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Heroes Die: The Acts of Caine: Book 1

Heroes Die: The Acts of Caine: Book 1 [Kindle Edition]

Matthew Stover
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Two worlds. One killer.

Renowned throughout the land of Ankhana, the assassin Caine has killed his share of monarchs and commoners, villains and heroes. He is relentless, unstoppable, the best at what he does.

At home in the real world, Caine is Hari Michaelson, a superstar whose adventures in Ankhana command an audience of billions. Yet he's shackled by a rigid caste society, bound to ignore the grim fact that he kills men on a far-off world for the entertainment of his own planet.

But now Michaelson has crossed the line. His estranged wife has disappeared in the slums of Ankhana. To save her, he must confront the greatest challenge of his life: a lethal game of cat and mouse with the most treacherous rulers of two worlds.

Welcome to the world of Caine: Assassin. Hero. Superstar . . .

From a New York Times bestselling author comes the start of a gritty action fantasy series like no other - perfect for fans of Joe Abercrombie, Brent Weeks, Mark Lawrence and the Assassin's Creed novels.

'A gritty, bloody, deeply touching work of genius' - Scott Lynch

'Hands down one of the most bad-ass, brutal - and brilliant - fantasy series of the last double-decade. You know this if you're already reading it. If you're not already reading it, then good lord, it's time you found out - John Scalzi

'If you like really really gritty, dark fantasy like George RR Martin, Richard Morgan (Takashi Kovaks books) or ESPECIALLY Joe Abercrombie, you should get this book' - Felicia Day

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1035 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (27 May 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BCK1A74
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #28,323 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Caine: the most infamous man in the Ankhanan Empire. A hero who has saved the Empire from invasion and destruction, and a villain who killed the Prince-Regent on the orders of a monastic order. Wherever there is danger, intrigue or violence, there is Caine.

In reality, Caine is a fictional character, played by Henri Michaelson. 23rd Century Earth is linked to Overworld - a post-medieval alternate reality where magic and gods are real - by advanced technology. The rigidly caste-bound population of the overcrowded planet is entertained by the exploits of the Actors, and Caine is one of the most famous Actors on the planet. When Caine's wife, Actor Shanna (who plays Caine's lover, Pallas Rill), disappears on an Adventure, Caine is summoned back into battle. This time the mission is to find his wife before her link to Earth expires, killing her, and to overthrow the monstrous new Emperor. But Michaelson faces hidden enemies on Earth even as Caine faces overwhelming odds on Overworld.

Matt Stover has carved out a reputation as the best writer ever to put pen to paper in the Star Wars franchise, writing a string of intelligent, thought-provoking books that overcome and challenge the limitations of the setting. The Acts of Caine is his most famous own creation, a four-book sequence (more are planned) that mixes SF and fantasy. It is an action-packed series, but also one that is heavily character-driven, and those characters (heroes, villains and the ambiguous alike) are three-dimensional, well-motivated individuals, even the most loathsome of whom is at some level understandable.

Heroes Die is the first book in the sequence, originally published in 1997, but is a stand-alone novel with no cliffhangers or incomplete story arcs.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heroes Die 9 Oct 2013
By Steve D TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Verified Purchase
I tried to read this book last year but gave up on it after a couple of hundred pages, partly because I wasn't enjoying it so much, but mainly because the sequel was damn near impossible to get (unless I was to pay silly prices for a used copy). Now the entire series has been released for Kindle it is no longer an issue, so it seemed a good time to try again.

Heroes Die doesn't sound particularly original if you read the blurb. It is a hybrid of SF and fantasy, a tale of two Earths that are out of phase with each other. Our world, in the future, has become so technologically advanced that we are able to transport people to the other Earth, called Overworld, which has a pseudo-Medieval culture. Our future world and Medieval Overworld are painted in broad, fairly standard brushstrokes. Neither world really comes alive. So far, so ho-hum.

