If you want to the final rating on the book and can’t be bothered reading the whole post, scroll to the bottom.
The Left Hand of God, by Paul Hoffman, is about this kid who is supposedly the one who will destroy the world. A skilled fighter, he was brought up in The Sancturary of the Redeemers who train them to be emotionless, thoughtless creatures using a lot of violence and religious bullshit.
The character that develops the most throughout the book is the main character, Thomas Cale. There’s a lot of suspense and action in this book, with the escape from The Sanctuary and that whole journey, and showing off Cale’s fighting skills. It was also interesting to see how, for a 14 year old, his way of thinking is sometimes like a child, and in other things- like planning for war- he is way beyond his years. The book also showed how a change in environment can affect a person’s actions and reactions, and how there are some characterstics at our very core which we cannot change about ourselves, even though our opinions and ideals may evolve. One of the most intriguing characters I found was Kitty the Hare- he’s so evil it creeped my out.
I couldn’t put the book down- it was that good…until the last 5 chapters. Then it just imploded. Really disappointing ending and, in hindsight, the whole escapade and war with the Redeemers dragged on for way too long. I later find out that this book is the first of a planned trilogy, so I would imagine the other characters would develop a bit more in the second book, and parts of the story line in the first book would be better explained. I’m not expecting anything grand though, so I don’t think I’ll be picking it up any time soon.
Rating: Read it if you like books about religious conflicts and fantasy, and trilogies. Otherwise, don’t bother. I give it 2 Oi’s out of 5