Book Review: ‘The Beating of His Wings’ by Paul Hoffman

Posted: 8 June 2016 in Book reviews
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In the last part of The Left Hand of God trilogy, the war they’ve all been trying to avoid is almost upon them. And they could not be any less prepared.

Cale’s condition has degraded significantly and he is sent to an asylum on the Island of Cyprus. His condition doesn’t really improve as his soul is dying. After he is nearly assassinated, and saved by Kitty the Hare’s henchmen, he is forced to leave the Priory. His return finds Vague Henri and Kleist about to be killed by Kitty (he rescues them most dramatically), and Switzerland is gearing up for an attack by the Redeemers.

In the beginning, Cale is kept from having any role in the war due to Conn Materazzi’s utter dislike for Cale. After a devastating loss by Conn’s forces, Cale is given undeserved credit (credit was due to a woman and Cale’s lover no less) and is given the lead. Their challenge is a massive lack of soldiers. To survive against the Redeemers, Cale implements a plan he’s had milling about in his head using ordinary citizens and their tools. Their training and other radical new weapons and techniques prove to halt the advancing Redeemer army after they cross the Mississippi river. Despite their initial success, when they suffer their first losses, Cale’s presence, and/or the perception of his presence, gives the ‘soldiers’ the motivation they need to keep fighting.

Through Cale’s leadership, the Redeemers are pushed back to the one place Cale, Vague Henri, and Kleist never expected to return to: the Sanctuary. Once outside the walls, they find the Sanctuary to be impregnable. This is the last stand for both sides. Who will win? Will Cale finally put an end to the Redeemers tyrannical destruction of mankind? Or will the Redeemers succeed and wipe out humanity?

My Thoughts

It has taken me a while, but I finally finished the last book in this series. It’s a good feeling to come to the end of a journey. All the pieces finally come back together for a final showdown. But if I were to be truthful, this book, like the second one, doesn’t live up to the first in the series.

The ending of this series was fairly anti-climatic. Sadly. With Cale being some incarnation of God’s anger and the Redeemers being so strong, you’d think there would be an epic climax. Not really. This doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the book. It was very clever. It was interesting to see how despite Cale’s decaying soul/body, he still pressed forward stubbornly. It was a bit odd seeing this kid who was so strong suddenly be a shadow of that. If anything, I guess it shows that people can achieve anything regardless of their obstacles. There were moments in the story where I worried it was going to slow down, but those moments were short-lived and the story picked up shortly thereafter.

There really isn’t much to say about the characters. Most of them have appeared in the first two books. There are a couple minor additions to the cast, such as Diedre (assassin), Cadbury (henchman for Kitty), the Trevor’s (contracted to kill Cale), and Artemisia of Halicarnassus (Cale’s lover and an undervalued general).

The writing over the three books has been fairly consistent. It can get somewhat confusing at times with the sentence structure, but otherwise it’s a pretty understandable read.

If I were to put the books in an order of preference it would be the first, the third, and then the second. The series is enjoyable in it’s own way. So if you’ve read the first two books, you might as well finish up the series. Enjoy 😉

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