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Sanctus (Sancti Trilogy #1)

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  4,272 ratings  ·  773 reviews
The certainties of modern life are about to be shattered by an ancient conspiracy that has been nurtured by blood and lies.

A man climbs a cliff face in the oldest inhabited place on earth, a mountain known as the Citadel, a Vatican-like city-state that towers above the city of Ruin in contemporary Turkey. But this is no ordinary ascent. It is a dangerous, symbolic act. And
Paperback, 486 pages
Published 2011 by William Morrow
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Following the resounding success of my Locus Quest, I faced a dilemma: which reading list to follow it up with? Variety is the spice of life, so I’ve decided to diversify and pursue six different lists simultaneously. This book falls into my GIFTS AND GUILTY list.

Regardless of how many books are already queued patiently on my reading list, unexpected gifts and guilt-trips will always see unplanned additions muscling their way in at the front.

The word on Sanctus from my GR friends:
“Very good
Martina Keller
I usually don't go for the crappy religious conspiracy books (e.g. Dan Brown), but this one lured me in as potential brain candy. It was not particularly clever, but it kept me interested. And I never protested out loud over any obvious absurdities like I did with Dan Brown. That was a step in the right direction. What bothered me is that almost all the action takes place in a fictional ancient city in Central Anatolia, but completely misses the opportunity to draw the authentic cultural and his ...more
May 10, 2013 Katy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who seeks, questions and wonders
Recommended to Katy by: Vine Program
Shelves: vine-book
Please note: I read and reviewed this book in July 2011 from a copy received from Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review. I am about to read the 2nd book in the series, so formatting this review.

My Synopsis: A man has climbed the sheer, 1000-foot mountain out of which the Citadel is made. When the tourists who have visited Ruin, Turkey to see this ancient religious fortress arrive, they are astounded to see what looks like a large “T” on top of it; only to discover that it is a man who sta
Son partita decisamente scettica nei confronti di questo libro, che stavo per mettere giu' dopo un paio di capitoli perche' parte lento e identico agli altri miliardi di libri del genere. Ma poi la trama decisamente si infittisce e prende ... Nel suo genere direi che merita piu' di 3 stelle, anche se la fine e' un po' troppo stramba, ma darne 4 su 5 e' troppo. Direi 3,5 stelle tutte pero', perche' e' un bell'intrattenimento.
Simon Turney
It's been a while since I read anything non Historical, but had this recommended to me, so I bumped it up the pile.

I read it in short order, in every five minutes available.

Sanctus is intriguing, complex and absorbing from beginning to middle.

I use this odd turn of phrase because the second half os also intriging, complex and absorbing, but it is also exciting, action- packed, fascinating and explosive (quite literally).

Once you're about 25 pages in, the book is impossible to abandon. You just H
Jessica at Book Sake
I really enjoyed Sanctus, up until the last 50 pages or so. The beginning is a bit slow, but the chapters are only a few pages long, so you can finish a few and come back to it later. Once the pace picks up, though, you won’t be able to put it down. There’s so much mystery surrounding everything in this book. The central mystery is the secretive ancient relic that the Sancti are guarding in their mountain monastery, but with every point of view shift, there is something new to discover. It remin ...more
Chance Maree
Sep 07, 2011 Chance Maree rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dan Brown fans, religion conspiracy connoisseurs
The start is certainly engaging. A monk is initiated into a secret that motivates him to tell the world in the only way he has open to him - a very public suicide. A flash of supernatural effects, along with the ambiance of the ancient Citadel set the stage. I was intrigued!

The middle section, through written in short chapters with POV tossed between a wide number of characters, still dragged a bit. The characters were stock, for the most part. Evil monks driven by fanaticism to do horrible deed
How this pile of steaming crap got to be an "International Best Seller" is the real mystery here. It was arduous work just trying to overlook the incongruity of a story set in "ancient" Turkey where all the characters spoke perfect English and used American idioms.

Especially off-putting was the flitting back and forth between locations, which challenged the reader to remember just who the hell was being talked about in each new chapter. Characters came and left in the space of a few sentences. D
Fabian Davy
This has to be one of my disappointed reads - when it comes to thriller and religious fiction. At more than 300 pages thick, about 3/4 of the book focuses on dragging the suspense and action - leaving behind the mysterious explanation of the books focal interest (which is 'The Sacrament') until the very end. And when it finally came to that part - it finishes just like that. And depending on how you would interpret it - The Sacrament itself, is such a letdown. Like the story suddenly turned 360 ...more
David Cain
This religious conspiracy action thriller is clearly inspired by Dan Brown's oeuvre - same non-stop action, quick cuts back and forth to different parts of the plot in short chapters, and evil religious figures causing mayhem. This has more of an emphasis on the supernatural, though, and it is less grounded in reality than Brown's works. This is the first in a planned trilogy and I will most likely look at volume 2 to see what direction Toyne will be taking the characters and plot.

