Sanctum by Sarah Fine

Posted August 23, 2015 | 29 Comments

Sanctum by Sarah FineSanctum
Author: Sarah Fine
Series: Guards of the Shadowlands #1
Published by: Skyscape
Publication Date: October 16, 2012
Format: eBook
Pages: 450
Source: Purchased

“My plan: Get into the city. Get Nadia. Find a way out. Simple.”

A week ago, seventeen-year-old Lela Santos’s best friend, Nadia, killed herself. Today, thanks to a farewell ritual gone awry, Lela is standing in paradise, looking upon a vast gated city in the distance—hell. No one willingly walks through the Suicide Gates, into a place smothered in darkness and infested with depraved creatures. But Lela isn’t just anyone—she’s determined to save her best friend’s soul, even if it means sacrificing her eternal afterlife.

As Lela struggles to find Nadia, she’s captured by the Guards, enormous, not-quite-human creatures that patrol the dark city’s endless streets. Their all-too-human leader, Malachi, is unlike them in every way except one: his deadly efficiency. When he meets Lela, Malachi forms his own plan: get her out of the city, even if it means she must leave Nadia behind. Malachi knows something Lela doesn’t—the dark city isn’t the worst place Lela could end up, and he will stop at nothing to keep her from that fate.

I finally did it! I’ve heard high praise for Sarah Fine’s books for years, but hadn’t read them. Hell, I even bought five of them, so I figured it was about time to get on the Fine train. I decided to read Sanctum first because I found the blurb intriguing. Okay, and because I was told it’s pretty dark. I love a good dark read, so that sealed the deal for me. Turns out I made the right choice.

The whole premise of Sanctum is really creative. Lela going to hell in order to save her friend who committed suicide … now that’s what you call friendship. There’s more to it though, and it gets fairly deep. Now, it is a little on the darker side because it’s dealing with suicide, but the author handled it really well.

Despite the subject matter, there’s actually quite a bit of action and excitement. Mostly thanks to the Mazikin. Talk about creepy! And the world-building is fantastic! However, would I ever want to visit the eerie Shadowlands? Hell freaking no!

I like the characters a lot, especially Lela. She’s been through her own hell, but has come out stronger. The girl is loyal and will not give up on Nadia. I love her toughness and vulnerability, and her willingness to do whatever it takes. A true fighter to the core.

Malachi and Ana are great secondary characters. Malachi is head of the Guard, and Ana is basically his right hand. They’re both badass, and I loved the three of them together. I wasn’t too sure about the budding romance between Lela and Malachi at first, but it didn’t take long for me to start rooting for them. At the same time, I had a pit in my stomach, because I was so anxious about how everything would turn out. I was extremely invested, that’s for sure.

Overall, Sanctum was a superb read, and I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

I’d watched those girls shrink back as I walked down the hall. I’d heard them whispering about how I’d killed someone, which was totally untrue. I’d almost killed someone.


29 responses to “Sanctum by Sarah Fine

  1. YAAAAASSSS! I’m so glad you finally gave in and read her book, Christy. This is one of my all-time favorite series and I love how dark these books are. And the romance! So ship-worthy!
    I can’t wait to see what you think of the rest of the books, but I’m so so excited you enjoyed it! 🙂
    You’ve got to read her Of Metal and Wishes series once you finish this one! 😉

  2. This is one of my all time favorites actually, but oddly enough, I never finished the trilogy. There is apparently some romance drama in book 2 which I’m just not in the mood for. But I will read them eventually and I think Sarah is really awesome.

  3. Sanctum sounds fantastic, Christy! I can’t imagine visiting hell, but I guess for someone I loved as much as Lela seems to love Nadia, it would be worth it. And I love that there is more to the story than meets the eyes at a first glance, too.
    Great review!

    Lexxie recently posted: Teaser Tuesday #58 – Texas Kissing
  4. This sounds like my kind of book too Christy, and have read Scan that she co wrote and really enjoyed her style of writing. I love the strong female friendship, touching on serious issues like suicide. Sounds like an odd inclusion though, so interested to see how she’s woven it in there. So glad you enjoyed this Christy, going to grab a copy now too. Brilliant review <3

  5. Woot! I can’t wait to give this book a try. I have the same predicament as you, Christy… hearing so much of this author, I’ve been buying her books left and right but haven’t read a single one! I have this one which I bought from a deal a few months ago… and I’m so going to read it soon because of your review. Lela sounds like an amazing character, and Malachi even more so!

  6. Haven’t tried this series yet, but my next arc is her 3d installment in her urban fantasy/ pnr romance series- Servants of Fate. Glad you enjoyed it!

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