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Oath of the Brotherhood

(Song of Seare #1)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  316 ratings  ·  68 reviews
In a kingdom where the Old Ways hold fast and a man's worth lies entirely in his skill with the sword, Conor Mac Nir is a scholar, a musician, and a follower of the forbidden Balian faith: problematic for any man, but disastrous for the son of the king.When Conor is sent as a hostage to a neighboring kingdom, he never expects to fall in love with the rival king's sister, A ...more
Paperback, 435 pages
Published May 1st 2014 by NavPress (first published April 18th 2014)
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C.E. Laureano Baal is actually a common Hebrew word that means "master" or "lord," and while it's often used for any number of pagan gods, it's also used as a title…moreBaal is actually a common Hebrew word that means "master" or "lord," and while it's often used for any number of pagan gods, it's also used as a title or proper name of honor for humans as well.

That said, no, there is not an intentional link there. "Balian" is derived from the word "Balus" which was chosen because the name is used almost nowhere in literature or history and has an uncertain etymology.(less)

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May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, christian
Full review now posted!

Rating: 3.5 stars, rounded up.

I apologize in advance for the first six hundred or so words of this review not being an actual review, but instead being a discussion of the Christian fantasy genre in all its glory and failures. It’s a subject that is dear to me, and I can’t help myself!

When I was younger, it was difficult to find good Christian fiction. There was plenty of Christian fiction out there, of course, but outside of classics there weren’t that many that were actu
So, I don't even know. Oath of the Brotherhood by C.E. Laureano was great in some ways, but mostly I just wasn't feeling it. Like I didn't quite connect with the characters and get swept into the story fully.

First off, it's mostly from a man's POV. (Which I can get frustrated with after awhile, because I generally relate better to girl characters). Conor is a nice enough character, but ... um, I didn't really get to know him enough? He's the son of a king, but was raised by someone else, who tau
Paula Vince
May 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Interestingly, I began this book shortly after reading a few articles by authors who claim to have observed a self-focused, entitled tendency among young people today. Conor, although brought up as Crown Prince, is the least entitled young man you could find. He knows very well that he must adapt to his circumstances rather than expecting them to cave in to him, and his circumstances get rough. Being raised in the school of hard knocks stands him in good stead for the Firein brotherhood, who cer ...more
Apr 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Completely blew me away. I was not expecting to like this book as much as I did. I am picking up the next one right now! 4.5 stars, rounded up to five, because it surprised me with how good it was.
Oct 26, 2017 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed this fantasy story. It is very unique. It has a Celtic/medieval feel to it, which I love. It has a lot of allegories to Christianity. It is told more from a male perspective, which I don't always connect with as much. I really loved the parts with the heroine and the slow building romance. "The Oath of the Brotherhood" seems to be a great start to a promising Christian fantasy series.

Content: It's a clean read.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Genre: Fantasy; Christian fiction
Apr 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
C.E. Laureano dips her quill in the fantasy genre with the deft skill of a master! Oath of the Brotherhood captivates and defies the norm, wrenching readers from the boredom of overdone plots. With rich characters, killer plot twists, and an incredible storyworld, Oath of the Brotherhood will live in the hearts of its readers long after the last page is turned!
Susan Snodgrass
May 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I read Carla Laureano's first book, Five Days in Skye, and loved it so much, I read it twice. It was a Christian romance, though, and when I saw Oath of the Brotherhood and saw it labeled as fantasy, I didn't want to read it because that's not a genre I like. Then I got a free sample for my Nook and though, 'hmm, I might just like this.' So I bought a physical copy and I am surely glad I did.

Oath of the Brotherhood reminded me more of the period of the Dark Ages and maybe set in Scotland. Some o
Kerry Nietz
May 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The beauty of this book was how easy it was to pick up and become immersed in again, even after some time away. I’ve been reading it, literally, just a few pages here and there for a couple weeks now. Yet I never once dreaded starting it again. Never felt bored. It was simply a pleasure to read, from start to finish. That’s the measure of a good book. Instant enjoyment.

The captivation of Oath of the Brotherhood comes not from driving action or mind-blowing imagery—though it has a fair share of
Sci-fi/fantasy is not my normal genre, but I thought I’d give Ms. Laureano's other style a try after enjoying Five Days in Skye and two of her supper club books. She really is a good writer.

Fascinating book full of faith symbolism. God was known by another name, and gifts were given to his people, but it was clear what it all meant.

