Skull's Vengeance - Book Review


Skull's Vengeance

Author: Linnea Tanner
Genre: Fiction - Fantasy
Publisher: Apollo Raven Publisher, LLC
Date Published: August 12, 2022
ISBN-10: 1733600205
ISBN-13: ? 9781733600200


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Book Review of :  Skull's Vengeance


Author Linnea Tanner has created another mystical, magical historical fantasy in Skull's Vengeance. This title, the fourth of her series based in ancient Rome and ancient Britannia, has all the action and romance the reader would expect from the Celtic world of sorcery and rituals. Celtic, Greek, and Roman myths and legends augment her in-depth study of this little-known period in world history. Her extensive research and travel to these historical sites enable her to amplify visually stimulating action, believable settings, and memorable characters.

Historical cultural mores, family dynamics, customs, and living conditions are exposed with terminology and a bit of foreign language. Intrigue and the belief in ancient druidic powers, with supernatural ghosts, shapeshifters, and souls that remain in the skulls of the dead, lend to a historical fantasy that is all too "real" to the author's characters.

The plot follows two basic storylines. In a previous volume, Catrin, a beautiful young shapeshifter from Britannia, has fallen in loved and married Marcellus Antonios, a Roman soldier. This background is skillfully woven in. Both families of noble ancestry have deep dark secrets that could destroy the family and their known civilizations. Paterfamilias, the ruling senior family member, usually the oldest male, uses a hard hand to control his children and subordinates. This domination is often expressed in the killing of close family members and the manipulation of dependents to advance his/her political position. Catrin is a warrior queen who must battle her half-brother, a sorcerer, for her throne. She is guided by visions of her dead father emanating from his skull. 

 As Catrin faces war on several fronts, she is hunted by those who wish to kill her to deny her the throne. Marcellus's own family intrigue complicates her unfailing love for her Roman. His culture says that "this is what a Roman is; Cruel. Heartless. Demeaning". Marcellus has the difficult. if unsustainable challenge of protecting his unacknowledged wife and following the orders of his military commanders. Can he assist her in reclaiming her throne by allying with former enemies? The couple's love for one another is challenged on many fronts. Long separations, issues of trust, and the interference of others and of mystical creatures create a separate plot line that is skillfully interwoven into a story of cultural differences and battling civilizations.  Tanner's vast knowledge of the period adds a bit of magical realism that elevates Skull's Vengeance into something truly nuanced and breathtaking. 

It is a dark, thrilling, and tragic novel, but reflects the historical time period of ancient Rome with knowledge and wisdom, enhanced with a sprinkling of fantasy. 


Reviewed by: carole

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.

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By: Linnea TannerDate: 12/09/2022 23:25:28
Thank you for the in-depth review of "Skull's Vengeance."

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