Dagger's Destiny

Curse of Clansmen and Kings Series, Book 2
Narrated by: Kristin James
Series: Curse of Clansmen and Kings, Book 2
Length: 12 hrs and 50 mins
4 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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 or 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?

©2018 Linnea Tanner (P)2018 Linnea Tanner
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Forbidden Love, Magic and Evil

I don’t know where to begin! This is an amazing story by Linnea Tanner. Tanner continues the tale of Princess Catrin, Marcellus her love and husband, her parents and the hideously evil and vile Merrick. Caught up in removing the curse that has doomed them all, Catrin must assume the Raven Warrior mantle and rescue her people and her home. Catrin becomes enmeshed in the political intrigue and mystical complexity of her father’s curse and those who are driven with ambition for power and revenge.

This is a much darker story than book one; it is historically true to the time period. Tanner took some serious situations that were disturbing but instead of focusing on the grotesqueness of the situations, she provided enough detail without being over-the-top gruesome.

Tanner focused this book on the growth of Catrin and the trials and tribulations she met for being a woman. Accused of being naïve, Catrin falls prey to a mystical druid but so did her father and other males. The differences between Catrin as a female and males was well presented and while subtle, was powerful.

Tanner is a masterful wordsmith and storyteller. There were no plot holes, everything was believable, and her characters grew as did the plot. This is an epic story, one that takes a lot of organization, research, and perseverance for the writer. A tale that requires solid and constant action to keep all the parts moving along and not becoming bogged down. I cannot wait for book 3!

Kristin James, the narrator, performs the book excellently. Her smooth voice is a pleasure to hear, almost melodious. She kept the story moving along with her passion and investment in the story – she is Catrin! Well done!

There were no issues with the production or quality of this audiobook.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.
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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good book

Good continuation of the series. It is just as full of twists and action as the first book. You can tell the author took the time to research the world the story is set in so it is accurate and the characters are well done.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

The Saga Continues

The together forever question for Catrin and Marcellus is still not resolved. The evil shape shifting Bloodwolf is the victor despite our heroine's efforts and has joined with Rome to destroy Catrin's family. The traps set for both heroes are relentless and daunting. I hope book three will provide some closure. The narration was good.
I was given a free copy of this audiobook with a promise to provide an honest review.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The story gets darker with every chapter...

In the first book, Apollo's Raven, Catrin, a princess of Britannia, and Marcellus, the grandson of Marc Anthony, fall in love... But it's forbidden love as they come from warring nations. When Catrin saves Marcellus from certain death in battle, in the eyes of her clansmen she commits treason - and punishment for that is death...

This is the starting point for the second part of the series - Catrin undergoing a trial and accepting her punishment, willing to redeem herself in the eyes of her father, King Amren. But nothing is easy in the times of war, and Amren and his family have a formidable enemy, one who can transform into a wolf, one who can weave powerful magic, one who hates them more than anyone else... And there's also Marcellus, trying to save Catrin as she once saved him, loving her beyond reason, and taking great risks to still try and prevent war between Britannia and Rome...

The plot in Dagger's Destiny is full of suspence, full of emotions, and full of surpries. The tale takes you trough a rollercoster of emotions: hope, despair, anger and joy... With every chapter the story gets more complicated; in one moment we feel that maybe there's a chance of a happy ending for Catrin and her beloved only to discover a moment later that the dark forces at play seem to prevail... The nearer the end, the more violent the whole tale becomes, with fearful battles taking place, with heads being severed and women, children and the elderly mutilated... It's a heart-breaking kind of ending, I must say - with almost all hope lost, with all the main characters losing faith and with more questions left unanswered that we would like... But it definitely is a tale you want to continue reading/listening to - I certainly will.

As for the narration by Ms James, it's very good, although I sped it up a little - it's a long book, and Ms James reads it rather slowly. But she is great at interpreting individual characters and adding emotions to the narrative parts. Generally, it's a pleasure listening to her interpretation of the book.

DISCLAIMER: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • NM
  • 10-29-18

Roman tale of magic, love and war !

Its a Romeo Juliette story with magic and wars!!

The story is compelling the heroes and evils are real people, not one-dimensional characters.
for example Katherine -a warrior/ witch/princess on one hand and very sensitive, somewhat gentlewoman on the other hand, facing very difficult decisions and events
The narrator is a bit too melodramatic at the beginning, but become much better late on, can make good distinct voices late on, including great Scottish like accent :)

The story is also about some very strong female characters in a man's oriented world and their struggle to make a difference.
I liked it a lot, now I need to read the first book!!

One note: it is not a PG13 book, get ready for some graphical sex scenes.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Action packed and dramatic

The story was pretty good. One word that comes to mind is dramatic. You think Catrin is almost out of the woods and then a semi-devastating event happens, it's as though she almost cant catch a break. There were a couple minorly awkward parts in the story. I really like that she was a type of Oracle because it was something new that I haven't encountered before. It was relatively fast paced, because of event after event happening so you need to pay a little bit more attention.

Since I didnt read/listen to the 1st book in the series, I think there were some things that confused me that wouldn't have been confusing if I had read the 1st book. This is good because it avoids the dreaded character information dump but bad for me since I had to fill in the blanks on some stuff and I missed how Catrin and Marcellus fell in love.

I would definitely be interested in how the series ends, because the story ends on a major cliff hanger!

The narration was pretty good too!


I received a review copy in exchange for an honest review, at my request.


