The Last Four Things

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The epic story of Thomas Cale-introduced so memorably in The Left Hand of God--continues as the Redeemers use his prodigious gifts to further their sacred goal: the extinction of humankind and the end of the world.

To the warrior-monks known as the Redeemers, who rule over massive armies of child slaves, "the last four things" represent the culmination of a faithful life. Death. Judgement. Heaven. Hell. The last four things represent eternal ...

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The Last Four Things (Left Hand of God Series #2)

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Overview


The epic story of Thomas Cale-introduced so memorably in The Left Hand of God--continues as the Redeemers use his prodigious gifts to further their sacred goal: the extinction of humankind and the end of the world.

To the warrior-monks known as the Redeemers, who rule over massive armies of child slaves, "the last four things" represent the culmination of a faithful life. Death. Judgement. Heaven. Hell. The last four things represent eternal bliss-or endless destruction, permanent chaos, and infinite pain.

Perhaps nowhere are the competing ideas of heaven and hell exhibited more clearly than in the dark and tormented soul of Thomas Cale. Betrayed by his beloved but still marked by a child's innocence, possessed of a remarkable aptitude for violence but capable of extreme tenderness, Cale will lead the Redeemers into a battle for nothing less than the fate of the human race. And though his broken heart foretells the bloody trail he will leave in pursuit of a personal peace he can never achieve, a glimmer of hope remains. The question even Cale can't answer: When it comes time to decide the fate of the world, to ensure the extermination of humankind or spare it, what will he choose? To express God's will on the edge of his sword, or to forgive his fellow man-and himself?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this underwhelming sequel to 2010's The Left Hand of God, escaped acolyte Thomas Cale is captured and returned to the forbidding Sanctuary, a massive fortress run by a sect of cruel monks who train their young male charges to become soldiers in their ongoing war against the Antagonists. Impressed by the darkly gifted young Cale, the Redeemer Bosco continues molding him to become the Angel of Death who will bring about the end of the world. As Cale becomes a renowned military leader and his mythical stature grows, he remains deeply troubled by personal questions, namely the betrayal of the beautiful Arbell Materazzi. While readers will be impressed by the depth of the setting and the elaborate action sequences, the lack of any substantial character development other than Cale's fretting over his insecurities leaves this installment with a classic case of middle book syndrome. (Aug.)
Library Journal
Death, judgment, heaven, and hell are the title concerns in this follow-up to The Left Hand of God. The jilted Thomas Cale has somewhat accepted his destiny as the "anger of God," the leader of Redeemer forces that will rid the earth of the rival Antagonists and their allies. His mentor Bosco twists Cale's skills to his own means, while Cale's friends try to extract him from the fray before he brings the whole world to conflagration. Rival Kleist finds love with a utilitarian girl from the scavenging Klephts, but his leadership may change her people in ways that are ultimately dangerous. VERDICT Hoffman mixes cynical farce with military fantasy action to raucous effect. This is a big step forward from his debut, with great battle scenes and graveyard, cackle-inducing black humor. It flags only in the last 50 pages, where attempts to prepare the way for the trilogy's final book are disjointed from the rest of the plot. Hoffman's ongoing depictions of degraded, objectified women may not sit well with some readers. [See Prepub Alert, 2/14/11.]—Neil Hollands, Williamsburg Regional Lib., VA
Kirkus Reviews

Second installment of Hoffman's bleak, ultra-violent pseudo-medieval trilogy, followingThe Left Hand of God(2010).

Redeemer General Bosco deems tormented boy-warrior Thomas Cale the Angel of Death, a suitable tool to help Bosco conquer the world, wipe out humanity and thus redeem it. Cale accepts the role, part of which involves a scheme to make Bosco the successor to the ailing Pope, despite numerous better-placed rivals. Scorning the brainwashed child-rabble that serves as the Redeemer army, Bosco helps Cale form a small but far more thoughtful and accomplished cadre of troops. After a few demonstrations of Cale's berserker skills, these Purgators believe in Cale utterly. One of them even invents gunpowder. Despite Cale's battlefield victories, the Redeemers still have powerful enemies, most consequentially the Laconics, who employ highly trained pederast mercenaries; Cale's engagement with them, the book's most significant battle, reenacts one that actually occurred during the Boer War. Beautiful Arbell Materazzi, Cale's lover and betrayer, complicates matters. Of Cale's former companions, Kleist enjoys adventures of his own, while Vague Henri eventually turns up accompanied by much jolly banter. Plotwise, that's about it. This time, the tone is predominantly grumpy. Hoffman continues to throw in random geographic references, mostly for comic relief (Spanish Leeds, for example, is in Switzerland). For the rest, readers will observe the erudite advantages conferred by an Oxford education, while the gnarled chunks of verbatim theology can only be interpreted as the author's grim attempt to manage the rage engendered by an overly zealous religious upbringing.

