Monday, August 18, 2014

The Oath of the Brotherhood by C.E. Laureano

In a kingdom where the Old Ways hold fast and a man’s worth lies entirely in his skill with the sword, Conor Mac Nir is a scholar, a musician, and a follower of the forbidden Balian faith: problematic for any man, but disastrous for the son of the king.

When Conor is sent as a hostage to a neighboring kingdom, he never expects to fall in love with the rival king’s sister, Aine. Nor does he suspect his gift with the harp (and Aine’s ability to heal) touches on the realm of magic. Then his clan begins a campaign to eliminate all Balians from the isle of Seare, putting his newfound home in peril and entangling him in a plot for control of the island that has been unfolding since long before his birth.

Only by committing himself to an ancient warrior brotherhood can Conor discover the part he’s meant to play in Seare’s future. But is he willing to sacrifice everything—even the woman he loves—to follow the path his God has laid before him?

My review:
   I don't read much fantasy type books, and this falls under that genre', but I found myself enjoying the book much more than I expected. It is labeled as young adult fiction, but after reading it, I would have to say it is much more on the reading level of an adult and late teens more than early teens.

   My one issue with books like these, is they always come up with other names for God and the Bible. The author makes it obvious they are serving and talking about the one true God of the Bible, but that is something that could confuse some people. Other than that, I have no complaints about the book. It is a fast and fascinating read with a lot of drama and action. I liked the characters, especially Conor, the main character, and thought the author did a great job of developing him as a character and man throughout the story.

  The themes of God being in control, of guiding and taking care of His children are all through the book, and even though it was a fictional story, I found myself encouraged by reading it as it was a great reminder that God does take care of us and cares what happens to us.

  In my opinion, it would take a lot of imagination and work to come up with a book like this with all of the made up places, people, and their ways and laws. The end result is a book definitely worth reading. I am already looking forward to the next book in the series.

About the author:  

Carla Laureano studied literature and criticism at Pepperdine University and earned a degree in English in 1997. Since then, she has worked in a number of different industries as a salesperson, marketing manager, copywriter, and small business consultant. In addition to her work for corporate clients, she wrote for publications produced by the World Health Organization. She loves the history, culture, and mythology of Ireland and Scotland, which form the settings for most of her work. She also enjoys incorporating her background in martial arts and fencing into the action elements of her stories. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and currently serves as vice president of the South Denver ACFW chapter, Mile High Scribes. She was selected as a finalist in ACFW's 2012 Genesis contest in the speculative fiction category. Her debut novel, a contemporary romance entitled Five Days in Skye, was released by David C. Cook in June 2013. The first volume of her three-book young adult fantasy series, The Song of Seare (NavPress), released in May 2014. She lives with her husband and two sons in Denver, Colorado.

Oath of the Brotherhood is the first book in The Song of Seare series, and is available from Navpress/Tyndale Publishing.