The Brotherhood of the Rose (Mortalis, #1)
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The Brotherhood of the Rose (Mortalis #1)

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  3,474 ratings  ·  124 reviews
They were orphans, Chris and Saul–raised in a Philadelphia school for boys, bonded by friendship, and devoted to a mysterious man called Eliot. He visited them and brought them candy. He treated them like sons. He trained them to be assassins. Now he is trying desperately to have them killed.

Spanning the globe and full of heart-stopping action, The Brotherhood of the Rose...more
416 pages
Published (first published 1983)
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The Brotherhood of the Rose by David MorrellCreepers by David MorrellThe League of Night and Fog by David MorrellScavenger by David MorrellFirst Blood by David Morrell
Best of David Morrell
1st out of 28 books — 18 voters
The Bourne Identity by Robert LudlumTinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le CarréThe Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le CarréThe Hunt for Red October by Tom ClancyThe Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
Best Spy Novels
143rd out of 712 books — 999 voters

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Community Reviews

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Story follows two orphans who are cared for by a foster father who trains them to become government assassins. Even worse, they are later betrayed by this man and discover he has a network of children being raised to become top notch assassins.

Lots of twists and turns and clever ways of our heroes prevailing, especially at the end when the betraying father is being tracked down.

Be sure to seek out the sub rosa definition. Morrell likes his History which I appreciate.
Mike (the Paladin)
One of my favorite writers from a few years ago. David Morrell is (was?) the king of conspiracies (from "a few years ago"). This is the poster child...two orphans raised from a very early age to be part of a group of ultra loyal assassins.

This one stayed w9ith me and it's the one that sent me off finding other books by the author. The characters in this book are very well drawn (one more so than the other I believe) and will create in you a strange sympathy (for the boys...all the boys).

There wa...more
David Morrell, better known as the writer of the novel the first Rambo movie was based on, wrote a spy trilogy in the early 1980s that has just been released in ebook format.
The first, Brotherhood of the Rose, follows two orphans that have been raised as brothers and trained to become expert operatives for a secret branch of the CIA.
One of the things that sets this book apart from other spy novels is a great concept – on the eve of WWII all of the directors of the various intelligence organizati...more
While initially getting into the book was hard to do, I really got attached to Chris and Saul, so much so that I found myself crying several times throughout the book. The characters of the brothers were well rounded and left you wondering how one could embrace violence so naturally and the other would later shy away from his life as an assassin.

I'm not sure why so many people brought up technology in their reviews, the book was written when people still knew what the phrase "cold war" meant. I...more
So many commentators on the GR page for this book, seem to have absorbed the experience entirely wrong. Be in no doubt: 'Brotherhood of the Rose' is is one of the greatest modern spy thrillers. I'll tell you precisely why, in a moment.

Just be aware first of all, that there was an interval in espionage publishing which had dragged on--just before this title appeared--in which nothing really excellent was being done. Nothing formidable had appeared for a while. Forsyth was quiet, Follett was quiet...more
Like all Morrell books, a good bit of action


Brotherhood of the Rose is set in the Cold War era in the world of big time spies. Two orphans living in an orphanage, Saul and Chris, were singled out for education and training that led to them being paired together as super spies working for the CIA. Now, the man who trained them - the man they consider to be their father - has betrayed them. Saul and Chris avoid all sorts of troubles as they unravel an international plot against them an...more
Greg Lang
I love this book so much I read it three times over the years. Two highly trained CIA operatives that we're once orphans are betrayed by the only father they ever knew. They desperately attempt to discover the truth as operatives from every network in the world hunt them down with orders to kill. It's a fast paced race against time with plenty of plot twists and suspense to keep you glued to your reading chair! It was also a pretty cool TV movie about 20 years ago with Peter Strauss, David Morse...more
Roger Weston
This book drags me along like a little girl drags a rag doll down the street. The doll ain't getting away. Sometimes the girl shakes the doll or pulls it through the mud. Maybe a dog tries to wrench it away from her, but she wins the tug of war. Likewise, this book pulls me through a rocky adventure. I'm happy to be dragged along.