My main compla
The debut novel from producer and screenwriter Simon Toyne; Sanctus is an action packed mystery with religion at its heart. For this reason you can be forgiven for making the inevitable Dan Brown Da Vinci Code comparisons, however Sanctus proves to be a far superior novel to Brown’s over-hyped best seller.

While concentrating on a religious mystery, Sanctus is far more grounded in reality and visceral action than that of its predecessor and in this way carves itself out as a unique novel. Toyne’s
Chris Bushman
Sanctus is basically a Davinci Code-style beach book that makes no pretense to being great literature.

On the positive side I will admit that the central mystery presented at the beginning of the story kept me reading to the end (even though I almost gave up on the book several times) so I could see what it was all really about.

Now for the negatives:

A) This is a historical thriller grounded in EASTERN Church history (a secretive monastery located in what is now Turkey). The author seems to have n
Paul Cheney
The ancient abbey at Ruin hold many secrets, but when a robed many climbs to the top of the mountain he draws the attention of the world media. He is standing holding the pose of the Tau, an ancient symbol

And then he jumps.

For Liv Adams this is the first time that she has seen her brother in eight years, having thought that he was already dead. She drops everything to rush to the city to find out what happened. For Kathryn Mann this moment may indicate that the promised prophecy scratched onto a
Paul Pessolano
“Sanctus” by Simon Toyne, published by William Morrow.

Category – Mystery/Thriller

In Ruin, Turkey, there is a monastery build on the side of a mountain. It is called The Citadel and it is a country unto itself. No one, except the Monks, have access to the facility that contains untold ancient artifacts, including its most sacred possession, The Sacrament.

Most monks are of the order “Sanctus” but there are a few that have obtained the order of “Sancti”. The Sancti have the privilege of seeing The
Tanja Berg
A bearded, green-clad monk throws himself of a mountain cliff in Turkey. In the United States, his sister already thinks he's dead as he disappeared eight years ago. She, Liv, is contacted by the police because her brother had her telephone number on him, or rather, in him. He's also swallowed some seeds with inscriptions. Liv travels to Turkey to try to find out why her long-lost brother Sam tried to kill himself. The order of brothers he belonged to is set to prevent her. No members are suppos ...more
A monk climbs up the mountainside of the Citadel of Ruin, site of the beginnings of the Christian church. Inside the holy mountain is a holy secret, a Sacrament that the monks protect at all costs.

Kathryn Mann has an ancient prophecy, which predicts the fall of the monk, the rise of the monk to unlock the Sacrament, and bring forth a new age.

So when the monk falls from the top of the mountain there are a great many people interested in why other than the Inspector Davud Arkadian.

Their interes
Jun 30, 2011 Susan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of thrillers and Dan Brown
(fiction) A monk, initiated into the highest level of his religious order, learns a terrible secret. He is cloistered in The Citadel, and will be forever, so how can he let the world know what is really happening inside the walls?

This thriller lives up to the genre, never boring and full of twists and turns. The setting is contemporary, the religion is ancient. The juxtaposition of ancient world and new technology worked well. Full of great characters and puzzles and the occasionally weird, the
Richard Pierce
One thing I really liked about Sanctus was that the story is led by two strong female characters rather than by one single male main character who is swooned over by all and sundry. Add to that the fact that the main makle character (a policeman) is exceptionally well drawn and different (I won't give away why), and you have a book which, while on the surface observing all the conventions of the religious conspiracy/mystery genre, is totally unconventional and, dare I say it, innovative.

All book
I don't know why I keep coming back to religious thrillers. I keep hoping that this time, just maybe, it will live up to the promise. The problem is that they're so anxious to pack in constant action scenes that they lose out on the story telling. And like most religious thrillers, the ending leaves so much to be desired. I found the twist in this one actually quite interesting - if they had continued with it and explored what it meant, rather than ending the book. It seems like such a revelatio ...more
Ros Burrage
OMG! A secret sacrament, masonic-like rituals, misogynist monks, inept cops, thrills, spills, action. This book has it all! I downloaded this on my kindle as a freebie, but I've just bought the other 2 in the trilogy because I must know how it ends!
Mindi Rosser
What worked for me:

