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The Last Four Things (Left Hand of God Trilogy 2) Paperback – 16 Feb 2012


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The Last Four Things (Left Hand of God Trilogy 2) + The Beating of his Wings (Left Hand of God Trilogy 3) + The Left Hand of God: 1/3 (Sanctuary of Redeemers series)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; Re-issue edition (16 Feb 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141042397
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141042398
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Paul Hoffman's newest novel, "The Left Hand Of God", certainly delivers the terrible goods. . . .There's gloom aplenty here, but it's tempered by a sly wit, complex characters, and a narrative engine that grinds all objections to dust. . . . [An] epic tale, full of grand passions that twist in the hand like a knife blade." -"The Onion A.V. Club" "Clever phrasing and innate humor . . . this novel will make a rousing next step for fans of Terry Goodkind, R. A. Salvatore, and their ilk." -"Library Journal" "A riveting tale of pursuit, derring-do, battles, and death...a rousing trilogy-opener...a sweeping tale of intrigue and warfare-for teens who like that sort of thing (many)." -"Booklist" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Paul Hoffman is the author of three previous novels, The Left Hand of God (2010), The Golden Age of Censorship (2007), a black comedy based on his experiences as a film censor and The Wisdom of Crocodiles (2000), which predicted the collapse of the world financial system.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Shelagh on 30 May 2011
Format: Paperback
**Warning: As this is the second book in a trilogy this review may contain spoilers for those who have not read the first one, The Left Hand of God.**

I had mixed feelings after finishing the first book in this series, The Left Hand of God. I enjoyed the world that Paul Hoffman has created and was intrigued by Thomas Cale, the violent and unpredictable young man at the heart of the story. But I wasn't entirely sure I liked how The Left Hand of God had ended. So I was very excited when I received The Last Four Things for review to see what had become of Cale and his friends.

But first a note on the book's cover - I like it. The blue light backlighting the hooded and armed warrior as he advances into the darkness of the foreground fits in well with the Redeemers' outlook. And especially with their view of Cale as God's wrath incarnate.

Paul Hoffman has created a fantasy world that draws strongly on the "real" world for its names and culture. But it's the way he has combined these elements that makes this world different. Medieval culture exists beside ancient Greek and so on. I found that the references to civilizations and places I know made it easier to submerge myself in Hoffman's world. His writing style is easy and there are some great turns of phrase throughout The Last Four Things.

The religion of The Hanged Redeemer plays a crucial role in this series. It shapes the characters and many of their decisions and actions in one way or another. Again Hoffman has drawn on the history of Christianity and used elements to create something familiar, but dark and unsettling at the same time. The politics and infighting that is an intrinsic part of any such large organisation allows Hoffman to introduce subplots and greater complications.
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Parm TOP 500 REVIEWER on 11 Jun 2011
Format: Hardcover
"The Last Four Things"
So how does the sequel to "The Left Hand of God" fare? I think for a lot of people it will have a similar marmite effect, it is one of those books that leaps and bounds around the imagination, pulling references from the literary world willy-nilly EG: Edmund Spencer's A view of the present state of Ireland, to show a description of starvation (which Hoffman does in gruesome fashion), the king James bible, a Boer war training manual and many more. As well as ideas from historical references and a geographical elasticity that just boggles the mind, Spanish Leeds being just one example a story that is laced with cynicism at so many elements of society and religion. In this book there is also a heavy dose of cynicism aimed at the ease of propaganda and its use in society to tip the balance of power to any intended use.

I have read reviews that state the characters are flat and some of the prose ill formed, I personally have to disagree, I have found that the characters are growing well with the books, there is a very dark dangerous brooding character to Cale, and Vague Henry and Kleist really are growing as individuals in this book with unique characters that really shine out from the page, if they are less dynamic than Cale it feels deliberate to me because what else could they be when this attention black hole enters the room/ page.

For me this is one of the most original fantasy series in many years, I have been put off fantasy in many ways since the death of David Gemmell, and this is one of the few authors able to drag me back.

I highly recommend this to anyone who likes their fantasy, their dark novels, and also to those fans of Historical fiction who like to dabble in fantasy...but you MUST read left hand of God before this book, it is the one weakness that the books really cannot be read in isolation. (Parm)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Procrastinators rule in a minute on 15 Jan 2014
Format: Paperback
In case you hasn't got the message in TLOFG, Thomas Cale is an Angry Young Man. He pulls lots of angry faces and gets so angry, he turns into a fifteen year old military genius in battle. In all fairness, he has been trained for his entire life to be a military genius, so if he wasn't, OFSTED would surely be placing Redeemer Psychopath school, or The Sanctuary, in Special Measures for not ensuring students were set challenging enough targets.

I'm going to restrain myself somewhat, because I have to remind myself that this is a YA book, therefore can't really be subject to the same criticism adults books receive. The prose is very simple and falls into the same trap writers of 1000 page plus novels often fall into: repeating the same ideas/plot over and over again. Except this isn't 1000 pages, so it really doesn't need to.

I read the book fairly quickly, so apologies if there was more to it than an endless round of battles and some half-arsed attempts to develop intrigue. I keep feeling that Hoff has enough material for a much longer novel, as nothing is ever developed: Oh, so in this quasi-mediaeval society you've discovered atoms, have you. WTF? Tell me there's a proper explanation for that in book 3.

We don't see so many descriptions of the girls this time, although being pregnant they appear to have lost their sexuality and personailties entirely. Way to put women firmly in their place; cheers. Again, I get the clumsy redemption ideas at play here: fatherless, abused boys becoming fathers in turn, but it still feels as though too many ideas are being thrown into the pot and not developed.
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