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Sanctum (Guards of the Shadowlands Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Sarah Fine
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (168 customer reviews)

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Book Description

"My plan: Get into the city. Get Nadia. Find a way out. Simple."

A week ago, seventeen-year-old Lela Santos’s best friend, Nadia, killed herself. Today, thanks to a farewell ritual gone awry, Lela is standing in paradise, looking upon a vast gated city in the distance – hell. No one willingly walks through the Suicide Gates, into a place smothered in darkness and infested with depraved creatures. But Lela isn’t just anyone – she’s determined to save her best friend’s soul, even if it means sacrificing her eternal afterlife.

As Lela struggles to find Nadia, she’s captured by the Guards, enormous, not-quite-human creatures that patrol the dark city’s endless streets. Their all-too human leader, Malachi, is unlike them in every way except one: his deadly efficiency. When he meets Lela, Malachi forms his own plan: get her out of the city, even if it means she must leave Nadia behind. Malachi knows something Lela doesn’t – the dark city isn’t the worst place Lela could end up, and he will stop at nothing to keep her from that fate.

Product Description

About the Author

Sarah Fine was born on the West Coast, raised in the Midwest, and is now firmly entrenched on the East Coast, where she lives with her husband and two children. When she’s not writing, she’s working as a child psychologist. No, she is not psychoanalyzing you right now. Sanctum is her first novel.

Visit Sarah online at or on Twitter @FineSarah

Product details

More About the Author

Sarah Fine was born on the West Coast, raised in the Midwest, and is now firmly entrenched on the East Coast, where she lives with her husband and two children. When she's not writing, she's working as a child psychologist. No, she is not psychoanalyzing you right now.

For more information about the Guards of the Shadowlands series, and to read excerpts from Malachi's personal journals, visit

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read 16 Jan. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought this book on a whim despite or perhaps because of a bad review which seemed unjustly down on the romance element running through it, so wanted to make my own mind up. Happy to say I wasn't disappointed. Sanctum, set mainly in a fantasy realm is the story of loyalty, friendship and love. Yes, there is a strong romantic theme throughout the book and yes it probably will appeal strongly to the teenage market , nothing wrong with that....paired with the emotive subject of suicide,the author deals with this and other evocative issues sensitively whilst maintaining a fast action packed pace, in a richly detailed fantasy world with strong charactorisation leaving plenty of room for a sequel .
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sanctum by Sarah Fine 15 Jan. 2013
By Sam
Format:Kindle Edition
Sarah Fine's Sanctum is nothing short of original, with a whole world dedicated to the lost, wandering souls of suicide victims. Beyond the Suicide Gates lies the Shadowlands, patrolled by the ferocious Guards and their human captain Malachi. We follow Lela Santos' inadvertent journey into Suicide City in an attempt to rescue her best-friend Nadia. It is a dark story, both gritty and emotional, but never dull or draining. Fine has a natural way with words, crafting a brilliantly thought-out world and exciting storyline - one that is full of action, creativity and romance.

As thrilling and well-paced as the plot is, it is the characters that make the greatest impression here. Let me get straight in there and tell you Malachi is quite something. He is the very definition of a well-built love interest, a character that manages to provide genuine moments of endless swoooon, whilst also standing on his own two feet and being more than that. His hardened, steadfast personality is complemented by Lela's determination and courage. These two together were the perfect team. I'm not ashamed to admit that the romance was my favourite part of this book.

I will say that it took me a little while to warm to Lela. I also wish Nadia's character had felt less ambiguous. These, however, were my only concerns with this book, and for the first instalment of this series, Fine did a spectacular job. I am definitely looking forward to the sequel.
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60 of 65 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Throbbing with every romance novel cliche 5 Dec. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Buyer be warned: this is a romance novel under a different cover. If you're into heaving chests, soul-deep sighs and endless longing glances spiced up by a touch of something different, then this is for you.

