Curse of Clansmen and Kings Book 1
by Linnea Tanner
Genre: Historical Fantasy Romance
PenCraft 2019 Best Book of the Year Award
A Celtic warrior princess is torn between her forbidden love for the enemy and duty to her people.
AWARD-WINNING APOLLO’S RAVEN sweeps you into an epic Celtic tale of forbidden love, mythological adventure, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia. In 24 AD British kings hand-picked by Rome to rule are fighting each other for power. King Amren’s former queen, a powerful Druid, has cast a curse that Blood Wolf and the Raven will rise and destroy him. The king’s daughter, Catrin, learns to her dismay that she is the Raven and her banished half-brother is Blood Wolf. Trained as a warrior, Catrin must find a way to break the curse, but she is torn between her forbidden love for her father’s enemy, Marcellus, and loyalty to her people. She must summon the magic of the Ancient Druids to alter the dark prophecy that threatens the fates of everyone in her kingdom.
Will Catrin overcome and eradicate the ancient curse. Will she be able to embrace her forbidden love for Marcellus? Will she cease the war between Blood Wolf and King Amren and save her kingdom?
Curse of Clansmen and Kings Book 2
A Celtic warrior princess accused of treason for aiding her enemy lover must win back her father’s love and trust
In the rich and vibrant tale, Author Linnea Tanner continues the story of Catrin and Marcellus that began with the awarding-winning novel APOLLO’S RAVEN in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings Series. Book 2: DAGGER’S DESTINY sweeps you into an epic tale of forbidden love, mythological adventure, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia.
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. King Amren accuses his daughter, Catrin, of treason for aiding the Roman enemy and her lover, Marcellus. The ultimate punishment is death unless she can redeem herself. She must prove loyalty to her father by forsaking Marcellus and defending their kingdom—even to the death. Forged into a warrior, she must overcome tribulations and make the right decisions on her quest to break the curse that foretells her banished half-brother and the Roman Empire will destroy their kingdom.
Yet, when Catrin again reunites with Marcellus, she is torn between her love for him and duty to King Amren. She must ultimately face her greatest challenger who could destroy her life, freedom, and humanity.
Will Catrin finally break the ancient prophecy that looms over her kingdom? Will she abandon her forbidden love for Marcellus to win back her father’s trust and love? Can King Amren balance his brutality to maintain power with the love he feels for Catrin?
Curse of Clansmen and Kings Book 3
Blood stains her Celtic home and kingdom.
The warrior Druid princess will do anything to retake her kingdom.
Although Catrin is the rightful heir to the Celtic throne in Britannia, she is lucky to be alive. After witnessing the slaughter of her family at the hands of her half-brother, who was aided by the Romans, she is enslaved by a Roman commander. He disguises her as a boy in the Roman Legion with the belief that she is an oracle of Apollo and can foretell his future. The sole bright spot in her miserable new life is her forbidden lover Marcellus, the great-grandson of the famed Roman General Mark Antony.
But Marcellus has been wounded and his memories of Catrin and their secret marriage were erased by a dark Druidess. Though Marcellus reunites with Catrin in Gaul and becomes her ally as she struggles to survive the brutality of her Roman master, he questions the legitimacy of their marriage and hesitates to help her escape and retake her kingdom. If their forbidden love and alliance are discovered, her dreams of returning to her Celtic home with Marcellus will be shattered.
Curse of Clansmen and Kings Book 4
“[An] epic tale of love, betrayal and political intrigue.” —InD’tale Magazine
“The requisite fantasy elements of magic and mystery abound…Tanner also does an admirable job weaving in the politics and mythology of a bygone people.” —Kirkus
“Part fantasy, part historical fiction, Linnea Tanner has woven together a wonderful tale of romance, intrigue, mystery, and legend to create an entertaining and complex story.” —The International Review of Books
“[A] captivating tale of triangles; love, lust and espionage, friend, foe, and spies., barbarians, civilized Rome and spiritual-supernatural beings.” —2019 Pencraft Book of the Year Award
A Celtic warrior queen must do the impossible—defeat her sorcerer half-brother and claim the throne. But to do so, she must learn how to strike vengeance from her father’s skull.
AS FORETOLD BY HER FATHER in a vision, Catrin has become a battle-hardened warrior after her trials in the Roman legion and gladiatorial games. She must return to Britannia and pull the cursed dagger out of the serpent’s stone to fulfill her destiny. Only then can she unleash the vengeance from the ancient druids to destroy her evil half-brother, the powerful sorcerer, King Marrock. Always two steps ahead and seemingly unstoppable, Marrock can summon destructive natural forces to crush any rival trying to stop him and has charged his deadliest assassin to bring back Catrin’s head.
