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(Brethren Trilogy #1)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  3,831 ratings  ·  233 reviews
Brethren: An Epic Adventure of the Knights Templar
Hardcover, 496 pages
Published July 20th 2006 by Dutton (first published January 1st 2006)
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Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,831 ratings  ·  233 reviews

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Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it

Since the Knights Templar is a subject I know very little about, and have an interest in, this book appealed to me. The author has a good reputation for historical fact within the fiction so I thought it would be reliable. It definitely had a strong historical context.
The plot follows a boy named William who is a sergeant that hopes to become a knight. The story is complicated by his love interest, Elwen, and the vows of knighthood which preclude  romantic involvement or marriage.
    The story
It has taken me a long time to read book one in this Brethren trilogy. Which is unusual for me, seeing as Robyn Young is one of my favourite authors and I loved her Insurrection trilogy and I really enjoyed book one, Sons of the Blood, in her new trilogy, New World Rising.

I think I avoided Brethren for so many years because of regular comments from fellow readers on it being more romance based than the trilogies mentioned above. Having now read Brethren, I am surprised that people say this. I di
Jun 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
May 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Brethern was a good book. I don't particularly find it amusing to read historical fiction books but I loved this book because actual events from history are also included. I loved the writing, it did not bore me one single bit even though it was detailed. Despite the fact that it's been written by a Christian author, the events are actually accurate and I did not see -for the most part- any bias, which really amused me. I even went as far as comparing the events to my own historical references a ...more
S.J.A. Turney
May 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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'
Apr 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 10, 2012 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
Laura Tenfingers
Brethren is a good read about the Templars during their decline in Outremer from around 1267 to 1272 and about the Mamluks who were rising in turn.

The main overarching story of Outremer and Christians vs Muslims is told from the perspective of both camps, which I enjoyed. It was well laid out and had well developed characters. We spend time in France, England and Outremer and learn a fair bit about life as a Knight and what was going on at the time.

There were also a few storylines embedded in th
Paul Bennett
Jul 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Jan 07, 2013 rated it did not like it
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,
Terence M ;-)
Jul 20, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandon-dnf
Audiobook - 21:31 hours - Narrated By Christopher Scott
I listened to about 20% of this gory novel of fiction before chucking it on the DNF shelf.

My profile clearly exposes my attitude towards all religions - I identify as a Secular Humanist - and try as I might, I can find no joy or entertainment from listening to or reading about the horrors that Christians and Muslims inflicted upon their own kind, and each other, and innocent secular citizens, in the name of the same God, in the times of the
An intriguing read about a period I know very little about - the Last Crusade of the 1260s and 70s.

Apr 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The crusades are not a period of history I know an awful lot about but it was refreshing to hear a story from both sides rather than just the western Christians. The only thing that bugged me was the descriptions of eyes. One woman is said to have violet eyes and this is used a lot in fan fiction to denote that this woman is not like other women but honestly, have you ever seen someone with purple eyes?

I found this book interesting and I may check out the next instalment in the series.
Jan 27, 2020 rated it liked it
I struggled between 3 and 4 stars.
I liked the book very much; didn't love it.
Lots of intrigue and inter-personal stuff.
Not as much action as I would have liked.
I will finish the trilogy.
Tove R.
May 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Set in the 13th century during the Crusades. The first book in a trilogy. Two men on opposite sides will have their destinies tied together. Will, a young knight, ends up in a lot of trouble looking for the Book of the Grail. Baybars, a former slave, wants to take down the crusaders with his army. It took me awhile to get into this book, but once I did, I really enjoyed the story and the characters.
Diane Smoak
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Interesting tale of the Knights Templar saga, with enough historical details to make it believable. I enjoyed it enough to start the second book in the trilogy.
Nov 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
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
May 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 firmly gi
May 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 12, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 & loves g
Elspeth Cooper
May 05, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 20, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Apr 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
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.
Richard Eyres
Aug 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My most favourite genre is historical fiction. and I LOOOVE KNIGHTS TEMPLAR era. I can't believe this is her debute series. like WTF! The amount of sheer research that has been done is simply amazing. We go on a long journey with the main character from him being 11 years old to when he's 75. This book is written so beautifully. I don't have the words! I cannot recommend it enough!!!!
Apr 03, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
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.
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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.

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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