The Last Four Things provided an excellent read. The author provides a rich tapestry that weaves together story, characters, and place.
Central to the story (as with The Left Hand of God) is Thomas Cale and he personifies the story. The naivet‚ of youth, combined with a brilliance for strategy (and violence), while, I think, at the heart of who he is, he would like to be other than what he was molded to be. Even so, he is resignedly at peace with being the personification of "the wrath of God" as he is labeled by his mentor.
There are also Bosco (the Redeemer who had molded/mentored Thomas), Vague Henri (another boy raised by the Redeemers and who, even so, acts as a "lighter" reflection of Thomas), Kleist (who left them behind and who couldn't escape his upbringing).
They blend into the storyline and Bosco's machinations - which are tied into Thomas' abilities and are used against him - and what he would like to see done.
Dark, gripping, and a read that was hard to put down.
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?