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Sancti Trilogy, No 1
Simon Toyne

HarperCollins Publisher
May 2012 / 9780062038319

Reviewed by Jan Fields

In a world only slightly different from our own lies the ancient city of Ruin, the home to an ancient religious order which guards a secret older than the written word. Even among the order, only members of the inner circle- - the Santus- - know the real truth of the Sacrament they guard. Then a new member is added to the Sancti, but the revelation of the Sacrament changes his view of the order. And his actions set in motion terrifying events.

At its heart, Sanctus is a thriller, as one woman is caught in the middle of two ancient religious orders; which one can she trust?

Simon Toyne does a phenomenal job of creating complex characters that force the reader to care. Even his villains are relentless, terrifying, and completely committed to a cause bigger than themselves, not giving us the opportunity to dismiss them as stock monsters. Although conspiracies abound, we're never confused or frustrated beyond our desperate desire to find out the secret trapped in the heart of the Citadel. And when we get that payoff, we feel both shocked and completely satisfied. This was a secret worth centuries of struggle and fanaticism.

Though Sanctus is the first book in a trilogy, it is a completely satisfying read without the irritating feeling of only getting a piece of a single book. While Sanctus answers all of the questions you sit on the edge of your seat asking, it does so by kicking the door wide open for more. A book worthy of every moment you invest with it.

Reviewer Janis Fields is the editor of Kid Magazine Writers emagazine and has written dozens of stories and articles for the children's magazine market.
Reviewed 2012