Caine’s Law is Out

During Reader Request Week, I was asked if I had seen an advance copy of Caine’s Law, Matthew Woodring Stover’s latest book in his “Acts of Caine” fantasy series. Well, a close-up of the cover blurb of the book — which is out today — should give an answer to that:

So, yes. Yes, I had.

(Actually, what happened was when the book’s publicist e-mailed me asking if I’d like to have an advance look at it, my response was, and this is a direct quote, “ZOMG NEW CAINE BOOK SEND IT SEND IT NOW WHY ISN’T IT HERE ALREADY”. So there you have it.)

And yes, if you are a fan of the meaty, bloody but smart fantasy of which authors like Joe Abercrombie and Richard K. Morgan currently traffic, you really do owe it to yourself to check out the whole Caine series (the books of which are, in order: Heroes Die, Blade of Tyshalle, Caine Black Knife and then this one). I doubt very seriously you will be disappointed, and if you are, well, I don’t know what to do with you, except maybe wonder if your brain chemistry is off in some unique and disturbing way. But I’m willing to bet your brain is fine and you’re going to eat this stuff up.

So: fans of  fantasy, this is my recommendation. Get this one. Get them all.

21 Comments on “Caine’s Law is Out”

  1. John, it’s books like Caine’s Law that makes your Redshirts taunting more bearable. Really, those aren’t beads of sweat on my forehead. There is no nearly unbearable two month wait ahead of me.
    But, more seriously, this series kicks ass, and I too was so very happy to see it, and look forward to devouring it.

  2. I absolutely *loved* Heroes Die. Finding that book was a magical day for me. Years later, I actually had a chance to commission a story for him (for the chicago bidzines). It was a weird conversation for me because he clearly did not understand how EARTH SHATTERINGLY AWESOME his work was. More Caine! Nom! Nom! Nom!

  3. GAAAAAAAAAAAA!!! I just placed an order with Amazon yesterday. Miserly creating a list of items over time that would cross the magic super saver shipping threshold. And now, now you go and put this up! (Thanks for doing that by the way because Caine was totally off my radar at the moment. Valuable public service you have here.)

    mumble grumble ‘nother stinkin list to start…

  4. Now if only Blade of Tyshall were, you know, in print. With “used – acceptable” copies going for $25 and “like new” for five times that, I can only assume the demand is there. I also assume there’s some good contractual or realities-of-the-industry reason it hasn’t been reprinted with the new releases, but still: pbhttt…

  5. SMQ, the eBook edition of Blades of Tyshall is available on B&N and Amazon for 8 bucks.

  6. I once dated a guy who’d been searching for a particular SF/F book for years (I forget which one, it’s been years since we’ve spoken). He finally tracked down a hardcover copy; the site where he found it wanted $47 for it. We went to Half Price Books, and he found a perfectly good used paperback copy for $2.50. If the older Stover books are “out of print”, HPB might be a good place to find them, if e-books aren’t your thing.

  7. @Dragon, and then the whole shipment gets delayed for two or three weeks because of the one item that’s from the UK. I have a book or two that were bought on the assumption it was better to add a book to an order than pay the shipping.

    We finally succumbed to the siren call of Amazon Prime, just in time to switch over to eBooks, but it’s handy for non-books too.

    @SMQ — available from Kindle, Nook, & Kobo. Perhaps that could affect a decision to reprint.

  8. Gah! Want, now.

    Heroes Die ranks among my favorite books of all time. I actually had to re-start reading it two or three times before I realized this was a fantasy book. So different than the sheltered world of fantasy I had been reading previously.

    Fun story – When I went to Viable Paradise in 2009, a certain instructor by the name of John Scalzi sat down with a group of us aspiring writers and asked for our guilty pleasures in reading. I said “Heroes Die by Matthew Woodring Stover”. Scalzi *leaped* out of his chair and gave me a high five while shouting “Awesome!” (or something like that, I was a bit stunned). Until that time, I hadn’t met anyone who even knew Stover, let alone enjoyed reading him. Loved that moment.

  9. John,
    I hear you loud and clear. Stover is hands down, without a doubt my favorite author (don’t worry, I still like you too!). He writes the kind of books that make you question your own existence.

  10. Thank you so much for posting this, I had no idea there was a new Caine novel out. Purchased, instant delivery on my Kindle, I know what I’m doing the rest of the evening!

  11. It’s posts like this that make me think I should start up a career as an SF writer.

  12. So what you’re saying, John, is that only neurotypicals will appreciate Matthew Stover? I question that assumption, so I guess I’ll have to go get Heroes Die and find out for myself.

    Ordinarily I don’t spend time reading blood and guts stories, but this series sounds philosophically interesting. And I can’t really pass up an author claimed to write his martial arts realistically. I do find it amusing that one review of the Caine stories boils down to good violence, but maybe too much swearing for some people!


  13. By the way — the original title was “His Father’s Fist.” Apparently it gave off an S&M leather bar vibe to the publishing crowd in NY, which may say more about them than anything else. I mourn the loss of that title, regardless.

  14. I got Caine Black Knife after I read about it in your Big Idea feature, loved it and bought the other two books in the series. It was really hard to find Blade of Tyshalle – even after the ebook version came out as it wasn’t available for Germany in the beginning. At least that made second hand copies affordable…
    Caine’s Law is on order and should arrive within a week :)

  15. I love Matthew Stover. Hard.

    I’m about 75 pages into this book, and there hasn’t been many pages that haven’t made me stop and go “What? HOLY SHIT THAT IS AWESOME!”

  16. I pre-ordered a copy from Amazon, and yesterday during lunch went to the p.o. box to pick it up. Back at work I mentioned it to my office-mate, who immediately bought the kindle edition. Then she calls in sick today. Coincidence?

    I was up until about 3:30 this morning, about half-way through it, and it’s ambitious, thought provoking, follows from the first three books, and is nothing like any of them. Fucking excellent. And I never thought that “To Kill a Mockingbird” would be a metaphor for the world.

  17. I just took a look at the Amazon preview for the first novel and the map inside looks an awful lot like Pittsburgh.

  18. OMG.

    I loved, loved LOVED Heroes Die. Then Blade of Tyshalle came out, and I loved that even harder. I have Cain Black Knife sitting on my Kindle, waiting for me to have time to read it (currently I’m buried by my own writing, fatherhood, a full time job, and grad school). This summer I will likely read both CBF and Caine’s Law as soon as school is out.

  19. Hadn’t read any of the Caine books, but thought I would try ‘Heroes Die’ after your recommendation – now have read the first three (in a week), and just ordered Caine’s Law.

    From across the water – many thanks.

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