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Customer Review

49 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The superb and clever sequel to Sanctus, combing action and mystery brilliantly, 12 April 2012
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This review is from: The Key (Kindle Edition)
Without doubt, Sanctus was my favourite thriller of 2011 - clever, imaginative and unusual, with an original twist in its religious mystery, all played out by an intriguing set of characters, and well-written to boot. No wonder then that I was thrilled to bits to win a copy of its sequel, The Key, which is also the second in a trilogy.

It is not easy to review a sequel without giving away elements of the first novel which should remain perfectly unknown, lying in wait for their unsuspecting reader, and so I shall be careful and brief. I would urge you to read Sanctus, if you haven't already.

One of the successes of Sanctus was its setting - the Turkish city of Ruin, created by Simon Toyne for his novels but described so vividly that you want to book a trip there. The ancient city, older than any, is dominated by the Citadel, carved into a mountain and housing monks, the Sancti, who never leave its caverns, tunnels and secret chambers and libraries. A more sinister and frightening collection of monks would be difficult to imagine. The mystery that the Citadel contains was the subject of the first novel and in The Key we learn more about its meaning and the people who are driven to pursue it. Some are familiar, some are new, but the journey is full of surprises and terrible dangers.

As you'd expect after reading Sanctus, the mysteries of the trilogy may involve the Church but they go far deeper back into time than that and they have a much greater significance for mankind. This foreboding and menace works especially well because of Ruin - it's both familiar and unfamiliar and it pulls people to it, even though the city's walls are locked each night to keep everyone out.

The Key combines action and mystery perfectly and it is a pleasure to get to know a little bit more about Gabriel, Liv and other characters from the first novel. Sanctus was a fantastic debut but The Key benefits from being an accomplished and confident second novel. The fact that it continues an exciting story, which manages to include emotion between the thrills, and characters, both good and bad, that entertain and intrigue, doesn't hurt a bit. And just like Sanctus, when The Key ends you'll be longing for the next. If I read a thriller in 2012 I enjoy more, I will be most surprised.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 3 Oct 2012 12:22:56 BDT
Dave Moore says:
The Alexandrian Passport

Posted on 31 Oct 2012 10:04:23 GMT
Absolutely fantastic second book of the trilogy. I am really looking forward to the next.

Posted on 18 Dec 2014 23:39:47 GMT
Gigix says:
Oh dear Kate you really need to get out more particularly if think The Sanctus had a good twist at the end. Try reading Donna Tarrt's secret history - she adds culture to a mystery rather than a taking the formulaic popularist route. Simon Toyne can write but The Sanctus a good book? A convoluted, implausible tale with shades of James Bond & Spectre and the Da Vinci Code rolled into one and supposedly set in a Turkish town that is more American than Apple pie. I obviously am not so sucked in by such tosh!!!
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Review Details

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Reviewer

Kate
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

Location: Oxford, Oxon United Kingdom

Top Reviewer Ranking: 150