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The Brotherhood of the Rose (Mortalis #1)

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  4,042 ratings  ·  140 reviews
"Riveting...Crackling...It really moves."
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 g
Paperback, 384 pages
Published December 12th 1984 by Fawcett (first published 1983)
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Jeffrey Keeten
”In Greek mythology, the god of love once offered a rose to the god of silence, as a bribe, to keep that god from disclosing the weaknesses of the other gods. In time, the rose became the symbol for silence and secrecy. In the Middle ages, a rose was customarily suspended from the ceiling of a council chamber. The members of the council pledged themselves not to reveal what they discussed in the room, sub rosa under the rose.”

There once were two boys named Romulus and Remus, not the two founders
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 with 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 was
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.
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
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
It's been a long time since I read this, but a friend's review brought it to mind.

As I recall, it was very twisty & quite good, but a little too full of angst for me. One or two other books of Morrell's tie in with this, The Fraternity Of The Stone for sure. It's been a while since I read them & it was years between, but I think it was just as good.
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
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,
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 a
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
I love almost anything by David Morrell. This was the book that turned me on to his fast paced, heart-stopping style of writing. If you like mystery, action, and page-turning intrigue, read this.
Martin Hill
Having lost his father in WWII, many of David Morrell’s thrillers involve themes dealing with father-son relationships. In First Blood, it was the relationship between Vietnam veteran Rambo and Sheriff Teasle, a veteran of the Korean War. In Last Reveille, it was the relationship between a young recruit and an old veteran taking part in Gen. John Pershing’s Punitive Expedition against Pancho Villa in 1916.

In his Cold War espionage thriller, Brotherhood of the Rose, Morrell again returns to this
Jul 27, 2007 Andreai rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Allyse
This is possibly one of the best thrillers that I have ever read. If you like Robert will like this David Morrell
Great action packed book! Don't let the prologue lose you. If your eyes start glazing over after a few paragraphs of the prologue, just skip to Book 1 (chapter 1). It's an easy read from there and a page turner. I actually read this book more than once. First time was in the early 90's and then I read it again about 15 years later.
Jeffrey Belcher
This is my favorite book ever. The movie is currently in the works. It's too bad that David Morrell won't have his hand in it's production to ensure its authenticity. I emailed him and he told me that he had nothing to do with the production. It sucks though, I was hoping to one day work with him to make this movie. Oh well.
4.5 stars for this book. I loved it...spies & espionage. Non stop action...David Morrell writes really well and doesn't waffle on trying to fill pages like so many authors do these days. It was written in the 80s and is a little dated in sections, i.e. the technology but I don't think that matters. Great read!
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.
Prosenjit Paul
One of the best spy thrillers I have read,and I have read quite a few. This was recommended as part of a book club discussion, and I am glad I read this. Fast paced, with enough twists and turns for the intelligent reader. This book is great enough for a reread :-D
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.
nice, tight, fast paced and intriguing. A great author with great imagination.
Michele Harrod
Ah, just saw someone reading a Morrell novel and thought I'd check if it was the same writer. It is indeed. I read this years ago, and I LOVED it. It was made into a TV mini-series too, which, if I recall, was almost as good.
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.
This is one of the greatest spy novels I read. I read it a long time ago and forgot its title. Thank God for Google Book Search. My search words were Baby Ruth and orphanage. Aaah, such sweet feeling, finding it out again.
Mike Kratts
One of the best international intrigue books ever written. About two brothers (by adoption) who are raised as assassins from a very young age by their adopted father. Could not put this down.
Apr 18, 2008 Mike rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: action
An engaging spy thriller that isn't outdated even now. Reads fast, mixes up action and plot in a world-wide arena. Bought it at the local thrift store and it was a good deal.
Nov 14, 2007 Susan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fran Miller
Once again, after I turned the first page, I just couldn't stop. Very suspenseful. He is a great writer.
One of my favorite books when I was 12-16 years. I still pull this book out from time to time!
Read most of his books. Thrillers, espionage.
Lori Howe
I remember falling in love with David Morrell and his stories when I read this. I pestered my husband (who isn't a reader) until he finally read the book. He liked it too. The hard cover edition has traveled with us from coast to coast. So... 30 years later (or so), I've listened to the audio version. So fun to re-live the story, good characterizations by the narrator(s), although a tad fast. Remembering how people actually did smoke in offices and on airplanes and finding a payphone was amusing ...more
Bob Mathias
Loved the stoty line lots of action
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Mortalis (3 books)
  • The Fraternity Of The Stone
  • The League of Night and Fog
Murder as a Fine Art (Thomas De Quincey, #1) First Blood Creepers The Fraternity Of The Stone The League of Night and Fog

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