The Left Hand of God by Paul Hoffman

June 28, 2010
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The Left Hand of God
Paul Hoffman

Dutton
6-28-10
Hardcover/372 pages
ISBN: 978-0-525-95131-5
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". . . a complex and intricate world of mores and morals with a main character who is an enigma to the end."

Dark fantasy with a religious twist that balances good and evil, war and peace.

Cale is a warrior in training with the Redeemers. He was brought to them in the midst of a dry, desolate land as a young child and subjected to the worst the Redeemers had to dish out: vicious cruelty and narrow-minded religious beliefs. He was starved and punished and took it all without complaint until he and two of his friends stumbled onto a hidden world where food was plentiful and women, those forbidden vessels of all sin, were pampered like princesses.

What he stumbles into next puts him on a collision course with destiny. Die or escape to the wider world.

Religious zealots out to change the world by fire and sword for their god is a hot topic and Paul Hoffman makes it hotter with his choices of characters and the world he builds in The Left Hand of God. What begins in a brutal training camp where young boys are raised to fight a holy war that will bring about the end of the world and translate all to heaven where God will sort out winners and losers takes a turn into a more ordered and sane world with its own pits of despair and gardens of wonder.

Hoffman has created a believable premise in a complex and intricate world of mores and morals with a main character who is an enigma to the end. Even Cale does not know the true extent of his worth to the Redeemers or why they would set the world to burn just to return him to the fold. The Left Hand of God is not a tame beginning to a bloated series but a first gambit of sharply crafted sentences leading to a much bigger and more complex end game that turns the world on its ear. Cale is the shadowy, mysterious heart of a monumental dark fantasy that combines the elements of the martial arts, romance and human emotions into a world of infinite possibilities in the hands of a master storyteller.

Reviewer: J. M. Cornwell

 

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