I won a finished hardback copy of the bestselling Sanctus by Simon Toyne in a giveaway. There’s no real story behind how I got this novel. I saw the gorgeous book cover, decided to enter the giveaway, and won. I have to admit I was smitten by the book cover and had no idea what the book was about. Luckily it’s an excellent thriller! I’m really happy to be able to pass Sanctus along to a lucky reader.
Thousands of years ago there were two tribes. One was deeply jealous of the other’s excellent health and long life, so they stole the secret and went to great lengths to then hide and protect it. Over time this truth was swept away, as so many truths are when history is always written by the conquerors.
That secret became the Sacrament. It is far older than any organized religion, dating back to pre-history. It has been guarded for all this time in the Citadel in the city of Ruin, Turkey by a group of monks known as the Sanctus. The Citadel is an unassailable fortress carved from a mountain that tourists come to marvel at. No one but the monks who dedicate their lives to protecting the Sacrament has ever been allowed inside and no monk leaves, at least not in modern times.
“It was the culmination of a lifetime of searching. The end of a journey he had hoped would lead to a sacred and ancient knowledge, to a divine understanding that would bring him closer to God. Now at last he had gained that knowledge, but he had found no divinity in what he had seen, only unimaginable sorrow.”
One day the tourists look up to see a monk in a green habit, Samuel, standing on top of the Citadel holding his arms out to form a T-shaped cross, the Tau. For hours he stands there motionless while media around the world speculate about what it can mean, and then he jumps. Most of them don’t realize that he is a Sanctus, the highest order of the monks living inside. They don’t know that he was being held prisoner because he rejected the Sacrament or that he narrowly escaped and climbed the rock torturously to reach the summit. They don’t know the chaos and horror this has been creating inside the Citadel when it was discovered he was missing. They also don’t know that these seemingly peaceful monks have been issued a kill order for him, to ensure the Sacrament’s secrets be protected at all costs.
The abbot is horrified to learn Samuel has landed outside of Citadel jurisdiction and orders the recovery of his body, so the Sacrament’s secrets can be protected. Meanwhile a homicide detective has been assigned to the case as merely a pro forma measure and an autopsy is being performed. And this is when things begin to become really odd. The pathologist is astonished to see that Samuel is a Sanctus. No one outside of the Citadel has ever seen a Sanctus; however, the ritualistic scarring and the Tau branded into his arm make it clear he must be a Sanctus. But what the pathologist and detective find inside of his body let them know this was no suicide. It’s clear Samuel intended to land outside of Citadel jurisdiction and that he was trying to communicate something important to the outside world, if they can only figure out what.
“’Find out exactly what has happened to the body,’ the abbot said…’We need to know what conclusions are being drawn about Brother Samuel’s death. We need to know where the events of this morning may be leading. And above all we need to get Brother Samuel’s body back.’”
In the desperate search to unravel the mystery of Samuel, the detective learns of a possible sister, Liv Adamson, who he flies to Turkey in hopes the message Samuel sent was for her. Meanwhile the Citadel has launched its Tabula Rosa warrior monks to steal Samuel’s body and remove anyone who has any connection to him. And another group with ties to the Christ statue in Brazil is also becoming involved but what is their stake in all of this? And what do these words mean?
“The one true cross will appear on earth
All will see it in a single moment – all will wonder
The cross will fall
The cross will rise
To unlock the Sacrament
And bring forth a new age”
It’s hard to know where to draw the line with a novel like Sanctus. How much is too much to give away? This novel has so many twists and turns that you will meet yourself coming around the corner if you aren’t careful. It’s a thrilling roller coaster ride on the magnitude of Da Vinci Code. And the ending, well let’s just say I did not see that coming! *cue the taunting book reviewer laugh*
When I read Sanctus, I didn’t know that it is Book #1 of a trilogy. I am so deeply immersed in this story that I’m really excited to see where Simon Toyne takes it from here. I highly recommend this one! And I’m thrilled to be able to give a copy to one lucky reader!
Sanctus was released in September, 2011, so it should be available from your favorite bookseller below:
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One lucky reader will win a finished hardback copy of Sanctus by Simon Toyne!
1) The deadline for entries is Saturday night, 11/26/2011, at 11:59pm EST. No entries after that date/time will be eligible.
2) This giveaway is open to entries with U.S. mailing addresses only because we do not ship books outside of the U.S.
3) You must be at least 15 years old to enter this giveaway.
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7) That’s it – it’s a very easy giveaway, so have fun and best of luck!
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