In a war-ridden Europe, Willem, Leo, and Isabella exile themselves from their tyrannical brother, Reinald. They rely on each other and their growing group of mercenaries in their goal to depose Reinald, who has become part of a movement to bring about the Apocalypse. With the help of an Irishman, the siblings find that they must aim higher than their rightful inheritance. They must put an end to the work of the Four Horsemen for the sake of the world.
The Sons of Brabant is a wonderfully crafted novel. While I wasn't sure of it in the beginning, the writing and story quickly drew me into the 1600s. This is probably the best start to a series I've read in quite a while. The characters were all fully developed by the end, smaller plots were completed, but all this was done with the promise of more, yet I wasn't left frustrated by unanswered questions or dangling plot lines. The ending perfectly sets up the second novel, which I was gratefully told will arrive in the Fall of 2015. I'm also grateful to see a strong female character in Isabella. Of course there was some romantic mentions, but that wasn't what made her character. She's beautiful, but that's not what other characters remember of her. It's her passion, intelligence, and her kindness that sets her apart and makes her the true leader of the exiled siblings (which her brothers admit.) Bolan shows his deep understanding of European history with his descriptions of the wars and battles, along with the political climate. It's refreshing to read a novel where I am so immersed that I don't bother fact checking. For me, that's saying a lot. I fact check menus. There's a fantastical element to the novel which made that much easier. I loved the inclusion of so many cultures and seeing how they interacted.
Overall I think this is a great novel for anyone who enjoys action and history. This is one novel that makes you ponder the consequences of right and wrong, and who determines those sides of the coin.