4.5 stars and I will definitely find the next book in the series.
Apr 23, 2014 rated it liked it
As a young child, Conor’s future was orchestrated by people he had never met. Though his clan was known for its warriors, Conor’s foster family raised him to be a scholar and musician while teaching him the forbidden Balian faith. Even at age seventeen, others still control his fate. When he’s sent to the rival kingdom of Lisdara as a hostage, he soon falls in love with the king’s sister, Aine. While at Lisdara, his education continues and he realizes his gift of music has magical capabilities. ...more
Adam Collings
Oct 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Oath of the Brotherhood is the story of Conor Mac Nir - son of a king but raised by an adoptive father. He is highly educated and gifted at music, but possess little skill when it comes to the sword. Sent as a political hostage to cement a treaty his life looks to be going nowhere, but when tragedy strikes his homeland, he is forced onto a new path that will take him into the trust of a mysterious brotherhood.

The world of this book seems to be based on Scotland. The names of people and places so
Feb 20, 2017 rated it liked it
It took me a long time to get through this book. Over a year, when I usually finish Epic Fantasy novels in a couple of months, or not at all if I don't like them. This is not to say it was bad, but because I kept leaving it aside to read other things, and often, just did not have the time.

As historical Fantasy, set in a country very much like Medieval Ireland, this was very good. I personally though found the Irish/Gaelic names with original spelling made it a little hardgoing. It seems the int
Rachelle Sperling
Jun 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If you have any affinity for fantasy, buy this book!

I wouldn’t be surprised if this novel makes it onto my list of top 10 books for 2014. I finished this book several weeks ago and yet it lingers in my mind. Not since Karen Hancock’s Guardian King series have I been so swept away by a fantasy novel.

The Oath of the Brotherhood held great creativity, built on a foundation of Celtic lore. I found the characters fully believable. Yes, they had some miraculous, spiritual (magical) gifts from God and
Rebekah Gyger
Mar 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
What first stood out to me about Oath of the Brotherhood was that it was based off of Scottish culture, rather than a medieval England as so many other fantasies are today. It was interesting to see how Laureano brought in the clan system to her world, though there are not as many clan rivalries as I would have hoped. Another element of history brought into the story was the persecution of the Balians, reminiscent of the Christian persecutions in Rome. The history nerd in me loved pulling out th ...more
Jun 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: free-previews
I really enjoyed reading this book. The more and more that I read it the more it pulled me into the story. At first I had a hard time getting into it, but as I got used to the fantasy world and learned more about the characters I began to love the book and devoured it. The only reason that I gave it 4 stars out of 5 was because it was a slow start and took a while to really understand and care about the characters. But, by the end of the book I could literally not put it down until I finished an ...more
Sarah Frobisher
Feb 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Erg the cliffhanger! Now I have to wait for the other 2 books in the trilogy!

I love it when I go into a book with low expectations, to find that it's such a good book. This is a must read for fans of spiritual fantasy, this who like Frank Peretti, Ted Dekker's circle books, and similar. I am usually not a fan of fantasy but this has a wider appeal for sure. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes fast paced supernatural stories.
Mar 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
OATH OF THE BROTHERHOOD is a very thrilling book. I literally couldn't put it down and my mom had to yell at me to make me put the book down and do my homework. I cannot wait to read the next book in the series, Beneath the Forsaken City. The names in this one were kind of weird, but once I got past that it was okay. A totally great book that I highly recommend whether you like fantasy or not. 5 stars. Highly recommended!
Kate Marie
Dec 20, 2015 rated it liked it

The Song of Seare trilogy follows a young man named Conor Mac Nir and his journey to overcome the evil threatening his world, and, on a more personal level, Conor's journey as a man.

In the first book in the trilogy, The Oath of the Brotherhood, we meet Conor Mac Nir, a puny, scholarly boy who has powerful gifts as a musician. Conor does not really seem to fit in anywhere. When Conor's foster father dies, Conor fakes his own death to cover his trail and joins the Firein, a group of monk-like "bro
Jaime K
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is not a Christian book.
No. This is a fantasy novel where one religion (Balian, that of the main characters) mirrors Christianity beautifully. Actually it's pretty much paganism vs. Christianity. And while the 'pagans' are not inherently bad, there are some very bad seeds among them, such as the Red Druids, who really do evil work.

It is a book of magic that, translated in our world, is spirituality.
It is a book of good vs. evil.

