Matthew Stover is perhaps best known for his work in the Star Wars Expanded Universe—and for good reason. His novelization of Revenge of the Sith brings a depth and emotion to Anakin’s relationships with Obi-Wan and Padmé that the movie could only wish to achieve. His installment in the New Jedi Order sequence, Traitor, is possibly the best-written, finest single novel in the entire Expanded Universe.
But it is Stover’s Acts of Caine quartet that has achieved cult classic status and represents his best work. He brings the same level of characterization, the same depth to his portrayal of relationships, the same emotion that he did in his Star Wars novels—but he wraps it up in an even richer world built upon deep and layered themes, fantastic action sequences, and one of the strongest voices in the science fiction and fantasy genres.
All of this is possible because of Caine. Caine is the seminal hero—or, perhaps, anti-hero, as Stover’s quartet really hits all the marks of the grimdark subgenre.