The Brethren

The Brethren Consisting of books written across years the adventure filled epic Fortunes of France is one of France s best loved historical fiction series Never before published in English book one The Br

  • Title: The Brethren
  • Author: Robert Merle T. Jefferson Kline
  • ISBN: 9781782271239
  • Page: 406
  • Format: Paperback
  • Consisting of 13 books written across 26 years, the adventure filled epic Fortunes of France is one of France s best loved historical fiction series Never before published in English, book one, The Brethren, makes its debut in the US in 2015.Two veteran soldiers retire to a castle in the wildly beautiful P rigord of sixteenth century France But the country is descendConsisting of 13 books written across 26 years, the adventure filled epic Fortunes of France is one of France s best loved historical fiction series Never before published in English, book one, The Brethren, makes its debut in the US in 2015.Two veteran soldiers retire to a castle in the wildly beautiful P rigord of sixteenth century France But the country is descending into chaos, plagued by religious strife, famine, pestilence, bands of robbers and, of course, the English.In the course of their story we are introduced to a slew of vivid characters, including the fiery Isabelle, mistress of the castle, refusing to renounce her religious beliefs despite great pressure the petty and meal mouthed Francois, unlikely heir to the estate the brave and loyal Jonas who lives in a cave and keeps a wolf as a pet the swaggering soldier Cabusse the outrageously superstitious Maligou, and Sarrazine, who once roamed as part of a wild gypsy band.A sprawling, earthy tale of violence and lust, love and death, political intrigue and dazzling philosophical debate, The Brethren is the first step in an engrossing saga to rival Dumas, Flashman, and Game of Thrones.

    One thought on “The Brethren”

    1. The subject matter of this novel appealed to me: its backdrop is the sixteenth-century wars of religion in France, seen through the lens of a noble household in the Périgord, near Sarlat. This is the first of a thirteen-novel series by the academic and novelist Robert Merle, written across a quarter of a century (1977-2003), tracing the life of one of the sons of the household, Pierre de Siorac. The novels, collectively entitled Fortune de France, are very well known in France, but have only ju [...]

    2. This book is a historical novel narrated in the first person voice of a fictional character named Pierre de Siorac living in the Perigord region of southwest France. This is the first book of a thirteen book series and covers Pierre's early years from his birth in 1552 to 1567. To help orient readers of this review, the time period covered by this book is after the beginning of the Reformation (1517) and before the Bartholomew's Day massacre (1572). I mention St. Bartholomew's Day massacre becau [...]

    3. Between 1977 and his death in 2004, Robert Merle wrote thirteen novels in his “Fortunes of France” series. Thus far only the first two have been translated into English, although the third is expected to be available next summer. The entire series has been much admired in France. I wish that I could be as enthusiastic about the work as those in Europe apparently are. The writing in this first novel, which covers the years from 1547 to 1565, seems to me to be generally flat. The basic issues [...]

    4. "The Brethren" is a wonderful, lusty novel grounded in the history of early 16C France. Merle describes the structure of his book quite well in his foreword:"It is a concentric tail, whose first circle is a family, second circle a province and third a kingdom, whose princes receive no more attention than is necessary to understand the happiness and unhappiness of those who, far away in their baronial courts, depended on their decisions." (7)This approach is brilliant. Merle balances historical a [...]

    5. I vividly remember watching one of the many three musketeer movies for the first time as a seven year old and being thoroughly enchanted by the pervasive violence and high jinks. I also find the Huguenots, especially the diaspora, really interesting as well. So a history of violent sword brandishing Hugenots was always going to play well with me. There is hopefully much for people who don't share my predilections to enjoy in this historical fiction. Written from the perspective of a young boy gr [...]

    6. The first book of a series of 13 books. Very well written, even by using some medieval French, the story starts under the reign of Catherine de Medicis and Charles IX.

    7. Compte tenu de mes goûts, voilà un livre assez proche du "livre parfait" !La qualité d'écriture est renversante : émerveillement garanti à chaque phrase, qu'il s'agisse de dialogue ou de récitJe compte bien lire les 13 volumes, et je viens d'ailleurs d'acheter le second (même si, conformément à mon habitude, mon prochain livre sera dans un autre style et une autre époque).Je recommande très chaudement à toute personne intéressée par l'histoire de France (ici, le XVIe siècle) et/o [...]

