I have had Robyn Young’s Brethren trilogy sitting on my book shelf for years just gathering dust, I even moved them to university to see if I would read them there but there for one reason or another I just never got around to reading them. I even read the first instalment of her Insurrection trilogy before I actually sat down to read these. Like most of my books I was introduced to Robyn Young by my Grandma and if there’s one thing she’s never short on it is historical fiction books especially about the Crusades.
I love historical fiction books mainly because history was my favourite subject at school, I would listen intently to the teachers talking about past events and how they made us who we are today but when an exam came I could never quite succeed. Having read as many historical fiction books as I have I believe I now know why. The history exams wanted me to know about specific dates and times that just didn’t interest me, I wanted to know about the people living at that time and see the history through their eyes. Historical fiction, whereas it may not be wholly historically correct the books give an idea of what the a person living in those times went through and how history was seen through their eyes, whether this be a nobleman or an average Joe and it takes you back to that time much more than any textbook could ever do.
Anyhow getting back to the task or book at hand. Robyn Young is an English Author born in Oxford and her most known work is her Brethren trilogy which was followed by her Insurrection trilogy set a few centuries later than her first work.
The Brethren trilogy is set in the middles ages, circa thirteenth century centring around the Crusades to the Holy Land and consists of Brethren, Crusade and Requiem. Brethren is centred around a young fourteen year old boy named William Campbell who is brought into the Knights Templar by his father a well respected sergeant within the temple in Scotland. Various events unravel and Will ends up a sergeant himself in the temple in London.
The Brethren trilogy has many different themes running through with the most prominent being love, loyalty and betrayal. The trilogy has its fair share of anguish and you may find yourself at some stages despairing and just wanting to put the book away because you can’t take any more heart break! I assure you though the trilogy is rewarding as much as it is heart breaking and it will give you an excellent historical account of the events that happened throughout this period from the glory days of the crusades and The Knights Templars to King Edwards terror of Scotland, Wales and France. These books take you from Scotland to Paris to Jerusalem and even to the holy city of Mecca and are unbelievable hard to put down. They are very well written and are very easy to read and understand the events that are happening.
The only criticism I would make of this trilogy is that the events do seem to jump around a lot and if you are not paying attention to the dates that accompany each chapter you could find yourself very confused! Also the last book in the trilogy is the most disappointing, I found this one the hardest to get into and the longest to read, this may be because starting this book is like starting a new trilogy it does not seem to find it’s way back to the original story line until about half way through and it is very disjointed.
Unfortunately I have not finished the trilogy yet but keep watching I will give you an update of how I’m getting on!
Also I might as well add seen as this is my first ever ‘proper’ blog post any pointers and tips are very welcome! If anyone’s read this trilogy I’d love to hear from you too!