But it is then that the original slant comes in. The only people sent from our Earth to Overworld are Actors. Hari Michaelson is one such Actor, the most famous Actor around because of the exploits of his Overworld persona, Caine - and Caine has been responsible for some the biggest upheavals in Overworld society. He has, quite literally, changed the world, whether it be through assassinations, or leading uprisings. No Prime Directive here. The studio sends Hari/Caine into the midst of the events that they think will make them the biggest bucks, either through so-called First-Handers - who get to experience Caine's latest adventure as it happens, through his own eyes - or by selling cubes (DVDs, if you like) of the adventure after it has happened.

Caine is a mass of muscle and barely concealed fury, and his adventures on Overworld are violent in the extreme.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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There have been a number of new fantasy heroes in recent year that are entertaining and faithful to the best authors in the genre(s). Heroes Die took me out of this pleasant comfort zone, grabbed me by the throat, and kept me going until I had finished the novel. Interesting, different, brave, bleak. The novel may not be for everyone, but you will remember it and will appreciate giving Caine a run. Haven't enjoyed a first novel so much since Gardens of the Moon, Empire of Black and Gold or The Lies of Locke Lamora. Distinctive to all these books, darker, less redemption, but just for a few hours took me on a journey that I just did not expect to enjoy so much. Memorable. Kept expecting a book happy to walk the middle ground instead got a path rarely followed. Adult entertainment highly recommended - give it a go, you will at least remember the attempt.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars snowman 8 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase
An unusual mix of classical Orwell/Dicks/Heinlein esk scifi and modern fantasy. Might not be a hardcore fantasy fan's cup of tea, but as someone who grew up on Heinlein et al, it is a creative enjoyable read. Yes, building the back story for two realities and how they interact, does impart some initial drag on the plot but it's handled well and worth the small effort.
This book is not the run of the mill fantasy 'good versus evil', nor scifi prediction of the future. It is more a complex story of social roles, rights and responsibilities of individuals in two completely different realities.
But don't let that put you off, even if you completely ignore the deeper social commentary, it's still a clever, well written, highly enjoyable and engaging read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting take on the genre.
Liked it enough to buy the whole series and start to panic when about to reach the end.Really enjoyed the double world/double life aspect that underpins this series. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Acts of Caine
A unique take on a fantasy adventure. If you like blood you'll love this. I can thoroughly recommended this yarn and I'm looking forward to the next book
Published 5 months ago by codskoko
5.0 out of 5 stars class
brilliant so far. crazy and exciting story line in a plot thats quite bizzare. i'm only a 1/4 way through so far but i'm hooked
Published 5 months ago by Mr. G. E. Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Impressive
Some DNA from King's Running Man. Good story, though I wonder how the author can possibly continue it after such a massive climax. This throws all the eggs at the wall in one go.
Published 5 months ago by C
3.0 out of 5 stars Assassin's Creed meets The Hunger Games
A thoroughly good read even if the majority of concepts seem borrowed. Not a match on Hannu Rajaniemi or Iain M Banks in the scifi department and really not a rival to Tolkein or... Read more
Published 7 months ago by NorthallaJim
4.0 out of 5 stars Good characters, interesting world, a little too blood thirsty.
I enjoyed the story in this book. Don't know why. In a lot of ways I should really dislike this book. The violence is ridiculous. Read more
Published 7 months ago by M. Sunderland
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy meets SciFi
A very interesting blend of fantasy and science fiction. Well worth a read if you enjoy both genres! Looking forward to the next books in the series...
Published 8 months ago by Tommy D
5.0 out of 5 stars Great sci fi/fantasy blend
Well written, great characters, interesting premise. I've immediately purchased the second book, and plan to happily read my way through the series.
Published 9 months ago by Chris L
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow
I found it initially difficulty to get into but please do persevere as this is a great read. Onto book 2!!
Published 9 months ago by Arnie
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Could not put this down and get the next book. Well written and fantastic plot. Great anti hero character you don't want to like
Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
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