A Knight of the Word is the second novel in The Word & the Void trilogy by Terry Brooks. It’s an urban fantasy novel that takes place in contemporary America, although it is actually a prequel to the Shannara world.
John Ross is the Knight of the Word, and he’s having a tough time after a tragedy shook his confidence in his ability to be a Knight. Enter Nest Freemark, recruited to get him back on track. This takes place several years after Running with the Demon, but this time the tables are turned and Nest must help John. John has turned his back on his duties as Knight of the Word, and in doing so, has lost the ability to use his magic. But he must also prevent another tragedy from happening.
The main characters are the same, focusing on Nest and John. There’s another demon, of course. There’s a collection of secondary characters, but what’s important are Nest, John, Simon Lawrence, Two Bears (O’olish Amaneh), and Stefanie Winslow. Nest is unsure of her ability to use magic, but doesn’t want to give up. I like Nest. She’s a likable character with some decent depth. John Ross, on the other hand, has totally lost his confidence and doesn’t want to believe he can make a difference. He’s also a good character, though has lost some of his aura of invincibility from the first book. Two Bears returns, and some of the mystery around him has been lifted. I was a bit surprised. Simon Lawrence is John’s boss. He plays an instrumental part, though I didn’t feel like he was a very deep character. Stefanie is John’s girlfriend. She was pretty good with John, and they made a good couple. She also played a big part in the book.
The setting was mainly Seattle, which is where Terry Brooks lives. I almost felt like he was giving a tour of downtown Seattle at times, but I got a good idea about the city. It made me want to check out the old city underground if I can. I had a good image of the area, though not completely intimate. He wasn’t overly descriptive, but it was enough for me.
Unlike the previous book, it was more mobile with this novel, so we got to see more places. I felt that the flow was good, and I could read it pretty quickly. It was easy to read. I could get back into the characters I got to know in the first book. I actually enjoyed this more than Running with the Demon.
I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys urban fantasy, as well as those who want to see the origin of Shannara. I give this 4 out of 5 stars.