Curse of Clansmen and Kings, Book 2
Publisher: Apollo Raven Publisher
Release Date: September 26, 2018
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?
Other Books in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings series:
Curse of Clansmen and Kings, Book 1
Publisher: Apollo Raven Publisher
Published: April 2017
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?
July, 24 AD, Southeast Britannia
The image of her father being wounded at the prisoner exchange haunted Princess Catrin as she entered the cave’s dank womb where warriors had secretly carried the casualties. Under the illumination of a flaming torch, she found several men hovering over the king’s motionless body. She feared the decision to use the dark forces of the Ancient Druids to alter the future could doom her father and people.
Catrin trembled as she knelt by her father and studied his bloodsmeared face. A chill of foreboding sliced down her spine. Just that morning, she had made love with Marcellus on what could be her father’s deathbed.
She placed the palm of her hand on his forehead. His skin was cold and clammy, but he was still alive.
Feeling the bloody streaks on his tunic, she pulled her fingers away and turned to Cynwrig, the king’s most-trusted guard. “Help me remove the tunic. I need to stop the bleeding!”
Cynwrig supported the king as Catrin cut the fabric from his chest. The ghastly crisscross cuts and deep abdominal gash made her cringe. A stench like rotten eggs assaulted her nostrils.
King Amren fidgeted. “Fetch my Druidess.”
“No!” Catrin snapped. “Agrona is a traitor. We can’t risk letting anyone
know we’ve rescued and are tending you. There are herbs near the wall that will help reduce the swelling.”
Catrin clasped her father’s icy hands and noticed his sunken, bloodshot eyes. She looked to Cynwrig. “Heat a knife so I can seal his wounds. I also need water from the river.”
“Do what my daughter says,” rasped Amren.
Cynwrig pointed to the cave’s opening. “I’ll start a fire over there and get someone to fetch the water.”
While Cynwrig prepared the fire, Catrin rummaged through several pouches, searching for the proper herbs. After a warrior returned with a bucket of water, she soaked several strips of willow bark in the container, then crushed dried blackberry, borage, and sage stems in a ceramic mortar.
She finally added vinegar to the powder and stirred the contents with her finger into a green paste.
She looked at Cynwrig. “Is the knife ready?”
Cynwrig pulled the glowing red blade from the flames. “It looks hot enough.”
“Then bring it to me.”
Catrin took the knife from Cynwrig, who then restrained the king’s arms. She pressed the searing blade on the wounds, methodically moving downward. The king writhed in agony, his eyes as wild as a wounded animal’s as he fought Cynwrig’s restraint. Concentrating on her task, Catrin swallowed the bile in her mouth and handed the dagger to Cynwrig to reheat the blade. Light-headed and in a cold sweat, she leaned into the hard wall to brace herself, then applied the paste dressing over her father’s reddened wounds. Even with her gentle touch, his muscles flinched. Observing the anguish on his face, she placed a blanket under his head and gave him chamomile and poppy in water to ease his pain.
She continued the treatment by placing bark strips on the dressing until the king’s grip around her wrist stopped her.
“We need to speak about Marcellus,” Amren said with a growl from deep within his throat.
Catrin winced, apprehensive her father knew about her relationship with the Roman hostage placed under her charge. She warily studied the king as he closed his eyes and breathed deeply. He waved Trystan, his second- in-command, over and whispered to him. With a nod, Trystan ordered everyone away.
The hairs on Catrin’s neck prickled. The only reason her father would order warriors away would be to reprimand her. She wilted under the king’s burning glare as he began questioning. “Trystan told me when we were imprisoned together that Cynwrig found you unconscious in Marcellus’s arms. I want to know what happened between the two of you.”
Catrin hesitated, fearing her revelation would anger her father and cause his condition to deteriorate. “You should rest now. We can discuss this later.”
“No. Tell me now!” Amren snapped.
Catrin could feel the king’s eyes probing her like a sharp-edged scalpel for the truth. She bit her lower lip to stop it from quivering. “When I was stricken with the falling sickness, Marcellus came to my aid.”
“Trystan said the Roman was found naked with you, and Agrona accused him of bewitching you with an amulet!”
“Marcellus had just finished bathing,” Catrin answered, suddenly feeling queasy.
Amren cocked an eyebrow. “Bathing?”
“And that is all that happened?”
Catrin froze under her father’s cold stare.
“You can’t trust what Agrona says,” Catrin replied.
“And why is that?”
“She is a druidic spirit from your past.”
About the Author
Since childhood, award-winning author, Linnea Tanner, has passionately read about ancient civilizations and mythology that held women in higher esteem, particularly the enigmatic Celts reputed to be warriors and druids. She has extensively researched and traveled to sites described in the Curse of Clansmen and King series. 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.