Caine Black Knife by Matthew Woodring Stover
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I have nothing bad to say about this novel except that it is a scaled down and streamlined version of the previous two novels. Assume you're taking our favorite badass, Caine, and developing a subplot that was teased in the previous novel about the Black Knife Clans, where Caine was made a blood-brother to a bunch of orcs, and run with it.
We've got the backstory where he made enemies of them when he was just starting out as as an Actir making huge ratings and long after that, indeed, several years after the events of the previous novel, where he takes on yet another god while being hounded by another that *loves* him. *shudder*
It's quick and it's fun and it has everything we love while reading Caine, including a bit more of him from first person, of which we had a taste in the previous, but not a lot. That means we can get lied to. A lot. Which is fine, because we can always fall back on Caine's Laws to know exactly where he stands.
Some characters are so well known that they become a force of nature. That's where Caine stands for me, too. I know I'm not alone.
This novel is a straight character novel, so don't expect huge revelations and twists like in the previous two. The scale is much, much reduced, but that doesn't mean it isn't fun. It's more in the nature of a great action novel with a beloved character we all know well, doing what he does best.
The best part is, for all it's apparent normalcy in a fantasy field that is full of similar feels, it's *still* better than most. I could read this stuff forever. It's just that good. :)
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