The Left Hand of God

The Left Hand of God

Book - 2010
Average Rating:
6
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Follows the adventures of sixteen-year-old Thomas, one of thousands of imprisoned youths being trained in combat by warrior monks who becomes aware of his secret destiny after a daring escape.
Publisher: New York : Dutton, c2010.
ISBN: 9780525951315
0525951318
Characteristics: 372 p. : maps ; 24 cm.

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Incinerated_Newt Apr 05, 2012

An interesting dark fantasy that draws elements from medieval history, I picked this one up on a recommendation adn didn't regret it. It's post-apocalyptic and full of grey areas - no black and white, right or wrong here. Definitely worth picking up.

Librarymans Feb 09, 2012

This is a book you will love or hate. Author uses real world people and references as a "short-hand" to create his world. I found it very enjoyable dark fantasy. The patterning of things on real world places, people and events gives a strange feeling of deja-vu in reading, but is effective in creating a world that seems more "alive".

l
luneray
Nov 16, 2010

brutal to the point of sadism

s
salazarina
Sep 17, 2010

not a very well written or convincing fantasy novel.

n
nerowolfgal
Aug 05, 2010

This is quite an annoying book. It is obviously a first novel. The author has talent and once he (or his editors) learn how to edit and tighten his prose,he will be very readable. However, this novel is very deriviative. The secondary characters are not fleshed out at all, and in fact their actions and reactions make no sense.

More annoying is the fact the whole of the second half of the book is a setup for a literal re-telling of the battle of Agincourt. Borrow from history certainly, but don't do a step by step copy of a well-know historical battle.

The story has interest and I may read the next in the series but unless the writing is really tightened up, I will merely skim to find out the rest of the story.

t
tardis
Jun 04, 2010

The Left Hand of God by Paul Hoffman – Review for LibraryThing Early Reviewers from an advance uncorrected proof.

Paul Hoffman's The Left Hand of God is the story of sixteen year old Thomas Cale, one of many boys brought in childhood to the terrible Sanctuary of the Redeemers, where the Redeemers raise and train militant monks for their endless holy war against the Antagonists. Abused mentally and physically, fed vile food (but knowing none better) the boys of the Sanctuary learn only to fight and kill. Even amongst these, however, Cale is somehow special, singled out for extra attention by Bosco, Lord Militant of the Redeemers. However, Cale has a plan to escape, and so he does, accompanied by his friends, Vague Henri and Kleist, and by a girl that Cale rescued from imminent dissection by the Lord of Discipline. Together they find their way to the city of Memphis where they become useful to the ruling Materazzi and begin to discover what they have been missing all these years. They also begin to unravel the mystery of Cale's importance to the Redeemers and his destiny, whether for good or ill.

Cale and his friends are violent and crude as their Redeemer masters made them, and the scheming aristocracy of Memphis have never dealt with their like and are not fond of them, but find them useful. Cale, in particular, resents the attitudes of their new employers. The Redeemers are so unrelentingly horrible that the reader really wants them squashed like bugs, but the Materazzi are not exactly angels either. Still, they're definitely the lesser evil.

The world of the story is ours but not – some dystopian post-apocalyptic future or alternate past. There are occasional hits of familiarity – mentions of Jews and Jesus, Norway and Malagasy. It's very hard to pin down, though, which left me slightly wrong-footed.

This is a dark but engrossing novel, with some black humour and the development of plot and the characters is well done, but things are just getting to the interesting bit when it ends. I hate that. It is apparently the first of a trilogy. I will definitely be on the lookout for the sequels. I would say this book is appropriate for young adult on up.

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