The Balian Gospels mirror the New Testament; Balus is the son o
Ethan Hill
Apr 25, 2018 rated it liked it
This novel follows the path of its protagonist, Conor. The tale is set in a fantasy world with four main kingdoms. The book opens with Conor preparing to be presented before his father, the king. It has been years since he has had much contact with his father. He has been raised and educated for the majority of his life by a man in a different part of the kingdom. Shortly after appearing before his father, Conor is sent to another castle, Lisdara, to be held as a hostage in a deal between kings. ...more
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
Forced to be a bargaining chip between two kingdoms, Prince Conor finds himself in a plot that he needs to figure out– before his chance to make a difference is replaced by his funeral.

I’m not going to lie, I’ve been trying to finish this book for months now. But, it’s just not holding my attention and now that I’m halfway into the book, I don’t think that it will ever grab my attention.

There’s nothing that I can quite pinpoint that is repelling me from enjoying it, it’s just a very slow plot an
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Pleasantly surprised! Sometimes fantasy can seem overused and overly complicated, but Laureano's book-world feels like a breath of fresh air. I loved the creative elements of the somewhat-secret brotherhood, the prince who is more interested in books and harp playing to warfare, and the mystical creatures like Sidhe who are familiar to me because of their vast lore throughout history.

While I did have to check back into the (very) handy character glossary from time to time and some of the sente
Jun 22, 2017 rated it liked it
The fantasy religion is a blatant copy of Christianity and it actually gets preachy at times. I did like the characters otherwise. Low 3 star i guess. World very obvious based on Ireland/Scotland with a lot taken from those cultures and languages. The Sofarende are supposed to be a copy of the Vikings but then it should be Soefarende.... (søfarende)
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
This reminds me a bit of "Pilgrim's Progress," as it is definitely a Christian allegory. It is also a coming-of-age story in which a boy, Conor Mac Nir, grows to be a man and a warrior, finds his true father, and wins his true love, all amid the tale of a kingdom under siege from evil forces. I am eager to read the next two volumes in the trilogy.
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fabulous storytelling

Remiscent of Tolkein's works, this Celtic-inspired work is gripping and exciting. I was enthralled from the first chapter. Now I have to get the next installment.
Daphne Chantale
May 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely beautiful read!
Perfect for those who Believe in God and are trying to understand what it means to trust that His Ways are Good.
Also perfect for those who love a dash of fantasy mixed with the retelling of something mysteriously unknown..
5 stars!
Mariah Raichert
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love it!!! It reminds me of the works of Tolkien and it has lots of Biblical truths and similarities to the Verses in the Bible as well
Jan 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Oath of the Brotherhood is an intriguing high fantasy reminiscent of The Ranger’s Apprentice by John Flanagan, A Cast of Stone’s by Patrick Carr, The Summer Tree by Guy Gavriel Kay and even George Lucas’s Star Wars: A New Hope (without the sci-fi element).
Laureano creates a world that makes you think of Britain or Ireland with its Celtic and Welsh legends. She weaves in a strong thread of Christian faith, even though it cloaked in words like Comdiu (God) and Balus (Savior/Christ). In fact the l
Karen Collier
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Oath of the Brotherhood is the first book in C.E. Laureano’s The Song of Seare fantasy trilogy. Featuring relatable characters, dire circumstances to challenge those characters, and a vividly described storyworld with a mediaeval Celtic feel, this book does a great job drawing readers in to the series.

Conor and Aine make likeable leads. Clearly their hearts are in the right place, but we get to see a lot of character growth over the course of this book, and I look forward to seeing where the res
Shannon Haddock
May 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was the best book I’ve read so far this year.

It’s honestly hard to review because I keep wanting to say “I love this part!” and “I love this other part!” and that’s not really helpful for potential readers. So I’ll try my best to elaborate on some of the things I loved without giving spoilers:

First, the characters. Conor and Aine are perfectly belieavable. The way they grow up over the course of the book feels very realistic. The villain is delightfully creepy. All of the characters are so
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C.E. Laureano’s love of fantasy began with a trip through a magical wardrobe, and she has never looked back. She’s happiest when her day involves martial arts, swords, and a well-choreographed fight scene, though when pressed, she’ll admit to a love of theater and travel as well. Appropriately, she’s wife to a martial arts master and mom to two boys who spend most of their time jumping off things ...more

Other books in the series

Song of Seare (3 books)
  • Beneath the Forsaken City (Song of Seare, #2)
  • The Sword and the Song (The Song of Seare #3)

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