luciana Cavallaro–an Australian historian and exciting author whom I follow. Be sure to check out her website and blog.

Eternal Atlantis

Have you ever wondered what life would be like in Ancient Britannia in the 1st Century CE? Or how the British Celts felt about the invasion of the Romans and the political unrest that ensued?

Apollo’s Raven is insightful and informative historical novel from new American writer Linnea Tanner. It paints a picture of Ancient Britannia and the ruling structure of the Celtic tribes, an antithesis of what made the Roman Empire powerful and dominant dictators.

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