“Brethren, the first novel in British author Robyn Young's Brethren trilogy, follows young sergeant Will Campbell from the Templar fortresses of London and Paris to the Templar strongholds of Acre and Antioch in the Holy Land as he seeks not only to recover an important book stolen from the Paris Temple, but also to discover himself. Brethren also chronicles the rise and rule of the powerful Egyptian Sultan Baybars, whose fate will ultimately have him cross paths with Will Campbell.
In Brethren, Young paints a vivid portrait of the inner sanctums of the Knights Templar and brings the medieval world to life. I also thought Young did a very good job of developing each of her characters, whether they were principal or secondary ones. Although this novel was Young's first, I think it read more like the work of a veteran writer than that of a debut author.
The story itself was broad in scope and held my interest throughout and, while I initially found some story lines a bit disconnected from the main plot, by the end I thought Young did a good job of bringing all the various story lines together and, in so doing, laid a solid foundation for the second novel in the Brethren trilogy, Crusade.
I definitely recommend this book to readers interested in historical fiction about the Knights Templar and the Crusades, as well as those interested in historical thrillers. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the trilogy. ”