Once in a great while I've picked up a novel so wholly original and entertaining that I'm caught up in the world the author creates and do not want to leave it. Paul Hoffman's The Left Hand of God (Dutton, June) was such a book for me. Think George R.R. Martin, Patrick Rothfuss, Joe Abercrombie. No boy in living memory has ever escaped from the Sanctuary of the Redeemers and lived to tell the tale. Thousands of orphaned boys under the age of 10 are brought to this isolated fortress to be trained by warrior monks in an atmosphere of deprivation and cruelty. Only half of them survive the monks' brutal discipline to reach the age of military service. When Thomas Cale witnesses the Master of Discipline performing unspeakable acts on a young girl, he reacts instinctively—fatally wounding the man. Now he knows he must escape or die. A riveting, powerful tale, with irresistible characters, humor, and a brilliantly imagined world.