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

Sarah Fine
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (182 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.

Books In This Series (3 Books)
Complete Series

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    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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    12 of 12 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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    67 of 72 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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    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    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
    4.0 out of 5 stars sanctum (guards of the Shadowlands Book 1)
    Excited story. Some sections even scary. You just wanted to find out what's happening next. Couldn't put the book down.
    Published 18 hours ago by Claire
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    was very good couldn't put it down
    Published 9 days ago by deborah vaughan
    5.0 out of 5 stars Book
    Excellent I enjoyed it the story line was totally different and kept you wanting more.
    Published 25 days ago by mjc123
    1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
    Could not get into it gave up
    Published 26 days ago by Alastair B. Scargall
    2.0 out of 5 stars easy to read but not a gripper
    Starts well but then becomes predictable and a little boring, Won't be reading any more in the series. Too much concentration on romance.
    Published 1 month ago by sarat
    5.0 out of 5 stars 100% worth reading
    Not usually my cup of tea but really enjoyed all 3 books in this series!!!
    Published 1 month ago by MR ALEXANDER I HOUGH
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    A damn good read
    Published 1 month ago by MRS L E BURRIDGE
    4.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable!
    Very enjoyable. Great concept for a story. I found it hard to put down. I read all three books in 5 days.
    Published 1 month ago by Huxx
    5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
    I read this book in 24 hours! Couldn't put it down! Brilliant read and I can't wait to read the next one!
    Published 1 month ago by Dawnhackett
    5.0 out of 5 stars Different but it has a way of can't leave it just got to get to the...
    As I said in the wrong place again good read if you like thing different heaven&hell has got it what more can I say
    Published 2 months ago by Mags DG
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