Through Murder, Conspiracy, and Betrayal

Linnea Tanner Author Interview

Skull’s Vengeance follows a Celtic warrior queen who must defeat her sorcerer half-brother to claim the throne and outmaneuver political enemies from Rome and Britannia to do so. What were some sources that informed this novels development?

Unlike the previous books in the series, Skull’s Vengeance delves into the political firestorm of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. As I researched the Roman political backdrop during the period when Skull’s Vengeance takes place (27 – 28 AD), I became fascinated with the historical figure, Lucius Aelius Sejanus. He was head of the Praetorian Guard who over-reached to gain power from Emperor Tiberius through murder, conspiracy, and betrayal. Though Tiberius had been an able general and diplomat, his final years as emperor were tyrannical. Roman historians wrote about his sexual perversity and child molestation. At the height of Sejanus’s political power as a consul in 31 A.D., Tiberius unexpectedly had him arrested and mercilessly executed. As a confidant to Tiberius, Antonia Minor had a role in the downfall of Sejanus. She feared her grandson, Caligula, would meet the fate as his older brothers whom Sejanus had imprisoned. Historians surmise that Antonia Minor, the youngest daughter of Mark Antony and Octavia (Augustus Caesar’s Sister), helped bring down Sejanus. She inspired one of the subplots in the novel in which she helped Marcellus navigate the political waters to meet directly with Tiberius.

What scene in the book was the most emotional for you to write?

I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but one of my favorite characters dies trying to protect Catrin. It is a poignant moment at the funeral when she reflects what sacrifices she must bear to defeat her evil half-brother.

What was a challenge you set for yourself as a write with this book?

One of the greatest challenges was to provide sufficient background information from the previous three books so it could be read as a standalone for a first-time reader of the series.

What can readers expect in book five in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings series?

Book 5, entitled Dragon’s Anvil, will continue Catrin’s quest to strike vengeance against her evil half-brother, King Marrock. With his ability to shapeshift into a dragon, Marrock wreaks havoc on the kingdoms of Britannia. Catrin’s devoted Roman husband, Marcellus, and her Celtic commanders join her in the quest to slay the dragon in the darker half of the year as winter approaches. But other enemies from Rome and Britannia stand in her way. Family loyalties are tested. Warriors fall. Betraryed and torn from those she loves, Catrin must embrace her darker essence as a druidess to face her greatest challenge — battling the dragon and claiming the kingdom as its rightful heir.

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“[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?

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on October 14, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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