Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Left Hand of God

Thomas Cale is being raised in the Hogwarts from Hell, the Sanctuary.  The Sanctuary is an orphanage/training camp for the young acolytes of the Redeemers, warrior monks tasked by God to wipe out non-believers and infidels.  Cale is the star pupil of The Lord Militant Reedemer Bosco, which means he is drilled on military strategies and other points of Redeemer doctrine mercilessly and savagely punished for infractions, real or imagined.  Cale is hardened after 14 (or 15, no one has been counting) years of living in the Sanctuary, survival instincts honed to perfection.  He is clever, fearless, and ruthless.

While Cale is a warrior-in-training with the mindset of the toughest prisoner, he is still a brave teenage boy.  Although he tries to rebuff any friendly overtures in the name of survival, he reluctantly becomes friends with Kleist and Vague Henri, both warriors-in-training themselves.  A series of events allow Cale to use his survival skills for good and rescue an innocent teen girl, Riba, and escape The Sanctuary with Kleist and Vague Henri.

And so the odd foursome begins truly begins their adventure.  It is a strange and gripping journey to survive the Redeemers who seek them and also survive the politics and intrigue of the city that takes them in, Memphis.  Four teenagers, three trained killers, are put to use by the politicians and ruling class of Memphis, the Materazzi, and have to put the survival skills they learned under the watchful eyes of the Redeemers to good use against the schemers of Memphis high society.

But this is truly the story of Cale, a survivor. He shakes up the Materazzi by challenging their pecking order, wooing the most beautiful girl in the city, and brashly showing the revered military leaders how they must fight The Redeemers if they want to win.  But his sheer ability to survive foreshadows something special about Cale, something the Redeemers want back.

Hoffman writes amazing scenes of battle and intrigue, full of violence and gore.  He creates layers upon layers of Redeemer history and lore and builds an entire Memphis society.  Cale is a multi-dimensional teen killer – raging hormones and ice-cold blood running through his veins.

The Left Hand of God is a fantasy adventure with loads of appeal for a reluctant fantasy fan like me. Cale is the ultimate bad boy. He takes a lot of pride in being smart, as well as completely ruthless and fans of badass but sexy vampires and werewolves might find his character intriguing.

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