The Left Hand of God  

The Left Hand of God
by Paul Hoffman

This book is very different from your average fantasy novel. For instance, it is debatable whether or not it is set in the real world although I assume it is as it mentions such cities as Memphis and events such as the Reformation.

It is the story of one Thomas Cale who lives in the Great Sanctuary of the Redeemers although there is very little sanctuary and even less redemption! The Redeemers are strict believers in what appears to be a form of Christianity and Cale is one of thousands of acolytes, who are deprived of luxuries and live on a diet of disgusting though highly nutritious cake known as dead man’s feet.

The Redeemers are not just monks but one of the leading military powers in the land, with a large army.

When Cale delivers a message to the Lord of Discipline, he finds him dissecting two pretty teenage girls – one of whom he manages to save. Girls are not allowed in the Sanctuary so Cale had never seen one before.

He fights and slays the Lord, running away with two of his fellow acolytes – Kliest and Vague, along with the surviving girl. The second-in-command to the High Redeemer, Lord Bosco, orders that Cale must survive – the rest of the party’s lives are of no consequence. But why is Cale’s life so important?

I enjoyed this book although I would not recommend it to anybody below 13 because of the foul language.

While there are plenty of surprises, the author strangely clouds some things in mystery that do not really excite when revealed.

Having said this, I shall be looking forward to reading the next of the series.

Review by John King, aged 14