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. Judgment. 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?
We also get to see more of the people of this world through Kleitze experiences and the battles between Redeemers and other nations/people. As before, Hoffman's strength lies in the description and detail of battles. His characterisation of the main characters is excellent and their actions remain true to the characters. My favourite moments of this book have been the interaction between Vague Henri and Cale - which shows a more boyish side to the later. I'm intrigued by the plot twists, characters and the world Hoffman has created and definitely am looking forward to the third book to see how this story develops.
My only fault is regarding female characters - there were a couple of good developed female characters in this book but considering the underlying theme concerning women and how pivotal it seems this is going to be in the future plot - more strong female characters would be nice. That being said, this is a high military fantasy set in a world where women seem to be worthless (and soulless) so it does make sense from character's perspective.
I can't wait for the next book in this series, especially with the cliff-hanger ending so I sincerely recommend reading this series to anyone!