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Brethren (Raised by Wolves, #1)
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Brethren (Raised by Wolves #1)

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  790 Ratings  ·  97 Reviews
John Williams, the Viscount of Marsdale, libertine, duelist, dilettante, haphazard philanthropist and philosopher, is asked by his estranged father to start a plantation in Jamaica in 1667. He doesn't realize that he is going to the right island for the wrong reasons until he meets buccaneers and learns he has far more in common with the wild Brethren of the Coast than he ...more
Paperback, 541 pages
Published January 1st 2006 by Alien Perspective
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Cathryn There is definitely actual romance in this. It's one of the big points of the entire series. Love, sex, the whole nine yards, in a really well fleshed…moreThere is definitely actual romance in this. It's one of the big points of the entire series. Love, sex, the whole nine yards, in a really well fleshed out, sometimes pretty gritty historical setting.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Feb 24, 2009 Punk rated it liked it
Shelves: queer
Pirate Romance. This is basically every pirate AU ever; in particular, the AU where gay pirates mate for life and spend a lot of time doing improbable things in hammocks in between killing people and having emotional problems. The first hundred pages aren't exciting or even necessary, so if you're trying to read this, go ahead and skim or just skip right to Jamaica. Will, our pirate narrator, has a pretty arbitrary set of morals and a weird hangup with classifying everyone as either a sheep or a ...more
Jun 25, 2013 julio rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
wildly self-indulgent, fully 80 percent discussion, and more or less fun as fuck.

that i am likely to read another half million words of this is all the endorsement you need.

pick this when you want a book that takes a month to read and has pirates in it talking about their feelings in different caribbean settings.

it's long, and sometimes boring; also sexy, heartwarming, and exciting.

both with and without the dysentery.

i have every reason to read anything else but volume two—but i won't.
Emma Sea
Most importantly, thank you to whomever of my GR friends gave me this for Christmas. I am touched by your thoughtfulness and generosity.

Much like Falls Chance Ranch, on paper this is not my book: it's a soap opera, on a ship, with much cuddling, and the angstiest of angsty slow burns. And yet I loved it. I give it four stars, with the understanding the fifth star is bound and gagged in the hold, ransomed and under guard at cutlass point, until I finish the series.
***This is not a series. This is a single novel divided in 4 volumes.***

I’ve been 6 days reading this book.


I’m not a fast reader, but I’m an avid one. In my defense I must say it is quite long (540 pages) and the density of each one of them was surprisingly heavy.

Furthermore, the MC don’t meet till page 134.


If you are scared at this, please, quit reading and forget about this book.


But if you have curiosity as for why I loved Brethren so much, please, go on.


This book is ambitious in more than o
I could probably sell this book to you with two words: Gay and Pirates. Ha! I know you all just imagined a whole lot of Captain Jack slash because that was my first thought too :)

But this is better! So, so much better than better, this is outstanding!
Brethren is everything you could ever want from a seafaring historical novel with admittedly not quite pirates, but buccaneers because duh, pirates came a bit later in history than 1666 ya know. But let’s not split hairs shall we…

Let’s explore the N
Oct 30, 2011 T.J. rated it it was amazing
My favorite m/m books of all time. Are they perfect? No. Are they long? Yes. Is there straight sex in them? Sure. It doesn't matter. This entire series blew me away. There's times I was angry, times I was sobbing. There were times I thought Ms. Hoffman was fucking with me personally given how she carried the characters. It doesn't matter. Every single book is epic. Every single book is badass. I've read each one so many times that I've lost count. And that is the end of my fanboy gush.
Jun 09, 2013 Ais rated it it was amazing
Let me tell you what I adore about this book.

The two main characters MAKE SENSE as a couple. They complement each other in both good and bad ways, drawing out both the dark and the light of each other, and that makes so much sense for why these two would be drawn specifically to the other above all else.

The character progression is awesome, as is their progression as a couple. Every three steps forward is two steps back with them, and it would not have felt realistic for them as characters if it
Kaje Harper
Aug 26, 2013 Kaje Harper rated it it was amazing
This book is just the first part of what is effectively a tremendously long 4-part novel, not a series. It can be read alone, and has a breathing point at the end, not a cliffhanger. But much of the story is yet to come in the subsequent thousand pages or more.

