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 everyone wants to bring the Templars down and they all go to great lengths to pursue that agenda. The author has put together what I think is a microcosm of what secular and religious powers are at their worst and has wrapped that up in a drama filled, emotionally tense story. The characters are all too human, some are even, well let’s say subhuman and the plot and twists are sublime. Now that I have the first book under my belt I will for sure be tackling the rest of the series with great anticipation. 5 stars.
About the author:
Robyn Young was born in Oxford and grew up in the Midlands and a fishing village in Devon, during which time she won awards for poetry and edited a regular page in a regional newspaper. After hitchhiking to Brighton at 19, she worked as a festival organiser, a music promoter and a financial advisor. She wrote two novels before gaining a Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Sussex.
Her first published novel, BRETHREN, went straight into the Sunday Times top ten, where it remained for five weeks, becoming the bestselling hardback debut of the year. It entered the New York Times top twenty on publication in the US and was named book of the year by German newspaper Bild. Her second novel, CRUSADE, reached number 2 and REQUIEM completed the trilogy. In 2007, Robyn was named one of Waterstone’s twenty-five ‘authors of the future’, judged by a panel of one hundred industry insiders who were asked to nominate the authors they believed would contribute the greatest body of work over the next quarter century.
The inspiration for Robyn’s new bestselling trilogy, which began in 2010 with INSURRECTION and continued in 2012 with RENEGADE, was inspired by a research trip to Scotland and is based on the life of Robert Bruce. The third novel, KINGDOM, will be published in 2014 in the month of the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn.
Alongside writing novels, Robyn has collaborated on a WWII screenplay. Her novels have been published in 22 countries in 19 languages and together have sold almost 2 million copies.