Less a novel than a fictionalized dissertation on angst.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525952183
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/4/2011
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 1.26 (d)

Meet the Author


Paul Hoffman studied English at New College, Oxford before becoming a senior film censor at the British Board of Film Classification. He lives in the United Kingdom. The Left Hand of God is the first in trilogy following Cale.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 29 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(11)

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(5)

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(3)

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(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    a fascinating action-packed quest fantasy

    The cruel Redeemer warrior monks capture acolyte Thomas Cale who had escaped from their Sanctuary. No one leaves the Redeemers. Meanwhile the Redeemers continue to indoctrinate and train their young males as expendable foot soldiers to fight their enemy the Antagonists.

    Redeemer Bosco sees special skills In Cale. He trains the lad personally to become the Angel of Death who will end the world. Over time Cale becomes a famous military leader who takes the fight to the enemy winning victory after victory as he closes in on the Redeemer vision of humanity's extinction. However, in spite of his fame, he never moved pass the betrayal of his beloved Arbell Materazzi.

    The sequel to The Left Hand of God is a fascinating action-packed quest fantasy as readers learn more of the Redeemer philosophy based on The Last Four Things in life start with death and eternal judgment on the worthlessness of mankind and the worthiness (or not) of a human. In spite of all the escapades confronting "I'm not worthy" (with a nod to Wayne's World) Cale, the overarching plot moves very little yet is well worth reading by those who perused the first entry.

    Harriet Klausner

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Back to the world of Cale...

    Cale is with Redeemer Bosco again at the Sanctuary, the place he escaped from not even a year ago. Bosco acts different with Cale now, as Bosco believes Cale to be the flesh of Gods anger with humanity. Bosco has much planned for Cale and Cale is working with him as he doesn't seem to have any other choice.

    After reading The Left Hand of God I wanted to read this book. There was great setup and creation in the first book with the Redeemers and Thomas Cale and his friends. There is an audience for this book, but I'm sorry to say I don't think I'm in that group. I struggled with this book. I felt as the first 100 pages where very confusing, well, not confusing as much as straying. We are on the main path of the story then off the story went with the side characters telling us about them and their history. I wanted to stay on track with Cale and the main story line. In this writing style I found myself forgetting what was happening. When Bosco talked with Cale I was lost. They seemed to talk in circles around each other, which is what I expect them to do knowing their history. The lines fell flat for me, which again the characters are raised this way so it is true to character. But for me I struggled with it.

    I worked my way to a little over half way and still felt I wasn't getting much from the story. I don't like to not finish books, but this one I stopped. I may someday come back to try and finish, but felt best to let go now.

    I found myself falling asleep while trying to read it, like I do with historical reads. So maybe if you are a fantasy fan who enjoy historical reads, you might enjoy this trilogy as well.

    I hate giving bad reviews, and I do hope others enjoy this series. If you have tried it and enjoyed it I would love to hear from you.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 29, 2011

    Good read but a little slow in places.

    Overall this book picks up on the events of Left Hand of God very well. While i thoroughly enjoyed it, the places in the world described were a little too familiar and made it difficult to accept. The author is influenced heavily by events that have occurred in history, shuc as the Reformation, the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition to name a few. Cale is the quinticential anti-hero and I cannot wait for the next book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 16, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This was an exceptionally well written, and easy to read book.

    This was an exceptionally well written, and easy to read book.

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  • Posted November 26, 2012

    really good book, less character development and more of a focus

    really good book, less character development and more of a focus on the military aspects of the redeemer's war, can't wait for the third book!

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  • Posted March 29, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I found several grammatical errors in this book, especially in r

    I found several grammatical errors in this book, especially in regard to missing commas. Other than that, I found the writing style to be too flowery for my tastes. I also could not get interested in the characters or the storyline. I just don't think this was my type of book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2011

    Perfect

    I loved all the battles and strategies, one of my favorite series. Cant wait for the next one.

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