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Informative,
Confusing,
Adventurous

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The Sacred Cipher: A Novel
by Terry Brennan

Published: 2009-07-01
Paperback : 352 pages
3 members reading this now
5 clubs reading this now
1 member has read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 1 of 1 members
History's greatest secret could be tomorrow's greatest threat More historically and biblically accurate than The DaVinci Code and just as adventurous as an Indiana Jones movie, The Sacred Cipher combines action and mystery to draw readers into a world of ancient secrets and international escapades. ...
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Introduction

History's greatest secret could be tomorrow's greatest threat More historically and biblically accurate than The DaVinci Code and just as adventurous as an Indiana Jones movie, The Sacred Cipher combines action and mystery to draw readers into a world of ancient secrets and international escapades. When an ancient scroll appears in a secret room of the Bowery Mission in New York City, Tom Bohannon is both stunned and intrigued. The enigma of the scroll's contents will send Bohannon and his team ricocheting around the world, drawing the heat of both Jewish and Muslim militaries, and bringing the Middle East to the brink of nuclear war in this heart-pounding adventure of historical proportions. The Sacred Cipher is a riveting, fact-based tale of mystery and suspense.

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.

Excerpt

Prologue
1889 o Alexandria, Egypt

Only three types of buyers entered the Attarine-the foolish, the fraudulent, and the forewarned. The foolish, who acted on whim instead of wisdom and expected to fleece an ignorant Egyptian native; the fraudulent, expert in identifying wellcrafted forgeries, anxious to pass them on for great profit; and the forewarned, who searched for treasure but were wise enough to employ someone who knew the ways, and the merchants, of the seductive but evil-ridden Attarine. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

1. Early in the book we read about a significant discovery with great archeological, historical, and religious implications. Tom Bohannon and his team make the decision to keep the find a secret-at least for the time being. What were his reasons for that decision? Was it the right decision? What would you have done?

2. Symbols play a large part in this story-in the cipher's text and in remnants such as the Coptic cross and lightning bolt. What do the symbols add to the story?

3. Many times during the novel, the safety of Tom's team is threatened. And yet Tom still continues his quest. What do you think motivates them? Is it just curiosity? Or is there something more compelling him to move forward?

4. One of the recurring threats to Tom and his team is the group of dedicated men who are intent on restoring the honor of The Prophet's Guard, even if it means risking their lives. Describe their devotion. What makes it so intense? What are their motivations for carrying out their cause? Is that type of devotion still prevalent in the world today?

5. What role does news media play near the end of the story when secrets are finally revealed? How much influence does news media have on how we hear information today? Is this a threat or a benefit?

6. Some may view elements of this story as miraculous. What in this book could be described as a miracle? Do you believe in miracles?

7. Though its fiction, The Sacred Cipher includes themes and issues very real in our world. Do you think it's helpful for fiction to explore controversial issues such as these?

8. Politics and religion cross paths many time in this novel. Would the story have been as suspenseful if there wasn't pressure from both political and religious arenas? What about in real life? What if politics and religion weren't so intertwined? Would you rather live in a world without politics or a world without religion?

9. There are many contributing factors at work in this book: action, characters, setting, history, religion, politics. What did you find most compelling and why? What clues did the author give to keep you reading? Did you anticipate any of the events in the story?

10. Discuss the novel's ending. What is the final message of this book? Is it positive or negative?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

A note from the author to BookMovement members:

Dear Readers,

I am so glad you are interested in my book. It was an adventure to write and I assure you it will be an adventure to read!

As you get into the novel, you will recognize a lot of the plot and setting, as much of it is true. The Bowery Mission is real…Demotic is real…Sir Edward Elgar is real…Charles Haddon Spurgeon is real…and so are dozens of other facts and folks that are weaved into this adventure. I hope you are intrigued by this element of reality because I believe it's vital for fiction to live in the real world. I've become convinced that fiction is one of the best means to communicate social justice issues over and over again-in this case through layers of suspense and mystery.

So, without further ado, I give you The Sacred Cipher. May it give you goose bumps, a good discussion or two with your book club… and a strong desire to read future Terry Brennan books.

Happy reading,

Terry Brennan

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Member Reviews

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  "The Sacred Cipher"by zamak (see profile) 06/29/10

We enjoyed the book. Have a few suggestions for the next edition. A map is needed. Does anyone have a map of Jerusalem in their heads?? Nice walk through early Cristianity. Also infomative look at... (read more)

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