    8. Hankering for fiction set in sixteenth century France? I recently discovered THE FORTUNES OF FRANCE by Robert Merle, a series of thirteen historical novels that span the years 1547 to 1661. Written in French from 1977 to 2003, the books follow the Siorac family of Périgord through the tumultous Wars of Religion and into the reign of the Bourbon kings. The first three novels (THE BRETHREN, CITY OF WISDOM AND BLOOD, and HERETIC DAWN) have recently been translated into English by Professor T. Jeff [...]

    9. Robert Merle is one of the best HF writers ever. Regrettably, his finest creation, the 13-book Fortune of France series has not been available to English readers. Well, that's about to change. The English translation of the first book comes out in September 2014 in the UK (lucky Brits). The US version is not out until March 2015. Never mind, it's on its way at last.It long puzzled me that there was no English translation (it's been available in German for a while). Why the puzzlement? Because th [...]

    10. An amazing book! I never would have thought that reading about the religious wars in France in the 16th century can be so interesting (a topic which I'm normally not really interested in).Of course it's not all about history but tells about the family of the Baron de Siorac and especially about his second son Pierre. We learn a lot about his childhood and Pierre tells us a lot of interesting, funny and sad incidents at the castle of Mespech. The time frame is around 1550 to 1566.It's the first p [...]

    11. A pretty fun historical adventure story about a Hugenot family struggling to survive in mid 16th century Framce. If you like Three Mustketeers sort of stuff and can deal with the (probably hisotrically accurate) racism and sexism it's pretty enjoyable. Or "le good" as the French might say :)

    12. Magnifique, splendide, et encore, ce n'est que le tout début d'une longue série qui se bonifie au fil des volumes

    13. Set in sixteenth-century France during the civil wars between Huguenots and Catholics, The Brethren is told as a reflection by the now 25 year old son of one of the Brethren. It starts with how the Brethren met and continues up to the protagonist Pierre's departure from home to study medicine as a teenager. Warning: there are a lot of dry passages about the political moves of the kings of France and religious battles.This book was written in the 1970s by a man. That's really all you need to unde [...]

    14. Drawn to the book by the enticing description on the cover - action, exhilarating blend of adventure and romance - my disappointment grew as I trudged through the chapters, expecting to be immersed in this "swashbuckling" and "lusty, fast paced and heady" read. Ignoring my frustration, I battled on, determined to give Robert Merle's first volume of 'Fortunes of France' a fair turn.In reality, the novel proved to be a grudging plod through 16th century France; a fictionalised history lesson, seen [...]

    15. Pendant que d'autres dévoraient La chambre des dames, je trippais sur cette série moyennâgeuse de Robert Merle. J'en garde peu de souvenirs, mais bon, on dirait que tout livre s'efface tranquillement et inévitablement de ma mémoire, quelle que soit sa valeur (mais je n'ai qu'à relire quelques pages pour que tout resurgisse du néant). Ce dont je me souviens par contre c'est d'avoir été totalement séduite par cette série, ado ou jeune adulte, au point de les aligner coup sur coup. C'ét [...]

    16. Written from the point of view of a second son growing up in a Huguenot family, The Brethren by Robert Merle describes the life in 16th Century France, a time of religious wars, power struggles, plagues and famines. People more interested than I am in the time and place may find this novel to be better than the three stars that I'm giving it. Although for my taste the book did not rate more stars, it was good enough that I'll probably try the next book in Merle's Fortunes of France series.

    17. Četl jsem několik dílů téhle ságy v osmdesátých letech a vracím se k ní tedy cca po 30 letech. Tenkrát se mi kronika Petra ze Sioraku velmi líbila a líbí se mi i dnes. Robert Merle je bez diskuse výborný spisovatel a i překladatel Miroslav Drápal si s archaickým slohem vyprávění poradil více než dobře. Navíc jde o velmi zajímavé období francouzských dějin (k nimž je tento první díl pouhým úvodem). Čili doporučuji jak čtenářům, tak i "krásným čtenářk [...]