If, like me, you were suckered into buying this book expecting some kind of fantasy novel then consider carefully because the cheese factor runs high in places. It's actually a romance novel. I can only assume Mills & Boon or Harlequin turned this one down.

The heroine of the novel is a typical romance novel heroine: stunningly, breath-takingly beautiful and yet, because of course she's a romance novel stereotype and not even a remote attempt at a character, she's totally oblivious to her good looks. Naturally, as all romance novel heroines are, she's damaged, vulnerable, and hides this behind an impenetrable wall of toughness. Well, she does have to make her hero work hard to get her, doesn't she?

Natually, her impenetrable wall of toughness is penetrated instantly by her best friend, her newest foster parent and just about every character (apart from the obvious baddies) she meets in her travels.

She's a tough cookie, independent woman who can't be touched by any man . . . except of course as soon as she meets her hero she melts entirely and spends her time falling over or even fainting. Yes, it's all an act imposed on her by the author. Heaven forbid she does anything butch to scare him off. This is a romance novel of course so he's the one who's got to do all the running while she just has to look like interesting bait.

So, to the hero: hard to say what he's like because he isn't given any characterisation over and above what's required of a romance novel hero: stunningly gorgeous, muscled and "a perfect specimen".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Loved it 1 Mar. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Wasn't sure at first but loved it, stick with it, it's worth it . Really different and now gutted I've finished it xxx
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hades 28 Feb. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Enjoyed an alternative story. Interesting take on the afterlife.
Eagerly awaiting a sequel - maybe?
Suitable for teenagers & upwards.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New dark Buffy 10 Feb. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Took me back to that exciting place where you just want to know what happens next, but never really want the book to end. I definitely want to read more of this tale.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as I was expecting 2 Oct. 2013
Lela, a foster kid, has had her fair share of trouble growing up, but it has only served to make her tougher. When she stands up for the most popular girl in school, she unexpected gains a best friend. When this best friend, Nadia, then commits suicide, Lela knows she must try to save her from Suicide City, a place she's already familiar with.

Unfortunately, this didn't work for me as much as I expected. Malachi's feelings for Lela developed straight away, and this doesn't appeal to me. After one meeting with her, he's willing to step completely out of character, and risk his life for her.

I enjoyed the plot, and Malachi was quite awesome, but at times, this felt a little too romance based for me. (Very unusual for me to make this statement). Lela was a character who quite annoyed me at times, and I didn't know whether I should admire her for her dedication to helping her friend, or hate her for how her actions were hurting Malachy and the others. So, I was frustrated with her for most of this book.

The ending worked well for me though, even if it was a little too good to be true. But it makes and interesting setting for book 2 :)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
As soon as I finished it I bought the next book. Couldn't wait
Published 4 days ago by cindy meijer
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
its ok might read follow up
Published 15 days ago by Stephen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 18 days ago by Christine Goodings
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent Book and a really good series. Thoroughly enjoyed.
Published 21 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars One big happy surprise
I have had this book on my kindle for months and kept skipping it as a "if I'm really desperate" book to read. So, last week I ended up beginning it. Could I put it down? Read more
Published 23 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very good reading
Published 25 days ago by Ann
4.0 out of 5 stars Romantic story, interesting and totally different from any book I've...
Lo ed the plot got caught up I. The storyline. Yes this book is geared towards teenagers, but I enjoyed it because of the unusual plot and the sweet Romance.
Published 1 month ago by sheree adams
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
starts off slow but gets better with avery good ending
Published 1 month ago by denis
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Enjoyed this will definitely follow the series - wasn't too sure when I purchased but I found myself unable to put down!
Published 1 month ago by P. Candy
5.0 out of 5 stars Desperate for book 2
Ms. Fine is a talented writer whose book has got me thinking about a myriad things. She has created alternative dimensions and a complete morality that challenges whatever we... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mr. N. G. Nicholson
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