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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top marks Mr Toyne!
This book bypassed me completely when it was released in 2011 but I recently heard a couple of interviews with the author promoting the third part of the trilogy which came out in April this year, and although he didn't go into a great amount of detail about the plot, there were enough `hooks' mentioned to get my interest.

Firstly, I love the title. The word...
Published 15 months ago by Lucy Literati

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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An easy but intriguing read..
I am NOT a fan of Dan Brown but do love ancient history, am interested in religion and culture and enjoy a good mystery. This book combines them all. The writer has done a good job of setting the scene and providing the background information without drowning the reader in too much detail.
I enjoyed the twists and turns and the fast pace of plot although I found...
Published on 26 May 2011 by Lili76


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top marks Mr Toyne!, 9 July 2013
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This book bypassed me completely when it was released in 2011 but I recently heard a couple of interviews with the author promoting the third part of the trilogy which came out in April this year, and although he didn't go into a great amount of detail about the plot, there were enough `hooks' mentioned to get my interest.

Firstly, I love the title. The word `Sanctus' actually means `holy' or `holy one' and The Sanctus is a part of the Catholic Mass. It is such an evocative word to me on so many levels, conjuring up images of crumbling churches and monasteries with flickering candlelight behind stained glass windows. I can just smell the incense and see and hear the robed, hooded Monks singing the Gregorian chant. The cover of my version of the novel captures this perfectly.

Secondly, Simon Toyne's own story piqued my interest. He is a British writer and Sanctus is his debut novel. In 2007 he decided to quit his job and spend 6 months writing in France to try and fulfil his lifelong ambition to become a writer. He said in the interview I heard that he had no idea whether he was any good, but he knew that if he tried to write alongside his existing career it would never work. It was `all or nothing'. Thank goodness he decided to give it a go...

Lastly, the blurb says:

WHAT IS THE SECRET OF SANCTUS?

Liv Adamsen is a New York crime reporter, Kathryn Mann a charity worker. They are very different people, but their fate is bound together by one man's desperate act.

With the world's media watching, a robed man has thrown himself from the top of the oldest inhabited place on earth, an ancient citadel in Turkey. For some it's a sign of great events to come. For Liv and Kathryn it is the start of a race into danger, darkness and the most remarkable secret in the history of humanity.

It is a secret that the fanatical monks in the citadel will kill, torture and break every law, human and divine, to keep hidden...

Wow! What's not to like? I wanted to know that secret like, NOW and bought the book on my first browse. Not only that but when it arrived I started it pretty much immediately and read most of its 400 pages in a (very rare) marathon four-hour reading stint whilst staying in a hotel overnight.

I won't lie, Toyne's story and style are reminiscent of Dan Brown to whom he has been likened in the popular press. I am not a die-hard Dan Brown fan by any means but I have read all of the Langdon series and enjoyed them to varying degrees; I am a bit of a sucker for the whole `ancient conspiracy meets modern world' premise and do enjoy a damn good mystery so in that sense both Brown and Toyne tick a lot of my boxes. If you are not a Brown fan though, don't let that put you off Sanctus. I have also recently read Dan Brown's latest Langdon novel, Inferno and I can honestly say that Sanctus beats it into a corner. Hands down. No arguments. If the two books were five year-old children, Inferno would be on the naughty step for five minutes. Eye-rolls for Inferno, (approximately) twenty-six; eye-rolls for Sanctus, zero.

There are actually two stories being told here - one through the various Monks in the Citadel (the Sancti) and the other through Liv, Kathryn, Kathryn's father and her son Gabriel who are working (for their own, personal reasons) to reveal the three thousand year old secret that the Sancti are protecting. I liked both Liv and Kathryn - they are both brave, strong, independent women. Another tick, Mr Toyne.

If you like a meandering, gently-moving novel however then this one is probably not for you. Toyne's TV background can easily be detected in the pace; there is a LOT going on and I actually caught myself holding my breath at times. Otherwise, there really is something for everyone including gruesome murder, suicide, forensics, technology, history and religion. Even if some of these themes don't light your fire, none of them should be taken in isolation. Together they work, or at least they did for me.

