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Caine Black Knife

The Third of the Acts of Caine (Act of Atonement, Book One)
Narrated by: Stefan Rudnicki
Series: Acts of Caine, Book 3
Length: 13 hrs and 55 mins
5 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In Heroes Die and Blade of Tyshalle, Matthew Stover created a new kind of fantasy novel and a new kind of hero to go with it: Caine, a street thug turned superstar, battling in a future where reality shows take place in another dimension, on a world where magic exists and gods are up close and personal. In that beautiful, savage land, Caine is an assassin without peer, a living legend born from one of the highest-rated reality shows ever made. That season, Caine almost single-handedly defeated – and all but exterminated – the fiercest of all tribes: the Black Knives. But the shocking truth of what really took place during that blood-drenched adventure has never been revealed....until now.

Thirty years later, Caine returns to the scene of his greatest triumph – some would say greatest crime – at the request of his adopted brother, Orbek, the last of the true Black Knives. But where Caine goes, danger follows, and he soon finds himself back in familiar territory: fighting for his life against impossible odds, with the fate of two worlds hanging in the balance. Just the way Caine likes it.

©2008 Matthew Stover (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"[A] twisty plot with intense violence and a strong narrative voice.... Stover has a gift for brutal, detailed action sequences, and Caine is at his most enthralling when he's fighting or discussing tactics." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Arthur
  • 05-03-2012

Not a finished piece

In my opinion, this novel is not a finished piece. The length is less than half the previous two books. While not definitive, the book just ended leaving too much unresolved. It is an obvious segue way into more books in the series, but more than that, it leaves you the feeling that the book was rushed to publication unfinished just to get something out the door.

While, in general, I enjoy the series as it is well written and a unique concept, this book was a major stumble. The protagonist has devolved from a tough, self assured winner to a self pitying loser (at least in this portion). Perhaps if the book had been finished, we would be seeing a different outcome.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • DeathRattle
  • 16-10-2019

The greatest anti-hero since Prince of Thorns

This is book 3 of the series so read Heroes Die first, but this is great stuff. Dark and violent, and just a super fun read. The narrator does an excellent job also, which can be just as important as good writing in an audio version.

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  • Daniel P.
  • 09-07-2019

More enjoyable than book 2

I was hesitant to continue on with the series as I wasn’t a fan of Blade of Tyshalle but I really enjoyed Black Knife. At least in the first part (this looks like it’s a 2-part story with Caine’s Law) this book wasn’t as confusing or philosophical as book one. The stakes also didn’t seem to be as high. Half of the story is part of Caine’s backstory and his initial adventure that made him a star dealing with the Black Knife clan. I’m usually not a fan of alternating timelines as they can become confusing but it was done really well in this book. Each time there was a historic story it was announced lie we were one of the viewers watching one of Caine’s tapes. This made it easy to differentiate between the timelines.

Although the current timeline was interesting and it was still nice to see an old Caine can still kick some arse I really enjoyed seeing where it all started. It was interesting to see how ruthless he was back in his early days. In the first two books it really came off as the studio and upper class being the villains but by seeing some of Caine’s background he was all for it and possibly more ruthless than them. Seeing where he is at now makes this all that more interesting.

The one nitpick I have is that this seems like half a book. The other two books had definite beginnings and endings but this one leaves you with a cliffhanger. I’m definitely getting the next book as I’m interested in where the story goes especially with the “kids” and the current iteration of the Black Knives, but this likely could have been one book. Overall though, I listened to this all in one day and really enjoyed it.

As with the other books Stefan Rudnicki is an excellent narrator.

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  • Georgy
  • 20-01-2019

As good as the first one

Caine is back in action. Combining "memories" of his brutal career start with no less brutal current adventure, he spins so great a yarn you'll never notice the passage of time. And when you get to an -- admittedly cliffhanger-y -- ending, you won't mind, you'll yearn for more.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-11-2018

Awesome

When are they making this into a series or a movie? This is great story telling

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • jakob o'brien
  • 10-06-2016

Favorite series ever.

this is an amazing book. this series got me into audiobooks. read it for your own good.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sasa
  • 04-10-2014

Maximum Badassary! Intrigue, Carnage, Philosophy!

What made the experience of listening to Caine Black Knife the most enjoyable?

Real characters, two parallel stories with tight plot and inspired performance by Rudnicki.
Rudnicki was on FIRE when he narrated this series!
This is the most fun of the Caine series.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Caine Black Knife?

Young Caine vs the Young Black Knife Ogrilo
Birth of Caine in Boadeccan
Caine interrogated by Knights
Standoff at the Inn...
So damn many

Which character – as performed by Stefan Rudnicki – was your favorite?

Besides Caine, in this book, Knight Adar was a fun one. Rudnicki nails everything he touches.

Any additional comments?

This whole series is a must read! Best series of audio books ever produced.

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  • G.Monie
  • 02-07-2013

If U like Caine... must read!

I've written multiple reviews with the Caine books & Stover has brought a hardcore, gritty, graphic, & unique fantasy series that takes place in a future where 'Actors' are sent to another dimension/timeline where they take on they're persona's learned from acting school but its all real, & 'Actors' actually earn the millions they get paid because they could get a 6-inch tusk buried into their head during their visit to a 'middle earth' like world

After this small review I've given all the books up to 'Acts of Caine II' 5 stars because Rudnicki is supurb, & I love the new angle Stover takes with his Character, where Caine is the best method actor & a real scumbag but still has a heart for a few. I guess if it was RPG I would classify his personality as chaotic neutral bordering on chaotic evil... & the lietrary passages written by Stover are absolutely bombastic & filled with profanity of a new kind! I fear for goats & other such animals when he's describing whats in Caines demented mind, BUT he also has these long stretches of philisophical wax & waning where u actually think a lil about what it means or could mean... in this particular book it has more action, the adventure 'retreat from the Boedecken (spelling?)' is highlighted in this novel so u see how Caine became a star but u also see a whole unique background help for studios in the crazy future... 'Blade of Tyshelle' has an end where there is some great verbal sparring between friends to go with disembowlment & ripping spleens out of people...

I recommend this book highly to hardcore fatasy novel readers looking for a really different reading experience & would warn off anyone who does not like gratuitis violence, bad language, & blasphemy lol... in my opinion Stover does good work & looking fwd to act III

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  • S. Pike
  • 28-01-2012

The Anti-Hero story continues

If you like the first 2 books you'll probably like this addition to the series. Cain an mercenary actor from earth used to fight in a fantasy world for money and the amusement of the masses on Earth who lived his edited life experiences. Then he kicked them of the fantasy world. Now years later we learn about the events that made Cain the infamous figure he is and a hint at how his destiny was changed. Without giving much away the end of the book doesn't feel like a resolution or ending. I suspect that there will be another book to complete this story. Pretty gritty and dark. But fun too.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-03-2014

"My Will or I will not!"

Enjoyable first half of the final story in the Caine Trilogiy. The book has a slower pace than previous books in the series, but still able to build tension to the culmination. The complexity of this book and the philosophical questions that are raised do not detract from the story but adds an an extra dimension. Cannot wait to find out how the whole thing pans out!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful