Dagger's Destiny (Curse of Clansmen and Kings) - Book Review

Dagger's Destiny (Curse of Clansmen and Kings)

Author: Linnea Tanner
Genre: Fiction - Historical
Date Published: September 26, 2018
ISBN-10: 0998230057
ISBN-13: 9780998230054

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Book Review of :  Dagger's Destiny (Curse of Clansmen and Kings)


Author Linnea Tanner is a master storyteller of historical fantasy. Dagger’s Destiny, the second book in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings series is a continuation of an epic Celtic tale with adventure, mystery and strong characters. The novel stands alone as the first chapter is a quick immersion and intense update into the preceding plot. Set in first century Britannia, a fantastical isle, the theme of balancing duty with illicit love, the consuming lust for power, intrigue and Celtic magic provides conflict and twists in this spell-binding story.

Princess Catrin is a “woman who is both a sorceress and a warrior,” a deadly combination. She is a strong heroine who literally slept with the enemy. Charged with treason, she must act. Is her loyalty with her father the King and country or with her Roman lover, Marcellus? With her lover held captive, drugged, under a magic spell, and unable to protect her, Catrin must accept her fate and her father’s ruling. She must deny Marcellus and train as a warrior to defeat their enemies to prove worthy of her father’s respect and love.

Tension builds, and the plot escalates as Murrock’s, Catrin’s rogue half-brother, hatred for his father the king and his family spirals and intensifies into war against the kingdom of Cunabelin. By enlisting the aid of a Roman officer and soldiers, he plans to overthrow Celtic kingdoms to become king in his father’s stead. Tumultuous battles ensue when Murrock shape-shifts into a huge, terrifying red wolf and attacks, teeth bared and claws ripping flesh. Treachery and intrigue build tension as war is portrayed realistically and filled with blood and gore.

Based on Celtic legends of reincarnation of the soul, the author depends on the reader’s suspension of disbelief and sacrifices realism and logic for entertainment with the surreal, magic, shape-shifting, visions and curses. Labyrinthine meanings of mysticism interact with eidolon- spirit images, phantoms or ghosts.

A wedding ceremony between Catrin and Marcellus is a triskelion symbolizing creation, preservation, and destruction. The author notes that this rite is based on Celtic mythology and tradition. The reader beware.

The reader will gag with the realistic sense of smell of the sweaty sour stench of vomit and feel the excruciating pain of being impaled by a sword or pike. An example of the author’s focused writing is the introduction to a mean-spirited one-eyed cat with a headless rat. The cat’s hackles are raised on its hunched back as it hissed and bared teeth, snarled, picked up its prey and scampered off with tail puffed up. Another example of the author’s intense writing is a short passage description of a wagon trip. “The wheels creaked as the beasts lumbered up the narrow, hillside road. The clouds hovering over the fortressed settlement looked like tongues lapping up the remaining sunlight.”

The author invites readers to the next installment of the series as Catrin and Marcellus continue their forbidden love, adventures and political intrigue in Britannia and Ancient Rome

Reviewed by: Carol W

About Linnea Tanner


Linnea Tanner weaves Celtic tales of love, magic, adventure, betrayal and intrigue into historical fiction set in 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.

Visit https://www.linneatanner.com/ for more information on Linnea Tanner

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