This month sees the long-overdue arrival in the UK of one of France’s most popular series of modern times. The Brethren is the first chapter in the swashbuckling sixteenth-century saga Fortunes of France, and its author, Robert Merle, has been described as the Dumas of the twentieth century. The series has sold five million copies around the world but has only now been translated into English for the first time. Telling the story of a Huguenot community’s struggles to survive in a France dissolving into religious civil war, The Brethren is an earthy, colourful and utterly gripping tale, and it’s already impressing UK reviewers: The Bookbag were “swept away by triumph, tragedy, action and adventure”, saying “it’s a novel like this that makes reviewing one of the best jobs in the world”, while the Metro thought it “cleverly depicts France's epic religious wars through the intimate prism of one family's experience”, adding “It's beautifully written too”. There’s plenty more publicity forthcoming, so watch this post for updates. In the meantime, there is a free sample available to read here.