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Brethren (Brethren Trilogy #1)

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3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  2,889 Ratings  ·  176 Reviews
From the burning plains of Syria to the filthy backstreets of Paris and London, Brethren is the story of Will Campbell, coming of age in a time of conspiracy, passion, politics and war. Will has been brought up from boyhood in the ways of the all-powerful Order of the Knights Templar. With a tragedy in his past that looms over his future, he faces a long, hard apprenticesh ...more
Paperback, 672 pages
Published March 22nd 2007 by Hodder & Stoughton (first published January 1st 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Paul
Aug 17, 2014 Paul rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This could and should have been so much better. All the necessary elements seem to be there for a great memorable story only for it to disappoint and frustrate far more than invigorate or appeal. To use an analogy, imagine having all the right ingredients for a delicious cake, mix them together, bake and getting an undercooked barely edible biscuit instead.
The author manages the notable feat of taking five hundred long pages to achieve less than what others have in two-thirds as many pages. Youn
...more
Simona Stoica
Mar 28, 2015 Simona Stoica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Una dintre seriile mele preferate. Te distruge, incet.
Ursula
Mar 10, 2012 Ursula rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The historical research done by this author is obvious in the story and she should be given credit for doing a great job on it however, I just could not connect with the characters. The main character was too weak and the conversations between him and his other teenage friends sounded more like modern day teenagers. While most of the chapters started with beautiful description of the landscape etc., sometimes they just seem out of place. It was like a mix match of scenery and characters. This wa ...more
C.W.
Apr 24, 2012 C.W. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
BRETHREN, the first entry in Robyn Young's acclaimed epic trilogy about the travails of a young man on the path to becoming a Templar knight during the disastrous end of the Crusades, is full of interesting details and twisting plot-lines. Will Campbell, the hero of the story, is a youth damaged by a tragic event which has torn his family apart. As he struggles to gain his knighthood in the Templar Order, where he's been assigned by his father, who's taken Templar vows and left for service in th ...more
Paula Lofting
Will Campbell has to serve as an apprentice to a foul-tempered Templar priest before he can achieve his dream of knighthood amongst the fierce Templars, God's Warrior monks. For longer than he should have, Will was forced to remain a sergeant in the service of Everard, a man of dangerous secrets. Amir Baybars has dragged himself out of slavery to become his people's leader, driven by an unquenchable desire to rid his land of the European invaders. As the story builds to a crescendo, the two men' ...more
Fiona
Nov 04, 2011 Fiona rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, so I didn't quite read all of it, but I read most of it so as far as I'm concerned IT'S READ. Sod it. What a load of absolute tripe. It isn't even good tripe, it's badly written tripe.

The characters were badly written cardboard cut outs. Will sounded like some kid directly out of High School, minus modern day slang. Elwen looked like she had just walked out of a Pre-Raphaelite painting what with her long flowing hair that flowed loose down her back, golden tresses that quite often fell loo
...more
S.J.A. Turney
May 01, 2012 S.J.A. Turney rated it really liked it
I wasn't really sure what to expect from Brethren as I hadn't read a synopsis beforehand. Sometimes I find that adds to the book as it means I go into it with an open mind. Also, given my very rigid list of books to read, Brethren sneaked in by simply being "I quite fancy a read of that" as I walked past the bookshelf. That, for me, is quite rare. All I knew was that it involved the Knights Templar and the crusades.

I was fascinated, then, to discover that the book is not simply an 'us-and-them'
...more
Ellie
Aug 02, 2013 Ellie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Set in period between the Seventh and Ninth Crusades, Brethren purports to tell the story if the Crusades from both the East's and the West's points of view. The West's version is told through the tale of Will, training to follow in his father's footsteps as a Knight in the Order of the Templar, while the East's view is depicted through the tale of Mamluk Sultan of Egypt, Baybars.

