My #Bookreview of #Histfic Brethren by @RobynYoung36 A Knights Templar tale

Brethren (Brethren Trilogy, #1)Brethren by Robyn Young

4 stars

Brethren is an historical novel and is set in the thirteenth century. It features the Knights Templar and some of their crusades in The Holy Land.

The book opens in the Kingdom of Jerusalem, as an army of Mamluk warriors successfully win back land from both the Mongol nation and the western invaders. Rising through the Mamluk ranks, commander Baybars is on a personal mission to gain freedom from invaders for his people.

In Paris, a book is stolen. The Book Of The Grail is believed to contain confirmation that a secret sect exists within the Knights Templar. While in London, thirteen year old Will Campbell, a Templar sergeant, struggles with the harsh demands of discipline that being a knight-in-training requires.

The mystery which surrounds the stolen book, and the latest threats to western strongholds in The Holy Land, all lead Will on a treacherous journey to a place he’s dreamed of travelling to for years.

I enjoyed this story, as the tales which surround The Knights Templar have always fascinated me. The author explains that she tried to keep the events and characters as close to reality as possible, without the historical detail overriding the plot. I thought she did a good job, because at no time did I feel that I was in the middle of a history lesson. The book, however, took me a while to read; it is quite long. This was the only drawback, as I felt, at times, that it dragged the story out, causing me to break from reading, rather than keeping me completely engrossed. However, I do not hesitate to recommend this to those who enjoy this historical genre.

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Book description

From the burning plains of Syria to the filthy backstreets of Paris and London, Brethren is the story of Will Campbell, coming of age in a time of conspiracy, passion, politics and war.

Will longs to become a Knight Templar, but first he must serve as an apprentice to the foul-tempered scholar Everard, a man of dangerous secrets.

Meanwhile, a new star is rising in the east. Amir Baybars has fought his way from slavery to become a fearsome commander, driven by an unquenchable desire to free the Holy Land from the European invaders.

A stunning, epic novel of war, savagery and heroism.

About the author

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.

Robyn Young

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#NewRelease My #BookReview of #HistFic Daughter Of War by @SJATurney @canelo_co

Daughter of War (Knights Templar #1)Daughter of War by S.J.A. Turney

4 stars

Daughter Of War (Knights Templar #1) is historical fiction set in 1198. It revolves around the mysterious Templar Knights. The book opens with a battle in the Aragon area between Spanish Lords and a raiding group of Moors. Arnau de Vallbona is among the Spaniards, fighting alongside his Lord. But Arnau is unsure of his future when Lord Berenguer de Santa Coloma is killed . Berenguer’s heir is his fifteen year old daughter; however, straight after her father’s funeral, the king’s representative orders her betrothal to the vile Ferrer della Cadeneta, a treacherous man who did nothing to save Berenguer when he had the opportunity.

But the fifteen year old Lady Titborge is no child, and she asks Arnau to help her escape. They seek refuge at a Templar monastery in Roureel, offering the Templars the lands and wealth of the Santa Coloma estates. But just how low will della Cadeneta stoop to get the fortune that Titborge can give him?

Religion was a strong theme in the medieval era, and most readers of history know of the Knights Templar. Less is written about the order in Spain. Turney has chosen to base his story around two, real life, Templar sisters. Woven throughout the story are strong Templar themes of religion. But we are also reminded that, in reality, the Templar rubrics would have been melded with secular habits to fit the needs of the monasteries and the demands on the knights.

The story follows Arnau’s narrative; there are plenty of fight scenes as Cadeneta is relentless in his attempts to get either Titborge or her estate titles. This will appeal to readers who like a story which doesn’t have a romantic sub-plot. Overall, an interesting insight into both brothers and sisters of the Knights Templar.

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Book description

An extraordinary story of the Knights Templar, seen from the bloody inside
Europe is aflame. On the Iberian Peninsula the wars of the Reconquista rage across Aragon and Castile. Once again, the Moors are gaining the upper hand. Christendom is divided.
Amidst the chaos comes a young knight: Arnau of Valbona. After his Lord is killed in an act of treachery, Arnau pledges to look after his daughter, whose life is now at risk. But in protecting her Arnau will face terrible challenges, and enter a world of Templars, steely knights and visceral combat he could never have imagined.
She in turn will find a new destiny with the Knights as a daughter of war… Can she survive? And can Arnau find his destiny?

About the author

Simon lives with his wife and children and a menagerie of animals in rural North Yorkshire, where he sits in an office, wired on coffee and digestive biscuits, and attempts to spin engrossing tales out of strands of imagination while his children drive toys across his desk and two dogs howl as they try to share a brain cell.

A born and bred Yorkshireman with a love of country, history and architecture, Simon spends most of his rare free time travelling around ancient sites, writing, researching the ancient world and reading voraciously.

Following an arcane and eclectic career path that wound through everything from sheep to Microsoft networks and from paint to car sales, Simon wrote Marius’ Mules and, with help and support, made a success of it. Now, with in excess of 20 novels under his belt, Simon writes full time and is represented by MMB Creative literary agents.

Simon writes Roman military novels in the form of the bestselling Marius’ Mules series based on Julius Caesar’s campaigns, Roman thrillers in the Praetorian series, set during the troubled reign of Commodus, medieval adventures in the Ottoman Cycle, following a young Greek thief around the 15th century world, and a series of Historical Fantasy novels with a Roman flavour, called the Tales of the Empire.

S.J.A. Turney

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