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A Knight of the Word (Word and the Void) Hardcover – July 28, 1998


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Product Details

  • Series: Word and the Void
  • Hardcover: 309 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; 1st edition (July 28, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345379632
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345379634
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #842,586 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

John Ross, the tortured, conflicted Knight of the Word from Terry Brooks's Running with the Demon, finally gets a good night's sleep in the sequel. He buys this moment's peace at the cost of his sacred oath to be a champion of the Word, renouncing that pledge after failing to prevent the slaughter of a group of schoolchildren. Duty and destiny are difficult to elude, though, and soon his former charge Nest Freemark, now a college student and Olympic hopeful, arrives to warn him of his imminent destruction, or, worse, his unwitting fall into the service of the Void.

The story winds lazily through sleepy, wet Seattle like a tour bus, steadily building. Everything eventually converges on the homeless shelter where John works with his new sweetie Stefanie Winslow for über-activist Simon Lawrence, a man his dreams tell him he is fated to kill. A thin mystery clouds the identity of the demon conspiring to deliver John unto evil, but the book's real focus is John's fitful, foot-dragging attempts to fulfill his destiny. Knight doesn't provide the suspenseful energy of Running, a book that followed Nest through the dramatic loss of her childhood, but it rejoins her as she assumes the responsibilities of young adulthood and--like that period in life--still manages to deliver satisfying, if more subtle, rewards. --Paul Hughes

From Publishers Weekly

Brooks continues his vacation from his trademark Tolkienesque adventures (the Shannara and Magic Kingdom novels) with this urban dark fantasy, a sharp and satisfying follow-up to last year's Running with the Demon. It has been five years since mortal John Ross was anointed a Knight of the Word, and in that time he has suffered a serious crisis of faith. Unable to prevent the death of innocents in senseless acts of violence engineered by demons of the Void, he has fallen from his calling and drifted to Seattle to work with saintly Simon Lawrence and the Fresh Start program for homeless women and children. Nagged by recurring nightmares of a possible future in which he murders his mentor and dismantles the program, John is guilt-ridden, uncertain and vulnerable to a shape-shifting demon who has infiltrated his circle of associates. His only hope is Nest Freemark, the teenage heroine of his previous adventure, who applies her own grasp of the Word to smoke out the demon before John's dreams?which include her death?can come true. The identity of John's demonic manipulator and the meaning of his dreams are carefully crafted mysteries that build to a climax filled with surprising twists and turns. Brooks's real achievement, however, is his orchestration of the tale's social issues and personal dramas into a scenario with the resonance of myth. Both a sprightly entertainment and a thoughtful allegory of the forces of Good and Evil at large in the modern world, this novel is sure to increase its author's already vast readership. Author tour.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Terry Brooks is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty-five books, including the Genesis of Shannara novels Armageddon's Children and The Elves of Cintra; The Sword of Shannara; the Voyage of the Jerle Shannara trilogy: Ilse Witch, Antrax, and Morgawr; the High Druid of Shannara trilogy: Jarka Ruus, Tanequil, and Straken; the nonfiction book Sometimes the Magic Works: Lessons from a Writing Life; and the novel based upon the screenplay and story by George Lucas, Star Wars(R): Episode I The Phantom Menace.(tm) His novels Running with the Demon and A Knight of the Word were selected by the Rocky Mountain News as two of the best science fiction/fantasy novels of the twentieth century. The author was a practicing attorney for many years but now writes full-time. He lives with his wife, Judine, in the Pacific Northwest.