When I first picked up this book, I needed to read a few pages to become accustomed to the deliberately-historical narrative style that opens it. It felt distant and didn't immediately capture my interest. But that stilted prose eases quic
Dec 22, 2008 Dana rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gay
Gay pirates. Straight pirates acting like gay pirates. Psychosis. Dyslexia. And a whole lot of diarrhea. Fantastic!
Jason Bradley
okay, this was damn near perfect for me. I am going right on to the second book in the series.
Jun 26, 2011 Leanne rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who loved False Colours by Alex Beecroft
I'm rarely moved enough by a story to want to write a review but I really want to rave about this book. It moved me : P

I’ll admit right now that I have a soft spot for historical seafaring yarns. Perhaps brought on by the BBC Horatio Hornblower series from way back,when I donned slash goggles for the first time...Ioan Gruffudd and Jamie Bamber...yum. All the homoerotic possibilities of a bunch of men in tight pants and open shirts, cooped up together in the confined space of a tall ship pushes a
Six Stars. I just adored this epic, could not put it down, so pleased there are another three books in the series. A combination of Hornblower, the Scarlet Pimpernel and Pirates of the Caribbean with a gay twist!

Written in the first person from Will's pov, this book is an m/m historical fiction set in the 1660s in the Caribbean. Will is an English Lord's son who ran away to Europe aged 16. He returns home 10 years later to be sent away again to Jamaica to start a sugar cane plantation for his fa
Dani Alexander
Aug 11, 2013 Dani Alexander marked it as to-read
Shelves: gaypirates
This is apparently NOT about shifters! It's pirates. PIRATES. THERE ARE GAY PIRATE BOOKS!

Wonderful characters. Complex personalities. Amazing world building. Captivating story. Charismatic writing style.

What more can I say?

(view spoiler)
Jun 09, 2013 Em rated it really liked it
I started this months ago, put it down at 4% as I found it difficult to get into for some reason, then finally picked it up again after GR friends recommended it. I'm so glad I gave it a second chance. I like my books with a lot of detail and very wordy but I'll admit that even I found this too much at times and it took me a very long time to start to really enjoy it (probably about 300 pages which is a lot I know!). I'm now totally with the program and can't wait to get my next fix of matelots ...more
Nov 29, 2016 MaDoReader marked it as dnf
Después de meses en mi estantería de "on-hold" he decidido hacer DNF, ¿por qué? Pues me he espoileé en su día y ya sé que los derroteros que va a tomar la historia, no me van, me caen muy bien los MC para verlos destrozarse.
Don Bradshaw
Entertaining though sometimes frustrating pirate soap opera. A little too heavy handed with the details for me. Ends on a cliffhanger.
May 11, 2010 Erastes rated it liked it
Shelves: gay-historical
It’s a big book. About 550 pages. Big in scope and ambition. Slightly too large a paperback to hold comfortably in bed or in the bath. That being said it’s set in a fascinating era which isn’t often written about in a fictional and accurate capacity, so I was looking forward to tackling it, although a little daunted by the size.

(It must be said that this was originally part of a trilogy, and now the author has announced that this has expanded and will be a quartet.)

At its core it follows the tra
I think Raised by Wolves is one of my favorite series ever. W.A. Hoffman does an amazing job at re-creating a historical period with great detail and research. But what really drew me in are the characters and all their complexities. Will and Gaston have to be two of the most interesting literary figures I've come across in a series. The dialogues are profound and philosophical, and their personalities are multidimensional (just the way I like them!). I found the premise of "madness" that the ch ...more
rating: 4.5/5

the setting: West Indies

the time: 1660s

the plot: Male pirates buccaneers roving and looting as they travel the seas, fucking their pirate buccaneer life mates during the boring down times on ships. Yup, that's right, life committed, monogamous pirates! And as a cherry on top, we have Marsdale/Will, the outspoken, rude, atheistic libertine and an emotionally wounded English Lord fall in love with Gaston, the insane (literally), straight (although pretty much asexual), damaged by tra
Apr 16, 2010 Sirenprincess rated it it was amazing
This is the best book I have ever read in my entire life. Seriously, it's my #1.

I was very surprised at how much I fell in love with this book. It sounded remotely interesting since it contained a slash (M/M) romantic pirate story with some hints of angst. It's so much more than that. This book is fantastic. The angst and hurt/comfort were better than I ever could have dreamed. I won't spoil anyone, but these themes are much stronger than the book description suggests.

Beyond that, this book was
Christine (AR)
Psychotic, gay-married pirates in Jamaica during the 1660's.

Definitely one of the better gay romances I've read, but admittedly, my standards have gotten pretty low. The main character is, for want of a better way to put it, compassionately amoral, and that made it very hard for me to like him. For example, he risks his life and freedom to free a wrongly imprisoned man, but the five other people who die in the rescue attempt don't merit a single regret. Or a thought, even. He views the world as
So so very long.