1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting

I was given this free copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
The story was interesting however "I" made the error thinking I could pick-up the story line without reading the first book.
The story it's self was interesting and well written. Would really like to be able to listen to the first book. Thank you....

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A good followup but still fundamentally flawed

Here we have another enchanting historical fantasy romance set in Britannia during Roman times.

I really wanted this book to be an improvement on its predecessor.

Once again, Kristin James's audio performance is the highlight of the book. Her voices are varied, distinct, and well crafted (even the male voices). Her control of vocal inflections and tempo shifts throughout are nothing short of incredible. She's second to none.

Unfortunately, this book carries over all the same flaws as its predecessor. I still don't believe Catrin and Marcellus are in love. I've seen nothing to suggest they are. It feels more like an obsessive school-age infatuation.

Rather than having any basis in emotion or personality, it is purely physically driven, even at the end of the book.

This book has a deeper plot independent of the romance than the first book did, though there is a new problem.

In the first book, the Celtic king calls Catrin "One of our most skilled warriors" yet in this book we have her going under another warrior's wing to be trained to fight. And it's approached as though she was a soft princess with no combat skills and no physical conditioning.

Why is that?

Elsewise, we have a good story here. Events flow together nicely. There is a decent pattern of twists and reveals. And I don't hold it against the book that I saw every twist coming as (or shortly after) it was initially introduced. It's a common problem for me.

Although there are still things about it that I find a bit ridiculous, I enjoyed the deeper dive into the magic system. It's well thought out and there are many points of connection with the powers historically attributed to the druid priests and sorcerers.

Similarly, huge chunks of the world building are brilliantly assembled and conveyed. It's almost effortless the way the author presents most of the world building.

Just as the first book, however, I have some critiques.

The truth is that if this was a secondary world fantasy I would have nothing negative to say here. However, this is a historical fantasy based on the Celtic world and I find myself wishing the author had done her research a little more thoroughly.

The single biggest, most glaring problem that irritates me to no end is the druids WERE NOT priests. Nor were they sorcerers, as this book purports. The druids were a caste. They were the intellectuals. The educators, the historians, the judges, the poets, the philosophers, the shamans... and yes, the priests and sorcerers as well. But while a druid COULD be a priest or sorcerer, not all of them were.

The term "druid powers" would have been met with confused expressions.

The second major issue also ties in with the druids. This being that THE BRITTON CELTS DIDN'T HAVE A WRITTEN LANGUAGE YET!

(this being set in the year 24 CE)

Sorry, I didn't mean to yell. It had to be done. In Brittany the Celts didn't develop written language until around the 4th century CE.

And finally, the Caste System. While the Celtic caste system was not nearly as rigid as, say, the Japanese or even the Romans themselves, they still had an established caste system that was difficult to break out of and there is not the slightest hint of that caste system in this book.

Apart from the historical inaccuracies, there are a few other problems. First, good chunks of the prose are just clumsy to read. The natural consequence to this is much of the dialogue feels stilted and gets repetitive. There is also a lot of word usage that just feels wrong for the period.

Now, I'm not one of those purists who thinks the language needs to be 100% accurate to the period. But it should hold to a slightly more old fashioned feel. Unfortunately, we end up seeing a lot of modern turns of phrase that throw me out of the story quite regularly.

There were several points where words seem to have been transposed (eg: "in her eye's mind"). There are a lot more of these sorts of occurrences than I would normally expect from a professionally edited novel.

Although it isn't as bad on this book as the first, there is still a major consistency problem with the characters. If these two have pledged themselves to one another for eternity, why are they still so wishy-washy about it?

I'm still really bothered by the fact that the only real connection we see between the couple is physical. Marcellus is ridiculously forceful about it at the worst possible times and with no explanation as to why.

And, toward the end, oh my gods he's a freaking idiot! How did he not know something was wrong?

Finally, the ending.
As with the previous book, some of this seems to come out of the blue. Although the groundwork was there earlier, because of the focus of the novel very little of it is seen until things are brought to the fore.

That said, though, when we finally get to it the ending actually comes together pretty well and ties several (though not all) of our disparate plot threads together into a cohesive close that is at least moderately satisfying.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Think I missed something

This is the first book I’ve read/listened to by this author. Maybe it would have been better to listen to book one first. There was something in this book that was disjointed for me, however I’m not quite sure what it was.

This is the first book I’ve listened to by this narrator ( Kristin James ) bad reviews narration. She did well reading this and had separate voices for the characters. Her narration style lent a foreboding feeling to the story.

There are some sex scenes, and violence (but not excessive). Some swearing? -don’t remember for sure.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and voluntarily left this unbiased review.
Please feel free to comment on whether you found my review helpful.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

LOVE OR DUTY?

Daggers Destiny is the second book in a series about confiicts in AD24. Catrin is the daughter of King Amren who is the local Britannia tribal leader. Catrin is in Love with Marcellus who is a Roman officer. The penalty for Loving a Roman is death according to her father. But her father loves Catrin and Catrin loves her father along with Catrin loves Marcellus. The story is a Love\Hate relationship with the Characters and with the book itself. I received this audio book for free in exchange for an unbiased review. I did enjoy listening to the story. Thanks!

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  • Mahesh Nakka
  • 11-16-18

surprised at good narration

The story is cool.
And pleasantly surprised, narration is good but still some modulation improvement needed.
overall this is a nice one for me. will definitely pick up the next one.

PS Audiobook boom, Thanks for providing a free copy.

"I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."