This debut novel by Robyn Young catapulted her to acclaim when it wa released. The historical element is finely researched with no detail left unturned. The plot moves at a decent pace and tells the life of William Campbell, the son of a Scottish knight and Templar. He has began training as a knight when his father tells him he will begin to train towards entering the Temple when he comes of age.
Over the next few years he trians hard and forms a fluid relationship with Garin de Lyons, a fellow squire and nephew of the Templar in charge of their training - he is a hard task master who bullies Garin mercilessly to bring out the best of him. Williams father becomes distant and eventually leaves London for the Holy Land without saying goodbye to Will - this is hard on the young man who rebels. Will is left in the charge of Everad, another Temple member and head of a very secret sect within the Temple. he oversees Will training and teaches him in other things that will be useful as he grows older.
His coming of age passes without him being made a Knight - Will grows increasingly depressed at the tasks Everard sets for him and as their relationship reaches breaking point everad unleashes the secret as to why Will has been seemingly treated unfairly.
Robyn Young writes in a way that can easily transport you back to the harsh times of the early 13th Century. The description and attention to detail is second to none, the characters are deep and interesting (if somewhat highly strung). As it is the first of a trilogy that will give you a real desire to read the second and third parts.
A debut novel making the Sunday Times bestseller list is not a regular event but "Brethren" is an enthralling book that will keep any reader entertained.