As I shared my recent reviews for my children’s book Tales from Rosebush Garden yesterday, I thought I would also share some recent reviews I’ve had for my historical thriller, Secret Brethren.
Also, Secret Brethren is currently #2 in the kindle book store for Historical Thrillers which is very exciting!
Here are some of my recent reviews:
“Secret Brethren, a historical fiction, tells the tale of the dutiful Templar Knights during the blood thirsty crusades and their promise to deliver a mysterious copper scroll to the new pope. This scroll is reported to be the gospel of Mary Magdalene and has the power to shake the grounds of Christianity irrevocably. Anthony Holden manages to blur the lines between present and past as we follow the journey of the scroll all the way from Christ’s crucifixion, the late 13th century crusades to modern day war-torn Syria.
History has always been one of my favorite subjects, along with literature, so Secret Brethren came as a very welcome read. The crusades are a time period I have yet to learn much about, but reading this novel has helped me develop an insight into the turmoil during that time and how religion affected different countries profoundly. It is clear that the author went to great lengths to carry out extensive research on the time period, right down to exactly what the different cultures wore and ate. The entirety of this novel felt like an exciting way to learn the history of the time and truly emphasize with the multitude of events that took place.
Blending the crucifixion, the crusades and modern day wars into the same novel felt very poignant and I believe the author was trying to show how closely related the events are. Jesus Christ was crucified due to an inability to accept his faith or testament to being the son of God. The crusades occurred due to two different religions fearing one other, thus, another instance of faiths not accepting one another. Furthermore, modern day wars, especially regarding the recent Islamic state, have begun because one faith cannot accept another, once again. I believe this is the authors way of showing how history always repeats itself.
The novel is well-written and an easy read, despite being quite long. Although the dialogue is relatively simple, the description is well done and ensures the action does not get lost in over-wordiness. The variety of different stories within the novel keep it exciting and makes you want to read more to see how all these different adventures relate to one another. The mystery of the scroll also retains the tension throughout, and I really enjoyed trying to figure out what its contents may be as I read the novel. It is not until the epilogue the ground breaking secret is revealed, and rest assured, it is one worth waiting for.
I really enjoyed reading this novel and I’m sure anyone with an interest in history will too!”
“Secret Brethren is a tale that jumps across time, mingling historical events with the curiosity of the twenty-first century. I loved being able to dive into the thirteenth century, following the knights across Europe as they embark on their quest. And being able to see the story play out while simultaneously explore the discoveries of modern-day was enthralling. Anthony Holden’s eye for detail made the landscape jump out of the page, and the action kept my attention throughout.
It was so beautifully explored. From the beginning of their venture to the very last page, I was gripped, feeling the ferocity of the storms, the gore of the battles and the aftermaths, and the analysis of items rediscovered in 2015. The story spans across centuries, the importance of the scroll and the knights’ journey pulled forward through time to be explored again. I loved the jumping perspectives and Holden’s ability to leave a cliff hanger in just the right place before plunging you into the next storyline, making sure to keep you hooked until the very end.
Besides the exploration of Christian belief and the history of Mary Magdalene, I was fascinated by Holden’s views of other cultures and religions. From the horrible battles between races early in the book and the interest of modernised cultures, it was a really in-depth characterisation. I really enjoyed learning more about those religions from someone else’s point of view, especially with the fictional aspect to the story.
I’ve always loved fiction that explores religion, culture, and history, and this book reminded me of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons. It was very informative and enjoyable, and Holden’s spin on Christian history was remarkable. I was very pleased with this book and would recommend it to anyone with similar interests in literature.”