Caine is thrown into another plot, this time one that builds off a minor plot point from the second book. He finds himself in the middle of a mystery concerning Knights of Khyrl, the Black Knives orgillo clan, a strange Shadow Hunt, a city of slavery, and a hidden stone of power. And obviously since he's now been adopted into the Black Knives, there's nothing to do but to stick his nose and, of course, his fists into the fight.
Okay. First off, I just have to say that I'm always a little scared reading the next book of this series because the past two books could have been a stand alone or just a two-book series. They both end well, wrapping up everything in the book without leaving any cliffhangers. But I guess I'm pleasantly surprised, or at least mostly. This book does a good job of exploring more of Caine's past. We don't really quite see him grow or change anymore like the last two books, but we do get a peek into how Caine became an internationally famous Actor. It's quite interesting and Stover does very well alternating back and forth between the past and the present.
This book was a lot shorter than the other two books. However, maybe it's because it is part of a two-part series within this Caine series. So there is a bit of a cliffhanger at the end, be forewarned.
I think the main weakness Stover has in all of his books (because I've sort of written about this before) is that he can't seem to make his plots and plot resolutions clear. He write action and characters superbly, but the resolutions of his plots and the way these plots come to fruition just seem to lack clarity of exactly what happened. I think mostly it's because we can't trust Caine as a narrator as he doesn't always tell the reader when he's lying. It's a great technique for surprise and plot twists, but I think it happens a little too often without enough reveal of the true plot.
Also a random thing... it's a little weird, but sometimes I find myself comparing the world to Terry Pratchett's Discworld. Maybe because both worlds have a large city with "Ankh" in its name...
Three stars because I liked it. Not two and half because I did think it was interesting and it kept me intrigued. But this book isn't very memorable except for knowing Caine's past. The overall plot is actually rather dull (besides learning what happened in the aftermath of book 2). This book doesn't have enough impact - or as much impact as the other two. Still a good book, but only worth three stars.
Recommended for those who have read books 1 and 2 (obviously). It's good enough to keep reading, but don't expect as much as the first two.