Paul Hoffman's novel of astonishing scope and imagination, featuring a darkly gifted teenage boy at the center of a brutal holy war, grabs the reader from its incredible opening lines and refuses to let go. The Left Hand of God is the first novel in an epic, ambitious trilogy that will prove irresistible to the readers who have turned the Inheritance Cycle, Twilight, and the His Dark Materials series into publishing phenomena.
The Left Hand of God is the story of 16-year-old Thomas Cale, who has grown up imprisoned at the Sanctuary of the Redeemers, a fortress run by a secretive sect of warrior monks in a distant, dystopian past. He is one of thousands of boys who train all day in hand-to-hand combat, in preparation for a holy war that only the High Priests know is now imminent. He has no reason to think he's special, no idea there's another world outside the compound's walls, and no hope for a life any different from the one he already knows. And then, Cale opens a door.
What follows is a daring escape, an unlikely alliance, a desperate pursuit, a journey of incredible discovery, and an adventure the likes of which Cale could never possibly have imagined, culminating in Cale's astonishing realization that he alone has the power to save his world - or to destroy it.
©2010 Paul Hoffman (P)2010 Penguin
Very happy to listen to an interesting story that strays from the tried and true. Not quite as dark as much of the new adult fantasy reads, this book still has a sense of realism of character and emotion drawing upon some of the uglier parts of the human condition (Sorry to say "human condition" in a review, but it fits).
The story is told by an abstract, somewhat snarky omniscient narrator (a bit like a college professor)--which I kind of enjoyed (although the narrator's influence/presence waxes and wanes throughout the book).
The story follows the life and trials of a young boy who you are introduced to as an acolyte in a fanatical religious compound.
The story is creative and engaging and kept me captivated from start to finish.
This is a good book 1, but there better be a next book! This one leaves you with that oh-so familiar feeling of incompleteness at the end like a good series should. So for the authors sake I hope he doesn't leave us hanging for too long.
And for those like me that got sceptical from the title, don't worry it's not about religion, well it's not preaching religion anyway.
Paid reviewers, after two weeks get 4-8 votes and have that power to strike unhelpful against others. Check their history! Your money!
I enjoyed every minute. There are very few books I can say that about. I am surprised more people have not read it. I guess I like books on the extreme ends of mood. I like very optimistic books or books where whatever you do it is the wrong thing. Robin Hobb and Orson Scott Card often write books like the later. This has the flavor of something Hobb and George R. R. Martin might write together. One phrase from the book goes " The solution to every problem is always another problem."
The books starts out with some kids who have never known there parents and are being raised in a monastery where they are beaten, starved and told they are sinners. A typical meal on a good day would be dead man's feet. Rats are considered a delicacy.
The main character is a trained killer. There are several intense moments and you will feel them.
If you liked Gargoyle, I believe you will like this. If you like Card, Hobb or Martin you will like this. I have a new favorite author.
Very captivating, unique story, with both likable, and hatable characters. Overall a good book, though I would liked to have seen more fighting, and the action there was seemed a little less than exciting, but a book I'm glad to have listened to, and recommend it to fans of fantasy.
I have just finished this peak experience my third time around and every time I have come away with new insights that tweak several facets of my philosophy of life, the notion of death, and both common and cruel and nefarious elements of the human condition.
As for Steve West, he is not a boisterous and flamboyant narrator, not one of those. He's a subtlely captivating and mesmerizing storyteller whose smooth and silky voice draws you in, lulls you, and weaves threads of all colors and textures to create a tapestry depicting love, disloyalty, kindness, despair and cynicism, in some places all in one breath. I wish he would perform more lit in this category.
Listen to it.
The book moves at a snails pace. The characters are under-developed and the continuation from the first book (which was bad) is tenuous.
Yes. Exhaustingly slow.
this is by far one of the best books I have ever listen to or read. well written intelligent powerful and rather thought provoking and believable.
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