The unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of The Beating of his Wings, the third and final installment in the epic narrative from Paul Hoffman. Read by the actor Sean Barrett.
Thomas Cale has been running from the truth. Since discovering that his brutal military training has been for one purpose - to destroy God's greatest mistake, mankind itself - Cale has been hunted by the very man who made him into the Angel of Death: Pope Redeemer Bosco.
Cale is a paradox: arrogant and innocent, generous and pitiless. Feared and revered by those created him, he has already used his breathtaking talent for violence and destruction to bring down the most powerful civilisation in the world.
But Thomas Cale is weak. His soul is dying. As his body is wracked with convulsions he knows that the final judgment will not wait for a sick boy. As the day of reckoning draws close, Cale's sense of vengeance leads him back to the heart of darkness - the Sanctuary - and to confront the person he hates most in the world. Finally Cale must recognise that he is the incarnation of God's rage and decide if he will stand against the Sanctuary of the Redeemers and use his unique skill of laying waste to all things. The fate of mankind rests on Cale's decision.
©2013 Paul Hoffman (P)2013 Penguin Books Limited
I wish he would have stuck to the same writing style that made the first 2 so great.
If I didn't know better I would swear Hoffman contracted this book out. It doesn't even read the same, and I am not talking about the narration. Did Paul take some new writing class and decide to show off some new moves. If so please take a couple steps back. Concentrate on telling a clever story, not cleverly writing a boring one.
I am not sure I have seen the such an absolute collapse to what would have been a great fantasy series since the great debacle of Robin Hobb's Farseer Trilogy. It follows the same pattern: First book; absolutely outstanding. Second book; Pretty good, not as great as the first but still great. Third Book: Absolute nonsense.
OK so this wasn't as bad as Hobb's 3rd book, I mean I didn't want to vomit after I read it. But still I was so looking forward to the end of this Trilogy and this just missed the mark. I am really just left confused and disappointed.
It seemed like the author did not stay true to the style and tone of the first two books in the series. And it took forever to get into the story, the beginning came out of left field.
I'm currently listening to The White Queen series by Phillip Gregory.
Cut the beginning, if they wanted to do something like that they should've tied it into the other two books. I won't go into detail because I do not want to give it away if anyone wants to read it.
I enjoyed the first two books - of course they were a bit dark but I kept wanting to see a redemptive end. Well, without giving any spoilers away, I think it's safe to say that third book did not bring the redemptive, everything-tied-up-in-a-little-bow ending I was hoping for. Which is fine - it's Hoffman's story and he's free to write it how he wants - I'm just along for the ride. And, given how dark the first two books were, why would I expect anything different?
But, what was so frustrating was the narrator switch! (!!!) Steve West, who narrated the first two books was great - distinct voices for everyone and had just the right voice for the tone of the story. Sean Barrett was not only a less talented reader (a lot of times when Cale and Vague Henri or IdrisPukke were having a conversation you couldn't tell who was who - especially after being used to the distinct accent that Steve West had given IdrisPukke), but he did annoying things like pronounce IdrisPukke with an "uh" sound on the end of Pukke (Pook-UH) - and Henri like the french (?) pronunciation (Auhn-ree). Why do they let them do that when they do a narrator switch?!? The new narrator should be required to listen to the original and at least try not to introduce such blatant changes.
So, if you enjoyed the first two and need to know how the story ends, then go for it - just know what you're getting into. Otherwise, you might just want to skip the third one and read some synopsis somewhere to give you some quick and painless closure.
"Sadly disappointed after the wait"
I had waited months for the 3rd book in The Left Hand Of God trilogy. When I could I pre ordered it. I couldn't wait to see what happened to Thomas Cale and how he would resolve matters. But i have to say, that I think that the author Paul Hoffman must have run out of ideas at the end. I really enjoy these sort of fantasies and I sincerely hope that I won't get the same sort of disappointment from George R R Martin and Patrick Rothfuss next year when they release their epics. You have to wait so long for the next part. Maybe I'll try reading htis again, but I really lost interest half way through.
The first 2 books showed amazing imagination, but fell down drastically in the 3rd.
Nothing at all. Sean Barrett made a mediocre book just readable. Top marks to him. He has great talent.
I will give this book one more try, but with probably return it for something better
With Thomas Cale, things were always going to turn out bloody and bleak. No surprises there, then!
I was drawn in completely by the first book, left feeling short-changed by the second book, but I'm back on-side with this last in the series. Cale disappoints in some ways, with his immaturity - almost as if he has a sense of entitlement... The banter between the boys is still good, and the witty quips are back.
The ending is completely unexpected.... Was I satisfied? I pondered this for a while; yes I was. How else could it have ended? I couldn't have thought up a preferable alternative, and "boy gets the girl" would have just been too weak for this story.
(Still slightly irritated by the author's indulgence at the end regarding publications etc - but as not part of the story, I just simply pressed stop...)
Same narrator, and same standard - so if you liked the first two's story telling, then you'll be satisfied with this one too.
Listened to this one in 2 sittings which is a good sign! Was very happy with the story overall and also that there is definitely scope to continue the story if the Author decides to re visit this world. I very much hope he will do - there is the line is the book "but that is another story" and I very much hope it is.I suppose if anything a bit darker that the previous, somehow that does not make it an unhappy story there are laughs and lighter moments particularly between Vague Henri and Cale. I am probably now going to go back and listen to book 1 again and keep my fingers crossed that Paul Hoffman comes back to this world - or possibly even visits the strange world where the rubbish tips of paradise are found?