Customer Reviews

The characters were 'real' and the plot was very well thought out.
"kenneg"
I ordered the first book in the series for my son and he loved it so I had to order all of them.
D. Legendre
This book reads like an outline, very sketchy with little filling in it.
Tom Calhoun

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "kenneg" on October 5, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As you can probably tell from the subject, I am not what you would call a Terry Brooks fan. I've read all, or nearly all, of his Shannara books and found them long-winded and difficult. His 'Magic Kingdom' series was much better, though still too long-winded for my taste (I prefer a book that doesn't spend so much time in detail that you lose sight of the story).
I bought the initial book of this series because I couldn't find anything else that interested me at the airport bookstore, and I figured this would at least put me to sleep.
Surprise, surprise. The book was one of the best SF books I've ever read. The characters were 'real' and the plot was very well thought out. Still long-winded in parts, but I found the content actually enhanced the story instead of detracting from it.
This book continues that tradition. Truly one of the best SF books I've ever read, it captures the imagination and won't let go. I found myself disappointed that my neighborhood bookstore doesn't yet have a copy of 'Angel Fire East'.
However, I'm ordering it from Amazon as soon as I get done writing this... :)
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Joe Sherry on April 13, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When I was a young lad I would read every Shanarra novel I could find, and several times. I read all of Terry Brooks' Magic Kingdom of Landover novels. But for some reason I never picked up Running With the Demon or any of the Word/Void novels. It really makes no sense because of how much I enjoyed Brooks' work. A couple of months ago I finally read the first Word/Void novel and was stunned. Running With the Demon was quite possibly the best thing Terry Brooks has written with an argument to be made about Elfstones. What's more, it felt fresh. It was the story of John Ross, a normal man picked by the Word to be its Champion in trying to hold the balance against the Void. When the novel started, Ross had been a Knight for some twenty or so years and made his way to Hopewell, Illinois to try to stop something from happening. He wasn't sure what because his dreams only give him a location and a taste of the horrors that would be unleashed on our world if he fails. He finds a teenaged girl, Nest Freemark and her magic.

Five years later Nest is a college student and John Ross has given up being a Knight of the Word. He once had a vision of an event that he needed to stop and he failed. He couldn't continue to serve, the burden was too hard. But being a Knight is not a burden one can lay down. The Void wants to turn John Ross to its side. The Word needs John Ross to resume the fight. An agent for the Word contacts Nest to try to convince Ross to rejoin the fight for the Word. In just a couple of days Ross will take a step that will put him solidly on the path to the Void and he won't know it. A Knight of the Word is a novel of the continuing fight for balance between the Word and the Void, the fight for John Ross's soul, the future of Nest Freemark and ultimately the future of our world.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Tom Calhoun on May 2, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Nest is one of the more interesting characters Brooks has created, yet she does essentially nothing in this entire book. She seems to have this incredible power but we are barely made aware of it. What's the point in creating a great character if you don't use her? How about a bit more character development? This book reads like an outline, very sketchy with little filling in it. I was a huge Terry Brooks fan but in the last 3 years he has left me cold.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 7, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A Knight of the Word takes place 5 years after the events of Running with the Demon and one of the things I liked about it was how the characters have moved on. Nest has gone off to college and has kinda lost touch with her old life, like a lot of folks do in real life. Her one true friend remains Pick, the six inch sylvan twig man that keeps balance to the magic in the park. I like how Brooks shows her dealing with these feelings, it's very natural.
The roles here are flip flopped from "Demon", in that this time it's up to Nest to go to and help out John Ross, who's lost his faith. The main thing I liked about this book was how sympathetic Ross was. You just start to feel bad for the guy, the things he's gone through and had to endure. More than one man should ever have to. This makes his fall from faith all the more believable and real, in fact, considering the event that triggers it, I'm forced to admit that I probably would have too were I him.
Throughout the book, Ross deals through this problem. He can't just give up, it just doesn't work that way. It's just amazing watching him ignore the totally obvious signs and warnings that he can't give it up because he's blinded by his new life and how good he feels and how right it feels to him. It's amazing, because I've seen people do the same thing in my life, so this book kinda hit me personally there.
The mystery of who the demon is is kind of easy to figure out, and not too much of a shock when it reveals itself, but that's of little consequence, what is of the most consequence is how it effects the characters in the book. You knowing makes it that much more painful knowing how it'll probably effect Ross.
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