Sunday, November 04, 2007

Five Minutes with Maggie

I have a confession: I judged this book by its cover. An iron-clad knight on a straining horse, galloping across a burning wasteland… it's not usually my thing. Once I started reading, I slogged through the first few chapters as dozens of characters were introduced, and I frequently referenced the book's glossary for the definitions of words from the Middle Ages. But after a few chapters, I was hooked.

The plot unravels in a series of action-packed, high-stress confrontations, both in battle and between friends From the multitude of characters introduced early on, several primary characters emerge, a love story develops, and a mystery is revealed. In the mid-1200s, during the Crusades, young Will Campbell is in training to become a knight, but a rift in his family plagues him. After his best friend betrays him and he discovers the fate of his estranged father, revenge consumes Will. The novel follows his journey from Europe to war in the Holy Land. All the while, a long-kept, dark secret bubbles under the surface, threatening Will's livelihood.

The language in Brethren is dense, so the book is not a quick weekend read. However, the plot is exciting enough to carry the reader through. The book is the first of a trilogy, and the book surprised me enough that I will probably pick up the next two installments! -Maggie Marton

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