The Templars, as usual the subject of speculation and rumours of secret societies, are here given a secret Order with
...more
David
May 21, 2016 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! This book is subtitled "An Epic Adventure" and it is indeed that! Young Will Campbell is training to be a Templar knight when he becomes involved in intrigue and conspiracy. Prince Edward has one agenda, the Templars have another, and there is yet another circle within the Templars that have yet another. Wheels within wheels within wheels. While it does not rise to Game of Thrones type machinations, it is very, very, good intrigue with plenty of violence and leaving out the gratuitous sex. ...more
Paul Bennett
Jul 10, 2014 Paul Bennett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes I bemoan the fact that I have too many books to read which means that it takes me a while to get to them all. I bought Brethren months ago but only recently did it rise to the top of my to be read pile. Once I started reading it I was chagrined that I hadn’t read it sooner. This is one terrific tale of the 13th century and the turmoil between East and West, between Christian and Muslim and between the various knight orders especially of the Templars and Hospitallers. It seems that ever ...more
Josh
Nov 25, 2009 Josh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys history
Recommended to Josh by: I found it online
The Brethren Trilogy is historical fiction, covering the Knights Templar and the last crusade. All three books have been published, but I am waiting to read the third one; I don't want to purchase the hardcover edition, especially since the paperback form will be released in January.

This, the first, was far superior to the second, though neither were precisely bad. The series is centered on a young sergeant hoping to someday be a templar. His name is Will Campbell and he is from a low born fami
...more
Miriam
Jan 07, 2013 Miriam rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
As the author is a creative writing teacher I was expecting more. (Didn't Dutton assign her an editor?)

I (almost) always finish any book I start reading. This story of 475 pages only paid out in the LAST SEVEN PAGES. The premise is intriguing: two stories told alternating between the Crusaders point of view and the point of view of Baybars, the Mameluke slave who became sultan and a great general. I was pulling for the Saracens. All the Crusaders and the English King Henry and his son, Edward,
...more
Maya
Jun 06, 2009 Maya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
It didn't take me long to read the first part of the Brethren Trilogy called Brethren. You can always tell when I like a book very much because I tend to start reading and not stop until its finished or I fall asleep.

Besides the story which is all about the coming of age of two very powerful people, and the side story which is about the mystery of a missing book, and the Knights Templars; the book has a lot to recommend it.

The historical detail that the author put into the book was amazing. She
...more
Ben
Apr 05, 2012 Ben rated it really liked it
I have just re read this (debut) book and the beginning of the trilogy.

Full of incredible detail and many keenly made points/ observations on the nature of the times both past and the parallels that can be drawn with modern events/ attitudes.

It's a brilliant read and is full of well written characters, what proves this more than anything is that really not a lot happens, yet it still holds your attention.

When I say not a lot happens, this is obviously not true, it's full of friendships & lov
...more
Billy
Jul 04, 2012 Billy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent Historical Fiction. I can't wait for the follow-up!,

Robyn Young has shown true greatness in this, her first novel.
The story, which surrounds the Crusades and all that relates; the Templar Knights (and their counterparts of the time; Hospitallers and Teutonics), the Mongols, the Sultan Baybars, Kings Richard the Lionheart & Henry III and Prince Edward of England, Louis IX of France.
The story encompasses the crusades from the viewpoint of both the christians and the muslims and firml
...more
Elspeth Cooper
May 05, 2011 Elspeth Cooper rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
This book has been lying on my bedside table now for about a year, and the bookmark hasn't moved from page 121 in all that time.

I struggled to get into it. Her research, from what I could tell, is thorough and detailed, and she sets a scene well, but hand on heart I could not make myself care about any of the characters, so they all seemed to blend together. Something was off with the pacing too. Perhaps I didn't give it a fair chance, as at the time I was only able to read in short bursts, but
...more
Richard
Aug 21, 2016 Richard rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook_2016
I was a little uncertain if i would like this book. I do like the Crusades, but i have never really read anything serious from this era in Historical Fiction.
There were some areas that i was not fully fond of, and sometimes the skipping in time caught me out (mainly due to being an audiobook, rather than reading - i missed the dates occasionally).
I will continue with this series for sure - once i have cut my to be read pile a little.
Deirdre
Mar 14, 2009 Deirdre rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fromlibrary
This is the story of Will Campbell a reluctant Knight Templar, his friendship and love and his growth from a boy to a man. Will is a Templar because his father decided he should be, he lives with the guilt of having accidentally killed his sister and that his father didn't speak to him for years.

It's also the story of Baybars and his fight to rise his life from Malmuk slave to ruler. Ruthless he pursues the expulsion of Christians from the lands he regards as his with ruthlessness.

It's interesti
...more
Romain Blandre
Feb 07, 2016 Romain Blandre rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Le début d'une trilogie médiévale dont l'affrontement entre templiers et sarrasins est le contexte. Au delà de cette thématique somme tout classique c'est peut être la quête de la tolérance qui semble guider les personnages principaux. Les autres tomes devront confirmer ...
Steve
Be warned.

