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

BOHW smallWarning: Mild Spoilers.

I had a very long break between reading the first two books, which I read as they came out, and this one. As such, it took me a few chapters to re-orientate and re-acquaint myself with the amazing world described by Hoffman.

Having seen lots of mixed reviews before I started it, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I remembered massively enjoying the first two, and I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed this one too. I always enjoy fantasy books which draw heavily on history, which this whole trilogy certainly does. One quirk in particular I enjoyed about this trilogy is the familiar place names, as well as more specifically the fact that they were all jumbled, seemingly just to throw off a reader who thought they had the world figured out.

The plot moved very quickly, and I have to admit it perhaps moved a little too fast at certain points. A specific example might be the campaign after the introduction of the hand cannons. In hindsight however, this served nicely to give a fantastic sense of epic scope with very little effort, while still leaving room for some of the very human interactions between Cale and his companions. The characters were as I remembered them, and I very much enjoyed in particular the sharp distinction between soldier and general, with the emphasis being on the lack of fighting ability of the latter (evidenced by an increasingly feeble Cale).

I felt a full range of emotions reading this book, from dark amusement at the image of a drug-crazed teenager fighting hordes of imaginary foes to the profound sadness at certain deaths. Overall, a great book which left me satisfied with the conclusion of the trilogy, something which is far easier said than done when reaching the climax of a series.

‘The Beating of His Wings’, by Paul Hoffman is the third in the Left Hand of God Trilogy.

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