Apr 3, 2007

A Tale of Adventure and Self-Sacrifice

In 1904 Sir Henry Rider Haggard, known for his book King Solomon’s Mines, wrote The Brethren, an adventure story set in the months before the Third Crusade. The reader follows two brothers, Godwin and Wulf, as they fight for the life and love of their cousin, Rosamund.

Before Godwin, Wulf, and Rosamund were born Rosamund’s father, Sir Andrew D’Arcy, married Saladin’s sister and took her to England, far away from Saladin, were she gave birth to Rosamund.

Sir Andrew had a brother who died in the Crusade, leaving his two young sons alone with their mother. In time, these three grew up together and were each special in their own way. Godwin and Wulf were both skilled swordsmen, Wulf being the stronger of the two, but Godwin the wiser. Rosamund was a beautiful Saracen princess, the niece of Saladin.

Their lives might have been wonderful and full of happiness if it had not been for two things. One, both Godwin and Wulf loved Rosamund and had asked her to decide between them in a year. The other was that Saladin had sent a letter to Sir Andrew demanding Rosamund be sent to him in Damascus.

Because Rosamund does not want to go to Saladin’s court, he sends some of his men to capture her. After drugging Godwin and Wulf and killing Sir Andrew the treacherous Saracens sail for the sands of Israel.

Godwin and Wulf set sail after the pirates, chasing them to Israel. What follows is an edge-of-your-seat tale that takes the knights through the Middle East in search of the woman they both love. I choose not to reveal the rest of this tale to create suspense and not ruin the plot twists. But I will say that the reader will feel a sense of accomplishment after reading this book.

If you do not appreciate loyalty, justice, and chivalry then this book is not for you. Godwin and Wulf fight together for Rosamund and never betray the other. They remain loyal to Rosamund and protect her from rogue nights and evil chieftains. The author does go into detail when some of the less fortunate characters meet the wrong end of Wulf and Godwin’s blades.

I recommend this classic story to people 12 and up because of some of the incidents Godwin, Wulf, and Rosamund end up in. Overall The Brethren is a must read for it’s excellent portrayal of courage, love, and selflessness.

Ted Bradley


Chris said...

I'll have to look in to this one. Thanks for the review!

Lindsey said...

yeah...I really like this. I just read it... :)