But also fascinating, very well-written and captivating. I'm very tempted to pursue the series, but the size of it gives me pause. Perhaps, after a little break.
Imagine the 2003 film “Pirates of the Caribbean,” with a philosopher as the main character. There’s action, adventure, and romance; pirates with daggers in their teeth and hoops in their ears; stolen chests of gold and fencing duels on the ship’s deck… then followed by these quiet moments of peaceful discourse on life and love and where one belongs in the universe. It was a perfect blend of thought-provoking conversations and adrenaline fueled action, with a dash of romance. Even though it had a ...more
Deanna Against Censorship
Gay pirates living openly. Great! This epic is told from Will's POS. Will is an English noble who has been traveling in Europe for ten years since living home due to incidents at home that leave him wounded in the heart and mind. After a brief visit to his boyhood home in England he ends up in Jamaica. He is supposed to start and manage a sugar cane plantation for his father. And he does in his own way. He meets pirates and is invited to join them He meets Gaston and likes what he sees. They imm ...more
I liked it. It took me days and days to read, though. I think the views it's got on things are rather cool, like the sheep/wolves/etc thing.

I've read some reviews where it says the author took a very serious approach to mental illness and whatnot, ad I think it maybe does a better job than the run-of-the-mill romance novel, I still think it had a bit of the love-heals-all trope going on. Of course, having no idea what actual mental illness is like and even, necessarily, what particular brand of
Ran ♠
Jun 25, 2015 Ran ♠ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars!

I was madly in love with him. I loved his demeanor and humor, which were so well matched with my own. I loved his mind and the excellence of the thoughts that occurred within. I loved his scarred body, as it bespoke a strength I could not equal and could only admire. I loved his husky voice, as it made every conversation a thing of intimacy. I even loved his reticence concerning all things carnal, as it made me his first and would allow me to discover him. And in a less than becoming
Sep 28, 2012 Plainbrownwrapper rated it really liked it
Shelves: mm, read-again-maybe
I'll write a full review when I can stand to look at this again. Right now, I'm still fuming about the review I already wrote, that GR ate......


Some notes while I read --

I like a lot of this dialog very much. For instance:

“I have never harbored a particular dislike for (the Spanish).”
“They will kill you if you let them,” Morgan said.
“As long as they die when I shoot them, we shall get along famously."


The author keeps dropping historical bon mots here, there, and everywhere....and I k
Sep 15, 2014 Ixel added it
What if two people fell in love and then TALKED to each other? What if the New World really was an uninhabited paradise beyond the plantations? What if you got to run away from the "real" world so you could have space to really find yourself? All of these fantasies really appeal, and I couldn't put this book down - in spite of the wolves and sheep - because it was so great to be in this world, being free and growing and loving together with the narrator. The pirates were super fun, the seas and ...more
Dec 01, 2010 Stefanie139 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m-h-c
The other commentators (especially the three star raters) have very good points regarding the literacy quality of the book, but my rating is based (as almost always) on one fact alone - I devoured this book.

Why? I liked the setting (and I really aren't a fan of pirate novels), to me it was exotic. I liked Will (and Gaston) and their dynamic - (slight SPOILER:
I liked the impotence issue - where do you find that theme in usual m/m romance?
I really liked the hurt/comfort, which isn'
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W. A. Hoffman, aka Wynette A. Hoffman, is a middle-aged white woman of English/Welsh/Irish descent (with a little German and Spanish to add flavor). Born in March, 1964. Married for 16 years. A geek: comic book collector, movie fanatic, anime watcher, gamer, MMORPG player (multi-box World of Warcraft.) Lives in a big suburban tri-level in Aurora, Colorado, with two German Shepherd Dogs, two Siames ...more
More about W.A. Hoffman...

Other Books in the Series

Raised by Wolves (4 books)
  • Matelots (Raised By Wolves, #2)
  • Treasure (Raised By Wolves, #3)
  • Wolves (Raised By Wolves, #4)

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“If you’re destined for each other, the world can end – but at least you’re not alone. It’s better to drown together than to burn alone.” 8 likes
“He shrugged. "It is usually not a pleasant emotion I find myself filled with."

"And now? Do you feel it now?"

"Oui. It is pleasant. I have no name for it. Can you name yours?"

"Oui." I bit my lip. I was hesitant to speak it, as I had always been soundly rebuked for it before. "Love." He took a long breath and studied the horizon. I cringed inwardly.

"You are sure?" he asked.


"You have felt this before?"

"Oui, and it has gone unanswered...every time." His eyes were filled with trepidation when they found mine. "Not this time.”
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