"Exceptional series perfectly performed."
I have listened to the Audio version of the whole series and Sean Barrett's narration is spot on. It takes some getting used to, but perfectly suits the dark, dry style of the book. I haven't read it in print, but I can safely say that this performance would beat my own interpretation of the characters.
Thomas's encounter with Kitty the Hare was tense and brutal. The final encounter with Bosco was harrowing, but the only way that is could have ended. Kliste finally turning his horse around was beautiful.
For me this is a bit too dark for one sitting, but I finished it in three days which is extremely fast for me given the amount of free time I have for reading/listening.
This is a really unusual series. Darker and more brutal even than Joe Abercrombie's books. Thomas is the ultimate anti-hero (said before but never so true) - damaged goods would be an understatement and he struggles with his past, his destiny, his abilities (or lack of) and the storm of emotions that have built through the first two installments. I can understand some of the comments regarding the ending, but for me it's the only way it could have gone and I'm pleased that Paul Hoffman stuck to his guns and didn't go for the easy, miraculous recovery and happy ever after. This is not a happy ever after series, but there are glimpses of hope and light for some which a nice sense of balance.
"The Trilogy Started Well But ......"
Yes I would try another book written by the author - I thought the characters were very well put together (even if though the Beating Of His Wings was tedious).
Yes I enjoyed Sean Barrett's narration - he definitely gave the book an extra something.
I thought the Left Hand Of God started the trilogy very well. I thinks its this fact which made me listen to the following two books (that and the characters).
However as the story continued into the second and third books I thought it lost something and I didn't like the story ending.
He didn't - I really enjoyed his narration.
Not sure - just lost my interest.
Wish the entire trilogy was as good as the first few chapters of the left hand of god.
"Cries out to be made into a film"
I read all three parts before commenting so as to see the story through to the end. Okay, the trilogy is not "great literature", but it is a story which draws you in and keeps you there. There are patches which are too drawn out and sometimes the story takes it's time to get where it is going, but it is so worth the effort. Thomas Cale will stay with me for a long time, and I'll come back and listen to these again. The burning question for me is - when will producers wake up to this trilogy and make films of them. These books are a far better source material than many poorer stories which have been made into films costing mega-bucks. Finally a word about the narration. 10 out 10 for Sean Barratt. He captured all the characters well without being over the top in his characterisations, but most of all he totally nailed Thomas Cale's personality. I hope Hoffman will tempted to write a follow-on.
"Long awaited and worth it!"
creative modern fantasy
The fallibility of Cale creates an excellent base for building a story upon. With strong characters and good depth of planning in the tale. I loved all three book and regularly reflect on the characters long after the tale has finished.
Sean Barrett drew you into the story with his measured, authoritative and compelling delivery. an excellent choice for this tale.
When Hell haunts mankind, who will stand and fight!
I loved the first book in the series and by the time of the second book i had already decided that this author would be in my top ten for many years to come. This book didn't scream at me the way the first two did but it closed the story in a believable way. I can usually measure to what extent a story has gotten under my skin by the sense of loss i feel when a characters story ends. I am still mourning for Cale and co and hope he will be resurrected in a new story. Paul Hoffman and Joe Abercrombie have made fantasy appealing to me again, relying less on magic etc, and instead building great characters you can have a great journey with. Cant wait for his next book.
"A disappointing conclusion..."
yes, if only to finish the trilogy
The 'Left Hand Of God' trilogy started fantastically, dipped a bit in the second book and didn't really pay off in the third.
fantastic narration, as always, just a shame the conclusion didn't live up to the performance
Not really - perhaps the second and third book could benefit from a re-imaging
Not really bad just unsatisfying after such a fantastic start.
"Beating my head against a table..."
It was a continuation of the series and I needed to read it, even if I thought it occasionally wandered the tightrope over fluff literature with too much aplomb.
I found the author's, ham fisted hamstringing of his characters' abilities (through emotional and physical impairment) as a plot device, interesting and galling in equal measure.
Sean Barrett has a good voice... BUT the audio director needs shooting. Set up a piece of recording equipment that doesn't allow Sean to lip smack and spit his way through the book. It is distracting and does nothing for the tale.
Feel the beat... Chuckle. Pass.
You'll listen to the final chapters of this book, with a vain hope that justice will be served, that the main protagonists might see some happiness or redemption and that the impartial Swiss might be wiped from the Earth... It's a vain hope.
"Why the Junk at the start and end?"
Having thoroughly LOVED the previous 2 books of this Seires this one was a MUST! After-all, whats the point of starting a series and not seeing it through to its conclusion?
Of the MANY Narators I've listened to Sean Barrett is THE BEST! The emotion, Variety and contrast in voices/characters he is able to bring to life is remarkable!
I feel if there is anything I would have changed in THIS book, it wasn't the case in the previous two, it would have to be the REMOVAL of the JUNK that precceds and ends the 'book'.
It was absolutely useless, un-neccessary and IMHO waste of the Author and Narators / listeners time. It starts by telling you about some or other 'conflict' between people not concerned with the story and then at the end INSISTS on boring you to tears about the same RUBBISH. There is REALLY no rhymn nor reason to ANYONE listening to them.
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