Caine's Law by Matthew Woodring Stover
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This latest novel that just came out a few years ago is still a high quality Caine adventure, but there's a new twist.
He's being ridden by a god. He's still the badass that everyone fears (and respects), but he prefers to go by other names and live by his own slightly milder agenda. He wants to be left alone. He wants to not need to kill people.
Of course, he has the gratitude of a god and near unlimited power to wield in the name of chaos and pure severing, all of which he doesn't want, so in all real effects, this novel is the tale of a wandering reluctant cleric, and NOT of the master assassin that just doesn't give a fuck about who he kills as long as he saves the ones he loves.
Don't get me wrong. This is also a novel of growing up even after you're past age 50. It also happens to be another of a great revenge novel, a smite your ass novel, and the trickling after effects of a GENOCIDE from the previous novel.
It also happens to be full of fantastic revelations like the first two, rife with not just fantasy and SF worlds, but also a ton of time travel and that peculiar black oil that makes people's heads explode on command. Gotta love that shit. This old man still knows how to kill gods.
My only complaint, strangely enough, is that I think I might have preferred to read a clever editing of both the 3rd and 4th novels combined as one. That way we can have the full force of the great fighting scenes, the rising tension and genocide, right up against the wall of Caine's becoming.
Sure, it would be one hell of a long novel, but that's not too different from the first two, and together, 3 and 4 make an explosively awesome tale that yet again outdoes the predecessors in scale and implication.
I love fulfilled expectations. This is doing it. Totally cool shit.
I won't lie and say it's the end-all of all SF and Fantasy, because it isn't. But it is a (relatively) quiet exploration of good and evil, forgiveness and permission, the wounds that make up a person, memory, and justice. It's still smart as hell and doesn't flinch at asking the really hard questions. It's not just good action and plot and characters. It's philosophical in just the right tone as to not get pedantic.
Okay, let's face it, Caine can't get pedantic. He'd probably kill your ass before he finished trying to make his point. :)
I absolutely loved seeing the dragon fly over the studios. Righteous. :)
Oh yeah, and horse witch?
Yeah. I love her loads. What a character she is! What romance! :) I kept thinking of the timey-wimey stuff from Doctor Who and Dr. River Song. :)
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