To have the slightest chance of beating Marrock, Catrin must forge alliances with former enemies, but she needs someone she can trust. Her only option is to seek military aid from Marcellus—her secret Roman husband. They rekindle their burning passion, but he is playing a deadly game in the political firestorm of the Julio-Claudian dynasty to support Catrin’s cause.
Ultimately, in order to defeat Marrock, Catrin must align herself with a dark druidess and learn how to summon forces from skulls to exact vengeance. But can she and Marcellus outmaneuver political enemies from Rome and Britannia in their quest to vanquish Marrock?
Chapter 8 The Dragon Insignia
Lugdunum, 20 December, 27 AD
On the eve of the winter equinox, the apartment was unbearably cold. To get warm, Catrin wrapped a shawl around her shoulders and closely watched the guard with tattoos of Celtic knots lining his forehead as he filled the brazier with coal. His glacier-blue eyes pierced through her.
Unnerved, she felt a chill slice down her spine.
Studying the various faces of the men in the atrium, she counted ten more guards whom Trystan had invited to sleep inside on the frigid, cloudless night. The image of the raven-black life thread tying a knot around Marcellus’s red strand on the Wall of Lives flashed in her mind. She knew the vision was a glimpse of her future.
She excused herself to the privacy of her bedchamber, drawing the curtain back to enter. There, waiting on the straw mattress bed was the Raven. She fed it some dried meat strips, then blew out the burning candle and lay on her bedding. The Raven’s soft, feathered head nestled against her neck, providing her much-needed warmth and comfort.
Yet, a chill gnawed at her bones. To ward off the air’s frigid nip, she cocooned herself in a woolen blanket. The silvery moonlight filtered through the uneven surface of the gray-smoked window in the curtained-off room, casting shadows on the wall.
Falling into restless sleep, she dreamed of her life thread tying a knot around Marcellus’s red life strand, but then…
Blood unexpectedly spurted out of the knot and splattered all over a blade that was plunging at her throat.
“This is not a dream!” the Raven’s deep voice cried out.
With her warrior’s instincts awakened, she opened her eyes to find a shadow of a man kneeling beside her. Seeing the dagger in his hand, she quickly blocked his arm and discharged sizzling heat from her fingertips. The sparks of energy forced him to dropped the dagger.
She rolled abruptly to her side to escape, but his strong arm pulled her back as his legs coiled around her hips like a snake. As he reached for the dagger, she cried out to awake the others in the main room and poked her fingers into his eyes.
“Wicked witch,” he snarled in Celtic as he wildly thrust his blade at her. Its metal tip bit into her shoulder, shooting sharp pain down her arm. Fighting for her life, she punched him in the throat.
In the blink of an eye, his body fell hard on hers, forcing the air out of her lungs. She gasped and pushed him off her with a burst of strength. Finally freed of his weight, she staggered to her feet and scanned the floor for the loose dagger or another weapon.
Another strong hand unexpectedly gripped her injured shoulder from the back. A wave of pain flamed across her chest as she quickly turned to defend herself against the next attacker.
To her relief, Cynwrig’s good eye blazed in the silvery illumination of moonlight from the other room.
“Get back! There are two of them!” he roared.
To make room for the ensuing fight, Catrin stepped back into the atrium and watched. The tattooed men swept around Cynwrig in a deadly dance. Each darted back and forth between the silver light of the moon and the darkness.
The assailant, whom Catrin recognized as Gawain, slammed Cynwrig into the wall and wildly thrust his knife. Cynwrig blocked Gawain’s forearm twice, then swiftly shot his other arm under the assassin’s armpit at the next thrust, gripping his upper arm.
With a loud roar, Cynwrig pushed Gawain back while at the same time curling his leg around the assassin’s calf to trip him into the other attacker.
The dagger flew out of Gawain’s hand and landed with a clink on the floor. Catrin swooped the weapon up into her hand and plunged the blade into the other assailant’s lower back. The man tried to reach around with his hand, but then, his body went limp and crumpled to the floor.
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Award-winning author, Linnea Tanner, weaves Celtic tales of love, magical adventure, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia. Since childhood, she has passionately read about ancient civilizations and mythology. Of particular interest are the enigmatic Celts, who were reputed as fierce warriors and mystical Druids.
Linnea has extensively researched ancient and medieval history, mythology, and archaeology and has traveled to sites described within each of her books in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings series. Books released in her series include “Apollo’s Raven” (Book 1), “Dagger’s Destiny” (Book 2), “Amulet’s Rapture” (Book 3), and “Skull’s Vengeance” (Book 4). She has also released the historical fiction short story, “Two Faces of Janus.”
A Colorado native, Linnea attended the University of Colorado and earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry. She lives in Fort Collins with her husband and has two children and six grandchildren.