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A Knight of the Word (The Word and the Void Trilogy, Book 2) Mass Market Paperback – June 28, 1999
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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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.
With this book being more focused on Ross' loss of faith, the forces now converging on him instead of Nest, the tension and internal crisis that permeated the first book falls flat here. One would think someone willing to travel across the country to save someone that changed their whole life would have a bit more passion. One would think someone who at one point wished he could be a child's father would have some seriously intense feelings about being reunited. Instead their first interaction in years is a boring fish dinner which ends in nothing changing plot wise, nor much relationship wise.
The plot ultimately progresses, but more thought is put into describing the parks in which Nest finds herself than in her reaction to using magic she thought might be gone for years or the revelation of where that magic comes from. Several paragraphs are concerned with the former, while a mere few short sentences cover the latter. In a book that's concerned with the balances in life, there is a lack of balance in emotional weight.
Also, Brooks needs to stop using the word 'anew'.
The plot revolves around two main characters. The first is a girl/young woman named Nest who was born with a legacy of family magic and dark secrets. The other is John Ross, a Knight of the Word (in other words, a powerful magic talisman-wielding champion of the mystical good guys--aka "The Word"), who is sworn for life to hunt down and destroy demons--who work for the bad guys, "The Void," and to prevent their handiwork, which is to manipulate humans into tearing themselves apart and ultimately to destroy mankind completely.
The characters are multi-dimensional and believable--somehow even the ones that are pure fantasy! As with everything Brooks writes, I couldn't put this book down (I finished it in two days)!! If you like Terry Brooks, then you're sure to love this series. If you've never read him or you didn't care much for the Shannara series, I would still give it a go if you like a good fantasy thriller!! You won't be disappointed!!!
In this book it explores the character development of John Ross, a night of the Word who had given up on his knighthood duties in response to his apparent failure to prevent a tragedy from happening.
As such the demons who have been trying to subvert Mr. Ross to the Void ' s purposes are defeated by the forces of the Word when Nest Freemark, a main character from a previous book discovers their intent.
The subsequent battle that ensues between the demon and John Ross then encompasses Ms. Freemark awakening the magic within her allowing her to defend herself against the demon and then defeat it.
I will admit that this series, although interesting, is not as captivating as the Shannarra series. It does however provide valuable insight explaining the transition to the Shannarra series.