- The Gripping opening - was immediately pulled into story
- Premise/High Concept
- Samuel - great character
- Short Chapters - like a bag of potato chips...just want to keep reading/eating
- Fabulous writing skills - action words, fast-moving description, well-written

What Did not work for me:

- Middle of book was saggy
- Skimmed over last 1/3 of book - Just wanted the book to be over
- Too long - could have benefitted from some plot tightening
- A few darlings needed to be killed
- Au
Every once in a while I crave a scientific or religious thriller in the mode of Waiting or ,yes, The Da Vinci Code so I picked this one up. A first novel and it sure held my interest from start to finish. First off, nice short chapters followed the action from the pov of the various characters. I LOVE short chapters as they keep me reading (oh, next chapter is only a few pages, then the next chapter is short, too, and before you know it it's LONG past bedtime and I'm still thinking just one mor ...more
The debut book “Sanctus: A Novel” by Simon Toyne in what is to become the first of a trilogy, is written much in the same manner as Dan Brown’s books or “The Daughter of God”. The setting is the mountains of modern day Turkey and is complete with a sacred order of monks, priests, cops, a charity and the search for a hidden religious relic with a secret that leads to almost certain death for those that become involved. The story is full of tension, twists and turns and involves an investigative r ...more
I just finished the galley of Sanctus by Simon Toyne. This is the second time this month I have been pleasantly surprised by a writers first Novel. (The first being Children Of Paranoia by Trevor Shane published by Dutton due out 9/8/11.)

From the very first line Simon Toyne grabs your attention with "A flash of light filled his skull as it struck the rock floor." While not a book about religion, throughout the book Toyne twists your perceptions of where or how the bible came to be. This is a cla
Sandra  Valente
Well, where do I start? Oh yes, my 'illness' or 'the incense burning inside of book stores' led me into mine once again. Am I thankful though, as I found this treasure. I will admit, I am a total sucker for book covers but then I like pretty things (not that this one falls under the pretty heading). I like mystical looking covers and I like gripping covers, all sorts really - and this one just stood out. It called to me - I could hear it whispering, read me, read me. So, of course I just had to ...more
Shawn Spjut
Sanctus; Simon Toyne, 2011; Harper Collins

Sancti Trilogy: There are times when searching for new authors that I find myself reading a series out of sequence and this was one of those times. My first discovery of Toyne's work was when I picked up "The Key;" the second novel in the Citadel series. Which in turn meant that if I didn't like it I wouldn't be wasting my time going back and reading first "Sanctus". Happy Accident that I liked the second book so well I got on the library waiting list fo
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
Who doesn't like a great mystery? You know the kind that keeps you guessing as you keep on reading trying to figure out what is going on, who is in on it and why?

If you're like me, and love a great mystery, check out the very latest book just hot off the presses from Simon Toyne, a debut author, called Sanctus. Based on the Citadel found in Turkey, a secluded monastery built literally into the walls of a mountain that prohibits anyone but the monks from entering is the location for this novel. H
By the one star rating, I think the cat's out of the bag and it's obvious I quite disliked this book.

The inhabitants of Ruin, Turkey wake one morning to find a man on top of the mountain citadel. His arms are stretched out in what they believe is the shape of a cross but is apparently the formation of a sanctus. The man's location immediately draws attention in part because of his actions but most importantly because he is wearing a monk's habit indicating he is a member of the enigmatic reside
Move over "Brown" there’s a new sheriff in town and his name is Toyne – Simon Toyne!

A figure dressed in a hooded green cloth stands resolute, a thousand feet above the fictional city of Ruin, Turkey. Precariously poised on the edge of savage precipice he opens his arms in the shape of a cross and waits, and waits and waits – the wind picks up and a decision is made. Then, with the eyes of the world’s press and gathering crowd of curious onlookers below, he jumps. And so begins a tale of action,
Pamela Kramer
"Sanctus" by Simon Toyne is a cleverly constructed and extremely suspenseful novel. It's filled with plenty of very sinister and scary villains -- particularly one monstrous monk -- and admirable heroes -- particularly one fetching and formidable female journalist.

Artfully included is some Dan Brown-ish archaic legendary trivia plus enough twists, turns, half-truths, and tortuous (and torture-filled) roads to traumatic revelations to keep even veteran mystery readers transfixed.

The story begins
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Simon Toyne graduated from Goldsmiths College in London with a degree in English and Drama then worked in television for almost twenty years before becoming a novelist.
More about Simon Toyne...

Other Books in the Series

Sancti Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Key
  • The Tower
The Key The Tower The Key: Part One Sanctus: Part Three Sanctus: Part One

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