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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Massively Underrated, 4 Aug 2007
This review is from: Heroes Die (Mass Market Paperback)
Matthew Woodring Stover may just be the most underrated contemporary Scifi/Fantasy author.

Although he's best known for his work in the Star Wars Expanded Universe (`Traitor' and `Shatterpoint' becoming highly touted amongst fans) his true mastery is revealed in both this novel and its sequel, `Blade of Tyshalle'. This novel is tightly plotted and possesses virtually nothing superfluous to the total design -- Stover's style is heavily evocative and often features short and compact sentences to maximise drama at key scenes. What really elevates this novel to the same level as authors such as George R.R. Martin, however, is the characterisation. Known for his intently psychological penetration, Stover creates one of the most magnetic anti-heroes (if such a label can even be used here) of contemporary fiction in that of Caine. There is no clearly established good or evil -- there are no grumpy but gold-hearted dwarves, elegant and refined elves, or incredibly powerful dark lords plotting to destroy-life-as-we-know-it. There are simply characters and their motivations, as it should be -- the reader isn't dictated or preached to, merely -shown-.

Most, however, may feel turned off at the highly (and I really do stress the word `highly') graphic violence and action sequences that play throughout the entire journey of the protagonist. If you're not too squeamish, the scenes resonate with a surprising level of verisimilitude -- the author is a devout martial artist, and understands the nature of combat to a level highly uncommon to the majority of authors in the field. Fight scenes are short, bone-shatteringly vicious and utterly believable. The shocking detail isn't simply gratuitous, however -- it is a key part of reinforcing the reflection on violence as a concept that is at the heart of the novel.

Highly recommended to all but the squeamish, who may want to pass. For the rest of you -- treat yourselves, let it sink in for a while, and then move on to `Blade of Tyshalle' before joining the rest of us in a wait for `Caine Black Knife'.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This was an excellent well thought out book, 13 Aug 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Heroes Die (Paperback)
Normally I'm not a big one for SF or fantasy. I was pleasently surprised when I got "Heroes Die" on a whim and as it turns out I loved it. I'm not sure I agree entirely with Stover's rather dismal view on our society's future, but it's possible. The characters of the story were very well written and surprisingly versitial. One of the aspects of the book I liked the most was the fact that people (both heros and villians) didn't do things just because they were good, evil etc. They had motives for their actions and weren't just radomly good or evil as the plot needed them to be. The settings and plot twists (there were many of those) were believable and entertaining. In my humble oppinion, this book was an all around good read. Can't wait for the sequal! Hint, hint, publishers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Novel, 7 Jan 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Heroes Die (Paperback)
This is the first novel I read by Mr. Stover, and I would have to say it was a great read. The title of the novel was the first thing that attracted it to me. From then on I loved the book. The crossing of science fiction and fantasy were fantastic. The description was enough to allow you to see everything in the scene, but not too much to make you start wandering off. Mr. Stover give you action, betrayal, redemption and romance. The best thing about Heroes Die is that it is just ONE novel. Not an ongoing series like Jordan's WoT.
The only thing I have against the book is the title. Its more like A Hero Reborn...but no matter, its a great book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Cross between High Fantasy and Science Fiction, 9 Mar 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Heroes Die (Paperback)
This is my first "adventure" into the type of fictional world that Matthew Woodring Stover creates in HEROES DIE, but his work in IRON DAWN and JERICHO MOON made me chance it -- and it was definitely worth the risk of the trip. I never thought I'd like this genre, but Stover changed my mind with Caine and Pallas Ril and his skillful rendering of characters who are everything from loyal friends and passionate lovers to brutal warriors who carry never-ending grudges. If you've never tried this area of fiction before, Stover gives you an excellent place to test the waters. You'll find them addicting indeed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy This Book, 12 July 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Heroes Die (Mass Market Paperback)
I've been reading Sci Fi and Fantasy for twenty years and it takes a lot to impress me but Stover blew me away...If you want edge of your seat action/suspense/adventure set in two great backdrops/worlds this is your book. The characters really hold your interest (always a problem for me) and the action/fighting sequences will satisfy even the most blood-thirsty fan...Bravo Mr. Stover, can't wait for the sequel!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A page-turning epic with something for all audiences, 25 May 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Heroes Die (Paperback)
WOW!!
I just finished readin an advance copy of this book (thanks to Coosin Al- a definite Hero). The setting of the book flips between a fantasy setting, and a harsh look at the future of humans on Earth. Both settings were blandly generic though a few original twists and ideas have been thrown in.
The compelling points of the book did not involve the setting. However the characters have been carefully formed and well rounded, and more importantly- realistic. Even the supporting characters have a suprising depth to them, with their own beliefs, desires and plots.
"Heroes Die" (listed here in Amazon as "Caine") is a masterfully built book. A story within a story, independant plots and intrigues are woven together for a believable resolution. Romance, grim humor, blood and death thread themselves through the story, creating a complex pattern that will delight and enthrall the Reader.
Matthew Woodring Stover has brought us a book with something for everyone. The story is compelling, and the characters will hook themselves into your heart as you find yourself fighting with the main character against all odds.
If you want to read an epic adventure that leaves you wanting more, give this masterpiece by Stover a try. This is the first novel I have read by Stover, and I am now planning on going back and reading his prior novels, "Iron Dawn" and "Jericho Moon."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! Raw, intelligent, creative, and mysterious., 10 May 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Heroes Die (Paperback)
This was an excellent combination of science fiction and fantasy, with plenty of mystery that climaxes at the very end. Extremely violent, the raw urges of the hero create a new sense of action.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding literary adventure, 29 Jan 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Heroes Die (Paperback)
I picked up this book after reading Stover's previous book Jericho Moon, and I have to say this one is even better. More action, more romance, more ideas. Like Jericho Moon, this book can be enjoyed just as a thrill ride, but it has a lot more to offer than just that. It's a real old-fashioned literary adventure, with lots of "literary" to go with all the adventure. It's a long way from Terry Goodkind and Robert Jordan--a long way BETTER.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars new premise for fantasy theme, 9 Nov 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Heroes Die (Paperback)
The premise of a more advanced technilogical society that is able to transport a person/persons into a less advanced society and then being able to experience his adventures through an advanced virtual reality machine is very well thought out. Overall, a very entertaining book that has promise of more to come. Anyone who enjoys fantasy will enjoy this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LIKE ITS HERO, THIS BOOK KICKS BUTT!, 16 Jan 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Heroes Die (Paperback)
The fighting in this book is awesome! Unlike most fantasy/SF writers, this guy sounds like he's actually kicked a little butt in his time. His fight scenes are better than Salvatore's! And the plot is astonishing, complicated, but completely logical. An amazing book!
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Heroes Die
Heroes Die by Matthew Stover Woodring (Mass Market Paperback - 1 Aug 1999)
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