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Oath of the Brotherhood

(Song of Seare #1)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  369 ratings  ·  101 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: christian, fantasy
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.
Toni Shiloh
Jan 18, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my must haves in a book is romance. I don’t often read a book that doesn’t have it unless I know the author will deliver. When I heard that Carla Laureano wrote a fantasy book, I jumped at the chance to read it. I’m a fan of her books and fantasy is a genre I enjoy.

I didn’t have any expectations for the book (I don’t read blurbs), but that I would enjoy it.

For me, the book started out a little slow and I was actually a little confused the first few chapters. I’m not sure if it was my mind
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!
"All good stories are true. Even if they were completely made up by the storyteller, there is something in them that resonates with us. Courage. Love. Self-sacrifice. The storyteller makes his story real through the telling."

I have loved Carla Laureano's contemporary romance for quite a few years now but this entry into her fantasy world has totally blown my socks off. What an engaging and enchanting tale of duty, honor, self-sacrifice, justice and mercy, faith, and undying love! My meager words
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

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
Jan 28, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Intriguing story. Quite the fascinating tale. This was my first experience with Carla Laureano's work outside of contemporary fiction. Because I love her books, I knew I really wanted to read this, even though I'm not quite as much a fan of fantasy.
I did like this story, but it took me a bit to get into it.

Conor was an excellent main character. I was quite sympathetic to him and his cause, right from the beginning. I wasn't always sure which side he was on, or who was on his side. But I fully e
Carol R.
Jan 13, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Award-winning author Carla Laureano presents the first novel in her medieval Celtic-inspired epic fantasy series, filled with adventure, romance, magic, swordplay,
faith, and superstition.

In Oath of the Brotherhood, musician Conor Mac Nir is sent to a nearby kingdom to secure a treaty. He is also a believer in a currently forbidden faith. Conor discovers his talent with the harp is more important than his lack of talent with the sword. Leaving that kingdom and joining an ancient warrior brotherho
Feb 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
Leaving behind his peaceful upbringing, Conor Mac Nir is thrust into a world of politics and intrigue. The follower of a forbidden faith, and the possessor of a rare gift, Conor is the perfect target. He must make a choice to give up everything he's known in order to have a chance to save it.

An engaging introduction to this fantasy adventure trilogy, with a Scottish flair. This was a well paced read with well balanced steady action and development. My only complaint is that I had to keep flippi
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
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the coming of age story of a most unlikely hero named Conor Mac Nir. I found Conor to be a very sympathetic character from the beginning, who has a musician’s heart, but finds himself thrust into an epic battle between good and evil. For a good portion of the story, you wonder if he will flounder or rise to the occasion. His love interest, is the fair Aine Nic Tamhais, who is both a seer and a healer. Aine’s a very interesting character with a good, giving heart and seems very mature for ...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! ...more
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
Lavay Byrd
A GEM worth having on your shelf!

I've been super drawn to this book for a while, especially by its GORGEOUS cover! The moment I opened the page, I was instantly in awe. The world setting is so rich with elements reminiscent of medieval Celtic Ireland, from clans within kingdoms to druids to even the supernatural from Companions (angels) and the sihde (demons), and even magical harps and charms.

And then there were the characters! I cannot help but admire Conor Mac-Nir, who enters the scene a son
Connie Carpenter
Feb 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
Oath of the Brotherhood by: Carla Laureano is a Christian fantasy and adventure genre. This book is the first book in the Song of Seare series. This is the first book that I have read by this author. I am not a normal reader of the genre of fantasy, but this book was a good read. In this book we meet, Conor Mac Nir. He is a musician. He finds himself in a struggle of good vs evil. One of my favorite things about the way that the author wrote this character is while he in the midst of this strugg ...more
Deana Dick
Feb 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
When it comes to fantasy I look for a story that explodes on the pages of a world where danger, action and an epic battle between good vs evil happens. The author has achieved this with the main character Conor. He is everything that I look for in an adventure where the unsung hero shines. He is fierce and determined to go on a mission that could cost him everything. I loved his maturity as the story takes him to a land where he finds choices that could have a ripple effect on others.

I liked th
Feb 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: celebrate-lit
Welcome to the world of Seare where the old ways reign and following religion(Christianity) is the least desired route. Of course, it’s the route that the Crown Prince follows though. He’s a musician and scholar though, not the swordsman that his people think he should be.

I’m not a huge fan of fantasy fiction but I really liked this book. Maybe because I love the Celtic names or maybe because the main girl character has the name of my youngest daughter though we spell it Ainne. How fun!

This was
Feb 12, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was fantastic in its complexity. I have never read a book by Carla Laureano before, even though I know she is a well-known Christian Fiction romance author. I just have not picked up her books. Now I am definitely going back and reading them. In this fantasy novel, I found so much depth, intrigue, and growth. The characters were very well laid out, had fantastic arcs, and the first part of the story was told from a male POV, which I had never read before.

The world in which Carla Laurea
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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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