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A Knight of the Word (Pre-Shannara: Word and Void Book 2) by [Brooks, Terry]
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A Knight of the Word (Pre-Shannara: Word and Void Book 2) Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 177 customer reviews
Book 2 of 3 in Pre-Shannara: Word and Void (3 Book Series)
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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.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3128 KB
  • Print Length: 399 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1st edition (January 18, 2001)
  • Publication Date: January 18, 2001
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000QCTN8C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,066 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer 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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After watching the entire first season of The Shannara Chronicles on Netflix, I was deeply curious to find out how the world ended up the way it appeared in the series. Yes, I am probably one of the few who has never read the original Shannara trilogy. So, I began to read these books, beginning with the very first story, his short story called Imaginary Friends. I'm following the suggested chronological order.

Now in the middle of the second book in this Word and Void trilogy, I cannot help but see how what I'm reading seems to 'predict' the current social climate in which we live. It's actually rather frightening to feel as if what I'm reading, what was written back in 1999, is pretty much dead on in describing what I see every single day in the news. Are we headed for the same kind of world seen in The Shannara Chronicles? Probably. If things do not change.

While it is true that Mr. Brooks goes into almost minute detail in his descriptive passages, I do feel that they help to set the scene. However, it is possible to skim over these passages and not miss much in the way of the plot. Those deep descriptions just seem to enrich the story and help to immerse the reader - for me, at least. The characters are just as well thought out as the world that Mr. Brooks has created. It was nice to continue the journey with the characters that I met in Running With The Demon.

Quite impressed with this series so far.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Do you enjoy living in, visiting or being from Seattle, Washington, then hang on and hold tight, so does Terry Brooks. In fact you may find yourself as I do when reading stories about Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Boston, Minneapolis and Los Angeles I should know after 70 years of living about: I do! You won't be disappointed with this series of books. Oh, I have even lived in Reagan country in Illinois. What a read.. .
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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This the second book in the Pre-Shannara series, and is not for the faint of heart. I am reading to get more background on Terry Brooks' Shannara world, but they are a very challenging read. The conflict between Good and Evil is well presented, but the plot doesn't really get interesting until half-way through the book.
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My bible starts out with...'In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and God was the word...' so Knight of the Word fit right in. The thing is I do not know enough about other religions to know their genesis, but I do know even atheists can stand this beginning, except God becomes chaos identical to word, and I am not going any further into that. We got a brief introduction to the world in volume one, our world spinning into oblivion. Magic is known, paranormal creatures exist and a struggle for supremacy is going on which humans are portrayed as being oblivious to except for bringing on their own doom. Volume two continues the struggle and begins to show the ultimate winner and concomitant result. The knights are in short supply, demons are proliferating and the genesis of Shannara has yet to be portrayed.
john Ross, a knight trying to renounce his vows, is refusing to follow his calling but is too good a man to reject it. He is torn by opposing forces but fails to see it, he is blinded by love for Stefanie. A woman out of his past, a child at that time, is solicited to track down Ross and try to remove the blinders keeping him from seeing what is going on around him. Nest meets a tatterdemalion, a new favorite of the Author, Brooks, and learns Ross is Seattle working for a well-meaning man but not doing anything for the Word. She flies out to Seattle, meets Ariel and hears a demon feeding on children. The next day she encounters Ross, speaks with him, tells him there is a demon loose in Seattle, and it is close to him and his work. Brooks let us guess, accurately, who it is but goes on with the story. Nest is finished, she plans on going back to Chicago and northwestern university.
Little of human affairs is immutable.
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