Oath Of The Brotherhood

Monday, February 16, 2015
There had been kinslayers before – bloody feuds among clans littered Seare’s violent past – but this particular one was different. Never before did the one in question have a red Druid by his side, a man who had managed to cheat death for centuries. A man who held the very position of Ceannarire that Liam did now.

Book:Oath of the Brotherhood: A Novel (The Song of Seare) by C. E. Laureano, NavPress, 2014

Genre: Speculative – Allegory
Target Audience: Boys and Girls 14+
Subjects:  Trust in God, God’s Will, Prayer, Spiritual Gifts
Summary: Where does he call home? Who does he call father? Is it the palace where he was born and the king who seems to want nothing to do with him? Is it the humble cottage of his foster father who raised him? Is it Faolan where he lives as a hostage but is treated better by the Mac Cuillinn than his own father? Or is it Ard Dhaimhin where the Firein brothers welcome him when he has no where else to go? Conor, with his musical talent that seems to touch something deep in the soul of those who listen when he plays the harp, the man who has had no warrior training at all, seems to be worthless in the eyes of most everyone. But when Aine meets him, she instantly feels a connection she knows is from Comdiu Himself. Conor feels the same thing. Doubt comes when it appears that the plans Comdiu have for them require separation. Meanwhile, those who guard the ancient prophecies fear the destruction of the existing kingdom and their whole way of life. The High King appears to be needed, because the Kinslayer has risen to power.
Notes: Oath Of The Brotherhood is the first in The Song Of Seare series. This fantasy/allegory style series sets up a kingdom that feels a bit like medieval times.  There are kings and lords and castles. As with many fantasy/allegory books, there is a prophecy that one of the main characters seems to be the fulfillment of, but it’s a bit vague so that the scholars are unsure of exactly who it points to. There is an ultimate being, representing God, protectors like angels, special powers gifted to various individuals for the purpose of serving the ultimate being and helping the people. The good guys in the story live according to the teachings of the ultimate being, attempting to follow Him and trust Him even when it seems nearly impossible to do so. An interesting and somewhat unique element in this book is the existence of a community resembling a monastery, but that hosts thousands of men who are not only trained in the words of the ultimate being, but also in how to be master warriors. They spend their entire lives training in the skills required of a warrior. Yet they are completely separated from the rest of the world. Once they take the oath of brotherhood, they rarely leave, and in fact have to prove themselves in a test in order to be granted permission to leave. Yet they are a key to protecting the people from the evil that wants to infiltrate the land.
A big theme running through this book is trust/faith. Comdiu (the ultimate being who represents God) challenges their faith and trust in Him and their willingness to be obedient regardless of their fears. The characters wrestle with this and one character in particular gets mad when he thinks something bad happens and then later repents and recognizes his need to be fully dependent on Comdiu no matter what happens. There is also the issue of identity. The main character has experienced 4 homes and 3 fathers in his life and another character has been raised by one of the brotherhood most of his life, yet feels frustrated due to how little control he has over his own destiny. It’s just assumed he will follow in his father’s footsteps, no one ever gave him a choice in the matter. 

Spoiler Alert: Do NOT read this series if you want happily-ever-after endings. The author does not end the series on a happy note, but rather very tragic.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

John 14:12 – I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

Thank you to the publishers for providing me with a free review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. I greatly enjoyed it!


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