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The Left Hand of God Hardcover – June 15, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
The book's protagonist is Thomas Cale, an orphan in the care of the Redeemers. The Redeemers are a sinister, reclusive religious order that stress penitence & punishment (also torture and the occasional bout of pedophilia). Although the orphans are cut off from the world, it doesn't take much for Thomas to figure out that the abandoned kids are being trained into an army of killers.
The first part of the book (and probably the best), takes place in the Sanctuary. Cale and his friends scuttle around like rats - survival is their only goal. Oddly, I've always enjoyed the opening "before the prophecy happens" sections of high fantasy epics, and this is a pretty good one. Compared to Garion's kitchen or Frodo's farm, Cale's miserable orphanage is quite a change.
Fortunately for them (and unfortunately for the reader), Cale and his friends manage to escape. The latter two-thirds of the book take place in the trading city of Memphis, the vague capital of an Venetian-like trading empire. Cale works his way up the ranks and somehow gets mixed up in the local politics. Eventually, predictably, we learn that everything revolves around him, and some prophecies come into play. Whew.
Unfortunately, the book relies too much on pace and energy, and not enough on plot, character development and good old-fashioned world-building.Read more ›
The novel sounds intriguing enough, and Hoffman's book does deliver on a number of the points described in the synopsis for the U.S. edition, but overall, The Left Hand of God falls desperately short in three key ways.
The first failure has to do with point of view. While the synopsis indicates that Cale is the main character, Hoffman's writing fails to adequately display that, almost as if Hoffman didn't seem to know who the book was supposed to be about either. The first quarter of the book does focus on Cale, but the rest of the novel switches randomly from POV to POV to give the reader the thoughts of basically anyone in the room at that moment, or even people who are completely insignificant to the actual plot. None of this is done between chapters, which might have been okay, but within chapters, sometimes between paragraphs, and sometimes between sentences. One second we're hearing Cale's inner thoughts, and the next it's someone else. And before you can grow used to the transition, Hoffman switches again.Read more ›
1. The novel embraces numerous of fantasy's worst cliches. The main character is an orphan with amazing abilities and he falls in love with the most beautiful and famous girl in the world. Although they have only one or two short dailogues together, they are both so attractive that they have relations and fall in love. It doesnt matter that she is the daughter of the most powerful man in the world and he is a 14 year old orphan without a job, education, or interpersonal skills. Cale, the main character, is also the best fighter in the world. The explanation given is that he had a terrible skull fracture and when it healed he could tell how people were going to attack him before it happened. So the 14 year old boy beats the most famous and skilled adult warriors in the land in a series of duels. Not only is he the best warrior in the world, he is also a peerless military strategist. He devises the military strategy the main "bad" army uses by reading through decades of military history. When he is then on the side of the "good" army, they use him to devise a counter-stratgey to the one that he invented which the "bad" army is employing. Again, an amazing 14 year old. Twice in the novel when confronted with medical situations, the doctors in the book are baffled when it comes to healing. Once again, Cale steps in and also is more trained in the healing arts than the physicians. Finally, when the brother of the girl he loves is shunned as a simpleton because he is deaf, Cale again steps in. This time it is because he learned sign language in a previous flashback.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I thought the writing was quite strong which is unusual in the black-cloaked, sword-carrying genre. I also enjoyed Hoffman's incredibly imaginative world. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Travelmel
I enjoyed the story for the most part with, for me, unsatisfactory turn at the endPublished 2 months ago by Deb Greene
Previously published at TheQwillery.com
I've been wanting to read this book for a while now, but as we all do from time to time I passed on it for other books. Read more
Writing is horrible, even if the story is somewhat intriguing. Dialogue is stilted. Characters are one note, love happens for zero reason other than it has to for the paper thin... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Nicholas Paul Shepherd
I really enjoyed this whole series. The audiobook versions were well read and highly entertaining.Published 6 months ago by David Greaves
I have several elements in this book I really really dislike but as a whole the first of this trilogy is okey whereas the following two is kind of crap. Read morePublished 8 months ago by llamas
I received a copy of this book through the First Reads program on Goodreads.com. At first, I wasn't sure if I was going to like the book or really even what to expect after reading... Read morePublished 9 months ago by C. Jefferson