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. You see, the world of the Word/Void novels is out own, just with a twist. Most people have no idea.
By this point in my life and having read nearly everything Terry Brooks has published (there are a couple of Landover novels I haven't read now) I would have said it was impossible for Brooks to surprise me. But he has. I am nearly shocked by just how good his Word/Void novels are. A Knight of the Word is the second book in the trilogy and it is just as good as Running With the Demon, possibly better. Even if a reader does not like the typical fantasy novel, I would suggest giving the Word/Void novels a chance. This is more of an urban fantasy where there is some magic, but it is in a modern setting. It's worth a look. This trilogy is the best work that Brooks has produced.