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Sanctus (Sancti Trilogy #1)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  6,398 Ratings  ·  919 Reviews
The bestselling thriller debut of 2011 - the apocalyptic conspiracy thriller that has set the world alight...
Paperback, 400 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

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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
Apr 23, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: turkey
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
Jul 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 07, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Trev Twinem
May 28, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The da vinci code this is not! It starts with a reasonable promise of good things to come; Brother Andrew making the ultimate sacrifice from the roof of the this the dawn of the second coming? From this point on the story is utter drivel, whereas the da vinci code was a highly intelligent thoughtful read this is pure dross good guys v the bad guys...for some 600 pages...but I stuck with it to the bitter end! I rate it as one of the worst books I have ever read and am amazed at the r ...more
S.J.A. Turney
May 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Chris Bushman
Apr 03, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 30, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-conspiracy
I have to say the amount of chapters does begin to wear after a while & detracts from the story as it jumps about but in reality doesn't get very far in terms of charactor developement nor depth of story. Having said that it's still an ok read & the twist at the end is a surprise for sure
Jillian Haas
Aug 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  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
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
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
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
John McDermott
What a load of old nonsense that was. Having said that, it was entertaining nonsense. This is a novel best read with tongue firmly in cheek. Surprisingly, I found it to be well written also. Perfect holiday reading.
Tanja Berg
Sep 16, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
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
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
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
David Cain
Jul 04, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
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
Jun 02, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Richard Pierce
Oct 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This read was actually much better than I was expecting after reading some mixed reviews. Part of me feared it wouldn’t live up to the hype yet it certainly kept me entertained from the start until the very end. For anyone looking for a face-paced thriller I would certainly recommend this book to you – so long as you’re willing to commit yourself to the trilogy as it is certainly a book which will leaving you wanting to read the next two instalments.

With twists, turns and surprises you’re curiou
May 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Jul 03, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 17, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2014
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
Nov 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 25, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
What did I just read?

This book started well - I was prepared to ignore the flourishes of over-writing (are books not edited anymore?), and was even gripped at one point, but then... Well, then it all went wrong. It is, if you like that sort of thing - and I usually do - a good thriller. But the characters are so flimsy, so unbelievable (in that they just don't behave like real people, only to fulfill various plot devices and cliches), so 'meh' that it just went flat for this reader. By page two
Ros Burrage
Apr 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bought
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!
Fiona Robson
Jan 29, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Absolute codswallop. Can't remember the last time I have read such piffle. I certainly won't be wasting my time on the rest of these implausible contrived books as they are released.
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good, well paced thriller. Looking forward to part 2
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
Liz Barnsley
Aug 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thanks Kate! I think…..

So the first thing to make perfectly clear is I HATE religion based thrillers of the Dan Brown ilk. They really are all the same book. In this readers opinion Dan Brown has written the same book several times and still manages to get a huge following – thats great, my one thing with reading is you should read what you enjoy…and its not up to me to tell you what that is, all I want to do is tell you about the ones I love and hope that you will love them also. But for me, th
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Simon Toyne was born February 29th, 1968 in Cleethorpes, England, but spent his formative years in Peterborough. He moved further south, to Goldsmiths College, part of the University of London, to study English and Drama then ended up working as a producer, director in commercial television for almost twenty years.

He quit in 2007, just shy of his fortieth birthday, to try and focus more on writing
More about Simon Toyne...

Other Books in the Series

Sancti Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Key (Sancti Trilogy #2)
  • The Tower (Sancti Trilogy #3)

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