If you crave adventure stories, you might also try The Golden Catch, a thriller/adventure novel where the action unfolds in the stormy Aleutian Islands.

Roger Weston,...more
Matthew Phipps
I found this book quite by accident many, many years ago when all I would read were spy novels. I'm not sorry I read it and the companion books in the Mortalis trilogy. Mr. Morrell goes deep into the backgrounds of his characters and fleshes them out very well, his plots are carefully written and well developed. Strangely enough, I was unaware until only a few years ago that he is also the author of the First Blood saga. I haven't read any of those, but I soon hope to be able to settle down for...more
Patrice Hoffman
There isn't much I can say except this was a great book. I haven't read any spy novels before this but... I'm definitely a fan of the genre (now). I suggest anyone who's looking for a good read to pick this up. It's pretty old but all the best books are.
Jim Perrone
Interesting read - good spy thriller with nice subplot and psychological bent. Much is dated and the paperback editing was poor (quite a few errors) but not distracting enough to lessen the experience. Quick read & worth it.
Read most of his books. Thrillers, espionage.
Aside from possibly Nelson DeMille, author David Morrell has no equal in the genre of thriller writers. This is the first of a loose trilogy, and reads as a stand-alone novel.

Before James Patterson popularized it, Morrell made use of rapid-pace short chapters like this book. However, sometimes Morrell will let a chapter play out to milk the moment. Another difference is that Morrell can really write. There is no cartoonish dialog, and everything is very well researched. He likes to put a superma...more
This is the first espionage/thriller I've read, I've never been much into spy novels. Having seen David Morrell at this year's Sleuthfest, I bought one of his books to sign. He is a wonderful, inspiring speaker, by the way

First, this book was published in 1984, so of course, much of the "state of the art" technology used by the protaganists is primitive or no longer exists (They use payphones and they access the government computer network with a phoneline).

But I wasn't really interested in the...more
Greg Zafiris
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Matt Crumpton
Feb 08, 2010 Matt Crumpton rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: spy novel junkies, mystery lovers
Shelves: spy-thriller
This is the first David Morrell novel that I have read and overall I think it was pretty good. It definitely was a page turner, with lots of action through the story. Its a very lean thriller, and quick to read. I thought the characters were good, and developed well. Also what I liked about it was that behind all the action there was a very interesting story being told underneath it all. The plot was very nice, and the action really complimented it rather than overpowering it.

However, I gave it...more
Jul 06, 2009 Peter rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who is really bored and likes thrillers
Shelves: mystery, thriller
I picked this one up along with a bunch of others for ten cents each at the permanent booksale on the Boothbay Harbor Public Library porch.

It was okay. A bit reminiscent of all the other thriller/potboilers that inevitably litter the best-seller lists. But The Brotherhood of the Rose wasn't particularly intelligent or well-written. It wasn't painfully stupid either; just a tolerable thriller, a bit predictable, rather shallow, and not particularly memorable or well-written. A tolerable way to ki...more
I was entranced in this story from the very start. It was well written with solid characters and plenty of twist and turns. The attention to detail is exceptional. It moves along at a very fast pace with plenty of action.

Some language and sex takes place but not detailed.
May 23, 2012 Malia rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elle Pepper
I love this book, I got to hear David Morrell at the now defunct Yosemite Writer's conference here in the Central Valley. I picked up his book as research because of some of the stories I write, and was very pleased to find that from moment one it picks you up and doesn't let you go. It is truly one of those books where you say 'just one more chapter' and then read to the end.

The characters were well-written and the plot was gripping, and the ending though you had a feeling it was coming was a s...more
Jim A
This was a reread for me. I first read it almost 30 years ago, in the mid 80's.

