Monday, June 22, 2015

Book Review: Brothers and Betrayal

We're back! We moved at the beginning of the month, so that's the reason we've been sort of absent, but things are fairly settled now, so we should be able to post regularly again.

 Brothers and Betrayal by Sarah Holman

Rating: PG (violence)

Recommended for: Ages 10 to Adult

A boy, running for his life
A princess, trying to save her people
And an archer who seeks to defend the defenseless

 Bryon, after witnessing his brother’s murder, takes his sisters and flees into the woods to a mysterious figure known as The Archer who lives there. But though he finds temporary safety, bitterness threatens his heart.

 Brianna only wants to help the people of Taelis, but her father, the king, seems bent on making life hard for all of them. She works tirelessly to save the kingdom from war, while secretly helping The Archer.

 Join the adventure in… Brothers and Betrayal

I loved Sarah Holman's Destiny Trilogy and I enjoyed book one of the Tales of Taelis series, Adventures and Adversities, even more, so naturally I had to have the second book in the series. Unfortunately, I didn't like it as much as previous books, though I truly, honestly believe it is entirely due to personal preference, and would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who likes Robin Hood type stories.

Writing: 4.5/5

This book was pretty well written. Actually, I hadn't realized how much Sarah's writing has improved. I reread bits of The Destiny Trilogy at about the same time since the short story collection was coming out, and was impressed with how far she's come since those days. I'm not sure of specifics, but there's a definite improvement in her style and grasp of writing "rules." It is a story well told. It was also better proofread than any of her books I've read beside Waltz into the Waves. I noticed very few typos.

Setting: 5/5

Like in the first book, Taelis seems like a real place. It's a well thought out medieval country with realistic places and government. It was a little difficult for me to place the different nobility that had been in the first book and remember what had happened with them, but that's entirely my fault since it had been over a year since I'd read Adventures and Adversities and I wasn't sure where I'd packed it. The settings were well described, and it's a place I would love to visit. She makes use of its being an invented country by creating history and government of her own while never making it feel out of time period.

Plot: 4/5

The storyline was interesting and the premise intriguing, no plot holes that I noticed. It didn't grab me as much as the first book did, though, causing me to take a week to read it, rather than the day it took to read book one. However, I'm entirely convinced it was just me for three reasons. One: I started reading it about two weeks before I moved. Distractions galore. Two: It's a sort of Christian Robin Hood, and, while I love the idea, I've never been interested at all in Robin Hood, so it wasn't exactly my thing. Three: my sister read it in a single day, so she obviously liked it enough not to put it down. Because it really is a good story. And the message of forgiveness woven throughout was truly a meaningful one. Though what happened to some book one characters...I'm not sure I can forgive Sarah for it. :'(

Characters: 4/5

I certainly liked the characters. I can't say I loved them as much as I did Alditha and Will, but they were well developed. I could feel Bryon's struggles with wanting revenge for his brother's death, I could see all the difficulties Brianna faced trying to help her people behind her father's back, I sympathised with Gwendolyn over her lost fiance, I witnessed the struggle to survive of the inhabitants of Taelis. Bryon had a realistic and interesting character arc including the most important and impactful change any person can have. And I did get to see a little of Alditha, though not nearly so much as I would have liked.

All in all, I did really like Brothers and Betrayal, and would recommend it to fans of Sarah Holman and people who like historical fiction and/or Robin Hood retellings.


  1. Is it a series? Because, I'm interested :)

    1. It is a series, though only the first two books are written so far. I LOVED the first one, Adventures and Adversities. It's mostly about different characters, but the son of the main character, while not a protagonist, is an important character in Brothers and Betrayal. I have paperbacks of both, so if you want to borrow them, just let me know.


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