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Chance's Take on Books

I'm a novelist who loves to read and discuss all things word-bound.

Currently reading

Swann's Way
Marcel Proust, Lydia Davis
Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style
Virginia Tufte
The Chicago Manual of Style
John Grossman, Margaret D. Mahan
I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive
Steve Earle
Sanctus: A Novel - Simon Toyne 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 deeds - were present and accounted for. The most interesting monk is the one who committed suicide - I wish he'd been given more story than his sister, who was only mildly interesting to me - in a heavy smoker jaded journalist kind of way. I wanted more of Samuel's story. So, I plowed through the middle, wanting to know the secret, but not really relishing any of the characters.

Then came the ending, and why the novel raised from a 3 star read to a 4 star entertainment. I was pleasantly wooed by the action-packed surprise ending. Here, Toyne shined. The only thought that nags me now about the story is whether any of the historical components are factual. The DeVinci code, and yes, everyone seems to compare this with Brown's novel, was based in research by Brown's wife. That was part of what made it interesting to me. For Sanctus, I have no clue what percentage of the location is imagination or even myth. Pagan vs. the church is an old war though. Guess I'll do some research. I enjoyed the read, and was pleased to be invited to the party.