As an action thriller this book holds up very well. The technology used in the book is obviously dated. I really got a chuckle out of Morrell's description of how a modem works. But for the most part it could have been written this year. Simply change the Vietnam War portion to Gulf I or Gulf II and some of the earlier 'time markers' to more contemporary events. To me that's a mark of a well written book, one that wi...more
Michael Watson
I met the author of this book at a writer's conference and felt compelled to buy one of his books. It had terrific reviews, but I had never heard of it. He also has a great reputation as an author, so I knew it would be good. I was not disappointed. This book was excellent. It is about two orphans befriended by a gentleman who sees to it that they receive the finest education and training in hand-to-hand combat and weaponry. They are being prepared for the world of espionage.
The story contains...more
This is not my normal kind of book, spys, espionage etc. I think I had picked this one up years ago at a UBS after I'd seen the movie "First Blood" then read the book. I know I liked that book. I had totally expected to get bored with this one and give up on it but I was proved wrong! It was a very thrilling book that held my interest all the way through.

It's about 2 brothers who were orphans and kind of adopted by Eliot. He was like a father to the boys and trained them to be operatives. When...more
Nancy Harmon
This book for me was a real drag. Thrillers are not my usual reading, but I bought it because I had the privilege of meeting David Morrell at a writer's conference in May. I found his flashbacks to the main character's childhood distracting just as the plot picked up speed. I know this was an early effort and hope to find later works that hold my attention more.
Todd Jensen
Back in the 80's, I remember watching the movie with Robert Mitchem and enjoying this. Then, as I have read more of these spy thrillers, I learned that Morrell was a pioneer in the genre. So ... downloaded to my iPad and finished early this year. It was a really good read. You have to put your mind back into the 80's, but I was pretty plugged into the 80's geo political situation, even as a kid, so I got the tone he was going for. The story is great and Morrell shows why he was one of the origin...more
From the back of the book: They were orphans, Saul and Chris-raised in a Philadelphia school for boys, bonede by friendship, and devoted to a mysterious man called Eliot.He visited them and brought them candy.He treated them like sons.He trained them to be assassins.Now he is trying desperately to have them killed.
I am a big fan of David Morrell's books. This was the first one I ever read and I have devoured everything I can get my hands on by him. I hope that future readers of this book like it...more
An engaging book with a peculiar story illustrating about unexpected features of the inside world of rival countries spy networks managements and secret agreements, sustained by one of a kind plot

Will hold you attention as never lets go intrigues and machinations from the very first word

Though it was written about 20 years ago still retains circumstances surrounding events happening nowadays

Great entertainment for spy novels fans
Elliot gets boys out an orphanage and brings toa school in Piladelphia. The two boys bond like brothers. Elliot visited them frecuently and brought them baby ruth candy. He treated them like sons. They were trained to be assassins. He used them on frecuent assignments. When things got tough for him he tried to kill them. They felt betrayed. He managed to kill one of them but the other managed to kill Elliot.
Interesting book but confusing at moments.
Feb 22, 2013 Julian rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
This is an absolutely excellent book. I could not put this thing down. Yes the underlying storyline is exactly the same as 90% of other espionage books, in that it is about a spy that is told to do a job, then is marked for termination to cover-up the real reasons for the last job he did. However, the characters, the twists, the betrayal, the sheer fun of watching (or should I say reading) this play out was great fun. Highly recommended!
This is a fairly simple story, but we (my husband and I) listened to it in the car years ago & loved it. The story follows two men as they are orphaned and funneled into the service of a power hungry highly placed American. The story has vivid twists and turns, but years later I found the book in paperback and realized how short it really was. Probably, the fact that it was multivoiced made it seem like an old radio show. Great fun.
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Goodreads Librari...: I need someone to add this cover 7 30 Dec 24, 2013 06:37AM  
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David Morrell is a Canadian novelist from Kitchener, Ontario, who has been living in the United States for a number of years. He is best known for his debut 1972 novel First Blood, which would later become a successful film franchise starring Sylvester Stallone. More recently, he has been writing the Captain America comic books limited-series The Chosen.
More about David Morrell...
Creepers First Blood Murder as a Fine Art The Fraternity Of The Stone The League of Night and Fog

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