To open BRETHREN is to become trapped. From the beautiful excerpt of THE BOOK OF THE GRAIL in the Prologue, to the barbaric grandeur of the Mamluk-Mongol clash in Ayn Jalut in Chapter One, to the chase and murder in Saint-Martin's Gate of Paris in Chapter Two, Robyn Young's debut novel will ensnare you and will not let go until the final page is turned. As a work of historical fiction, it succeeds in being both an educational read and one that simply bears a very compelling story.

Will
...more
Deborah Pickstone
Well. Nearly resorted to 3 stars but it picked up about halfway through and was mindful that this was her first book. The writing wasn't great in that early part but....I always remember re-reading The Sunne in Splendour after reading other SP books and being amazed by the extent of her growth as a writer - and, for me, The Sunne etc is a beloved book despite the imperfect writing. So I gave RY a lot of credit (and after all, how many books have I myself written to be so very pedantic? Exactly n ...more
Sir
Jan 14, 2015 Sir rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Robyn Young is a fantastic novelist and her depiction of the Knights Templar was far more accurate than any other author who took advantage of the Templar craze started by Dan Brown. Rather than the mystical Priory of Scion which most Historians agree was a myth the elite secretive group written about by Young was one who tried to create peace within religions, they met with like minded Arabs, and Jews and worked to prevent crusades and other devastating wars. Robyn did an amazing job creating a ...more
Redfox5
I would have given this book a higher rating if it hadn't take so long for me to get into it. It seemed like it was ages before anything exciting happened and even then, the book didn't take off until we got to the Holy land and then it really started to hold my interest.

I don't get religion. I don't believe in anything and the whole thing seems like a stupid reason to go to war and kill each other. Something which we seem doomed to repeat even in this day and age when you think we would have
...more
Anne
Nov 15, 2010 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is mainly the story of young Will Campbell, who comes from scotland to England to study to be a Templar knight. it follows him from his early teens until his twenties where he finds himself in the Holy Land fighting a Saracen army led by Baybars, a legendary leader. he is also searching for his estranged father, who had taken the cross and gone to the Holy Land. Rich in history of the period, this book is the first in a series.
Readsandeats
Mar 29, 2016 Readsandeats rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book with it's mixture of history and self discovery.

Will is a young highland boy who wants to become a knight. His father works for the nights and then becomes one. Due to circumstances Will finds himself in knight training in London. As he goes about his duties he learns more of the ways of the knights and makes friends tentatively.
Will and one of his friends are chosen to accompany their masters to France but things happen on their arrival in France. Will lashes out and
...more
Graham
Jun 10, 2012 Graham rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historic
Somewhat silly Temple within a temple. Templeception I guess. I liked her writing style though, not as good as Cornwall, but then who is? I learned quite a bit of history with extra research with this one. Characters are very well developed and rounded. All in all a pretty good read.
Dawn
The first book in a planed trilogy follows William Campbell of the Templar Knights as he searches for a missing book. The most interesting aspect of the book is the fact that the author uses two distinct voices to tell the story; eastern and western.
ѦѺ™
Dec 30, 2012 ѦѺ™ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
once i started, i couldn't let go of this amazing historical fiction! i've had my copy for years but only got to read it a few days ago. now i look forward to reading the rest of the books in the Trilogy!
Karen
While I liked the story I didn't like any the characters.
Elaine
Apr 14, 2012 Elaine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ayan Jalut The Pools of Goliath-The Battle of Ain Jalut , the "Spring of Goliath") took place on 3 September 1260 between Mamluks and the Mongols in the southeastern Galilee, in the Jezreel Valley, north of Jerusalem The battle marked the high-water point of Mongol conquests, and was the first time a Mongol advance had ever been permanently beaten back in direct combat on the battlefield

Mamluk- slave warriors of Egypt , from Syria

Genghis Khan Mongol's-- founder died 1227
Mongols invaded Syria in
...more
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Robyn Young lives in Hove, and is the author of BRETHREN, the first novel in a trilogy set in the world of the Crusades. The author of numerous poems and short stories published in magazines and anthologies, Robyn has a Masters in Creative Writing with distinction from the University of Sussex. She teaches creative writing part-time in Brighton.
More about Robyn Young...

Other Books in the Series

Brethren Trilogy (3 books)
  • Crusade (Brethren Trilogy, #2)
  • Requiem: The Fall of the Templars (Brethren Trilogy #3)

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