29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
A page-turning thriller!,
This review is from: Sanctus (Hardcover)
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Sanctus is the story of a remnant population of a once powerful Semitic sect whose beliefs centre on the Book of Genesis. The sect lives autonomously within the secular city of Ruin on a mountain in Turkey (with similar status to that of Vatican City in Rome). The sect enjoys miraculous benefits, such as the longevity of the lives of its brotherhood, and is a centre of pilgrimage. The source of these miraculous powers is a well guarded sacrament, known only to the monkish elite in the monastery.
In the opening chapters we meet Brother Samuel, a newly inducted member of the elite who has responded adversely to contact with the sacrament. Samuel has fled the confines of the monastery by the only means possible: climbing the face of the mountain.
The background of the sect and the peculiar nature of the sacrament are revealed through pacey and unrelenting action sequences which make for an excellent read. A rich tapestry of characters, with well-shrouded relationships to the sect, adds to the excitement. The novel is somewhat let down by sketchy characterisation: in particular a failure to create a strong emotional connection with the main character, Liv, in her quest. Had Liv been more fully developed this would have been a truly nail-biting novel.
I was somewhat deflated by its ending; perhaps this is because a sequel is in train and continuing plot-strands had to be maintained. Without revealing too much, I can say that this novel is thoroughly positioned within the time-honoured tradition of misogyny proving to be a driving source in literature.