    18. This is the first in a long series of novels based around the religious wars in Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century France. The central family are Huguenot and this offers an unusual perspective on French history. A combination of social, religious and political history, with a strong seasoning of classic French storytelling in the style of Dumas or Hugo, make this an entertaining and compelling read. Volumes Two and Three are also available in translation, so I will be pursuing them with some fer [...]

    19. A first class work of historical fiction. The setting and the pace feel quite precise; the time is delineated with detail and without excessive attention to swashbuckling diversions. The precision and focus on the people and the small aspects of normal life in Mespech, sets the grander picture of this time of religious upheaval in France in real lives.I look forward to the next fourteen volumes!

    20. Un flash-back terriblement réaliste dans la France du 16e siècle. Un excellent roman pour (re)découvrir l'histoire de France de cet âge à travers la vie d'un petit village du Périgord. Je lirai la suite avec plaisir.

    21. Ich habe sehr lange gebraucht um reinzukommen und fand den Anfang ein bisschen unnötig langatmig, aber die zweite Hälfte habe ich dann so ziemlich in einem Rutsch gelesen und sie hat mir sehr viel Lust auf mehr gemacht. :)

    22. This was originally published on The Scrying Orb.Written in 1977 and supposedly an unheralded french classic, this is the first of a 13 volume saga finally being translated into english. It’s about two soldiers, both named Jean, sworn brothers-maybe-lovers, who return from war to establish lands, build wealth, be fruitful and multiply. One of the Jean’s sons, Pierre, narrates his family’s life from some time in the future. It’s a tumultuous life indeed as the Jeans are newly reformed pro [...]

    23. One of the finest novels I've ever read. Extremely well-developed, authentic characters and an engrossing story set in the fascinating and tumultuous period of the French Wars of Religion.

    24. An earthy tale that is only the beginning of 16th-century discord of church, crown and one family in FranceThe Brethren Fortunes of France: Volume 1 captures the violent 16th century with a narrator that is perfect to share his unsettled and conflicted world with his readers. Born of a Catholic (Papist) and a Protestant (Huguenot) Pierre de Siorac is our guide into the many bloody conflicts and the first bleak outcomes of church, crown and even his own familial discord. Nothing is certain in thi [...]

    25. This opening novel in a thirteen part saga of the Huguenot de Siorac family during an unsettled period of French history starting in 1547 has at last been translated into English as "The Brethren". "Fortune de France" is best read in its original language, if possible, since it conveys more of a sense of the period, of the personalities of the key characters and the alternating humour and pathos of the chain of incidents. By contrast, the English translation which I used to check a few points ap [...]

    26. The first volume in an epic of French historical fiction, set in the second half of the Sixteenth Century against the backdrop of the Reformation and the French wars of religion. It tells the story of two retired protestant soldiers, Jean de Siorac and Jean de Sauveterre, setting up home in the Perigord, told from the perspective of one of Siorac's sons. It's an interesting story of life in the period and of the history of the times, though it's told from a strictly male perspective and the fema [...]

    27. In Book 1, The Brethren, Robert Merle has written an intensive historical novel set in France during one of its most turbulent periods. In 16th century France, battle rages between the Huegenots and the Catholics with murderous results from both sides. At the heart of the story are two compelling protagonists - Siorac and Sauvterre who try to hide their Protestant roots from the world as they amass their fortune. They swore an oath to become brothers, hence the title of the first book - The Bret [...]

    28. Fortune de france ne suit pas la recette pour un roman historique suivi avec beaucoup de succès par Alexandre Dumas, Robert Graves et bien d'autres où l'on raconte les aventures d'un monarchaque dont la cour est pleine de mauvaises langues. Le romancier qui suit cette recette ne fait que choisir les incidents les plus scabreuses des chroniqeurs contemporains pour construire une histoire bourrée de séductions, mensonges, trahisons, adultères, meurtres et d'autres abominations. Meme si dans l [...]

    29. This is one of those books that has sat on my to-read shelf for a wee whike now, and having finally got around to reading it I wish I'd done so sooner. This is a properly old school historical adventure novel in the same family as the novels of Dumas, Druon and Hope. There are even shades of Stendhal here in the style of writing and form of story. Set during the religious wars of 16th century France, this is the story of a Huguenot family building a place for themselves in the Perigord. It is a [...]

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