I can't talk about this book without touching on the ending. The Sun review I read described it as `a load of rubbish' but did concede that `getting there is a good ride'. As soon as I read it, I knew it would be the part of the narrative guaranteed to spark negativity. That said, I would be interested to know how Mr (a slight assumption perhaps, but an accurate one I think) Sun Reviewer would have preferred it to end? In any conspiracy novel of this kind the reader has to be prepared to suspend logic to some extent. How did I feel about it? Intrigued to know how it would be picked back up in the second part of the story and sad. But only sad because it was the end.

I don't keep many novels these days; I have a pretty good rotation system going on, but those books that make a real impression on me get a permanent spot on my shelf and Sanctus is there to stay.

There are only four books that I've read in the last few years that I've given 5/5 to and this is one of them. I absolutely loved the ride and didn't want it to stop. Thank you Mr Toyne. Part two, The Key, arrived this week...
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94 of 103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book of the year!, 21 Jun 2011
By 
Christopher (9800 Hjoerring Denmark) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sanctus (Hardcover)
A perfect Dan Brown style holiday book. But don't be put off by the genré if it's not for you. it's got something for everyone (even good writing): I enjoyed the medieval and pre-medieval religious angles but it also has technology, forensics, puzzles, action, adventure, the odd home made bomb, love (and even skips the inevitably crass sex scenes that always seem to bruise good books.)

Very very ingenious from start to finish. Believable and ingenious make the story work. I had to ration myself so that the book didn't run out too quickly. This is not my favorite genre by any account, yet it hooked me from the start. It's not just a gripping (you won't find me writing 'unputdownable') tale but is well written too: I'm a sucker for bruised orange skylines and clouds described as white beasts, weighed down by their own leaden hearts. It's an easy read too, there is always something happening, and despite the many characters, you are never left wondering who any one is. Get it, you won't be disappointed (but you might ignore your family for a while).
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An easy but intriguing read.., 26 May 2011
This review is from: Sanctus (Hardcover)
I am NOT a fan of Dan Brown but do love ancient history, am interested in religion and culture and enjoy a good mystery. This book combines them all. The writer has done a good job of setting the scene and providing the background information without drowning the reader in too much detail.
I enjoyed the twists and turns and the fast pace of plot although I found the ending rather abrupt but this was maybe because i was really getting into the story and didn't want it to end so soon!! I look forward to the next book.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping from first page to the last, 3 May 2011
This review is from: Sanctus (Hardcover)
This really was the best book I've read in years. I was gripped throughout and couldn't put it down.
Can't wait for the next installment.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars gripping, 3 Feb 2013
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wow, what a book! if you are after something that you cant put down this is the one for you! I just had to keep going to found out what the secret was. I spent the few days i was reading the book trying to think of what it could be but in the end it was a really original idea that goes on to be explored even more in the second and third novels. I bought and read the second novel within the week and am waiting for the conclusive third book this spring....come on hurry up Simon Toyne!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars exciting reading, 5 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Sanctus (Kindle Edition)
a well written, easy to read book. The story flows,so well, and was so descriptive i could imagine the buildings and the people. Having also read the follow-up book, i am eagerly awaiting the final book in the trilogy.
Definately an author to be added to my list of favourites,
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good read...., 18 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Sanctus (Kindle Edition)
Its one of those books you can not put down until you reach the very last word, then you start looking for the next book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars could not put this book down, 25 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Sanctus (Mass Market Paperback)
a very good read full of twists and turns.one of those books you just cannot put down.looking foreward to the next installment.
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44 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-written religious thriller. (Spoiler-free review), 26 Feb 2011
By 
Discerning - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Sanctus (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Sanctus is a thoughtfully constructed novel incorporating a blend of ancient ritualistic and contemporary life. It is particularly well-written with the occasional subtle dash of humour and contains the necessary literary elements to generate an absorbing story. It delves into a fundamental Christian belief and creates a twist to the tale, which will be familiar territory to some. An impressive debut novel that is the first in a forthcoming Sanctus trilogy. The theme does lend itself to a trilogy even though I am bored with the sequel bandwagon and the author has the skill to write successful solus novels. Suitable for non-squeamish teenagers (murders and gory descriptions) to adults. I have the paperback edition and it is larger than the average paperback with a decent font size.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sanctions, 13 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Sanctus (Kindle Edition)
By Simon Toyne

This was a real page turner I could not put it down.

A great book to get lost in will on a long journey you won't be sorry that you picked it.

All the best my friends William
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Sanctus by Simon Toyne
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