Caine Black Knife

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Caine Black Knife
Caine Black Knife book cover.jpg
2008 cover
Author Matthew Woodring Stover
Language English
Series Acts of Caine
Genre Science fiction/Fantasy
Publisher Del Rey
Publication date
Pages 368
ISBN 0-345-45587-8
OCLC 191922659
Preceded by Blade of Tyshalle
Followed by Caine's Law

Caine Black Knife is a 2008 fantasy novel written by American Science Fiction author Matthew Stover. It is labeled as the third of the Acts of Caine, and is act one of the Atonement story arc. It is published by the Ballantine Books division of Del Rey. This is the third book in "The Acts of Caine" series, following Heroes Die and Blade of Tyshalle.


The story takes place on a futuristic Earth, and the parallel dimension world called Overworld. The futuristic Earth is a strictly caste-based society, the reason of which is explained in Blade of Tyshalle. After the discovery of Overworld, Actors are sent there to entertain Earth's population, by "putting their lives in danger in interesting ways". Overworld is a fantasy world, featuring an array of Tolkien-inspired races, such as primals/feys (elves), stonebenders (dwarves), ogrilloi (orcs), ogres, and trolls.


The novel is split between the adventure that made Caine a star (Retreat from the Boedecken) and events in the present day. Both events take place in the same area, and both involve the Ogrillo Black Knife clan who roam the Boedecken Wastes. A twenty-five-year gap separates the two timelines.

The arc was completed in Caine's Law (earlier working title: "His Father's Fist"), released April 2012.


Publishers Weekly gave the novel a somewhat mixed review saying, "Stover has a gift for brutal, detailed action sequences, and Caine is at his most enthralling when he's fighting or discussing tactics, but the high levels of (occasionally creative) profanity and the cliffhanger ending may put off some readers."[1]


  1. ^ "Caine Black Knife". Publishers Weekly. 255 (33): 49–50. August 18, 2008. ISSN 0000-0019. 

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