Title: Oath of the Brotherhood
Author: C.E. Laureano
Series: The Song of Seare #1
Audience: Young Adult
ABOUT THE BOOK
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 ~
So, I don't even know. Oath of the Brotherhood by C.E. Laureano was great in some ways, but mostly I just wasn't feeling it. Like I didn't quite connect with the characters and get swept into the story fully.
First off, it's mostly from a man's POV. (Which I can get frustrated with after awhile, because I generally relate better to girl characters). Conor is a nice enough character, but ... um, I didn't really get to know him enough? He's the son of a king, but was raised by someone else, who taught him the harp, scholarly things, and about the true God. In this book, Conor finds himself falling in love with the daughter of another king (this girl is the other POV character); and then, in the midst of a war but unable to do anything. He becomes a warrior, and is determined to do everything in his power to keep the land from being ruled by an evil druid.
It was interesting fantasy. I liked Conor's love interest; she was a good character. This story was rather complex, and some of the threads that wove it together were rather intriguing. Conor's time with the Brothers was both frustrating (maybe a little boring) and interesting. I liked watching him fight his way to "freedom".
Some of the characters I simply did not understand. Such as the older man who plays the harp. Is he good? He had some bad advice for Aine ... to let the people believe she was powerful instead of convincing them that any power she had came from God. Also, the leader of the Brothers; he was very deceptive and controlling, and that bothered me a great deal. Are these characters on the good side? Or the bad side??
There was more magic than I preferred, perhaps. For the most part, I think I can understand how it all tied in with the Christian allegory. But some parts were a little much; like these ghastly creatures (kind of like demons in a "siren" sort of form) who lure people to their deaths. Could they really affect Christians? Some parts, darkness felt all too strong, and we couldn't see God's power.
And, of course, the guy who tells Aine to take the praise. I didn't like that at all. Aine resisted this advice for the most part ... but I wonder where the author is going with that.
Also, there were these power currents underground which could be turned off and on, and had lethal consequences. I wasn't quite sure what to think of that.
Still, there was clearly a Christian allegory, and some profound scenes.