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Publisher's Summary

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

What listeners say about The Left Hand of God

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    163
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    36
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    16
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    10
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Story
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  • 4 Stars
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  • 3 Stars
    32
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Good Book 1...

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.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Surprising and Unusual Fantasy-Esque is Outstandin

This book is different from others I have read and is extremely good. Unexpected, immersive, fragile, gory, surprising, human, believable, suspenion-of-disbelief-able, and a seriously amazing reader to boot. If you feel unsure, keep going. Second book is the same. Awesome. Dark, hilarious, odd. The 3rd book has a totally different reader and while I'm sure he has his strengths, they didn't suit this series, especially after 25 hours of listening to the same characters read by someone else. This reminded me of The Foundling's Tale trilogy in its uniqueness, though much more gory and sexual in content. Surprising find, a new favorite.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Compelling storyline that goes its own way.

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.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

An enjoyable read

I struggled about halfway through this book but the last couple of chapters did make up for it. I didn't really enjoy the main character or his romance but the politics and military aspects I did enjoy.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

slow at first.

it started off slow and I thought I was going to have to struggle to get through it. but it is a story that builds in its excitement and action. a lot of obvious Boy Meets Girl. but it does try not to overdo it

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story great narration

This book was a pleasant surprise. If you like Abercrombie, Lynch, and Martin. This is for you. Narration was superb.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyed every minute

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.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Very good, not perfect, but none are.

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.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story. Good depth

Very interesting story, I love the concept. The rearranging of the world landscape is kind of interesting. Overall good book. Look forward to the next.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

I'd give it a B- or a C+

It was an interesting story but I am not the biggest fan of the third person omniscient writing style. I wouldn't say the writing was bad (though it could be a little cringe at times) it just wasn't my style. I don't like the convenience that it gives where information can be thrown at us without former explanation or build-up. There are many times in the story where something would happen for plot convenience and there would be an immediate explanation as if the author had just thought of the idea, put it in the story, and then had to justify it to themselves. It just felt a little cheap at times. That's my biggest criticism of this book. This isn't really criticism but more of a statement but I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone who is religious. It feels like the author has some sort of vendetta against Christianity as how closely it resembles the faith yet how cruelly it portrays its believers. I personally didn't have a problem with it but I can see how it could really rub people the wrong way. I think it would have been a wiser choice by the author to distance themselves from modern day faiths and come up with something more original and still keep that cruelty.