“That is Brooks’ way of casting spells—transporting his readers into plausible realms where sorcery is alive, whether those places are in other ages or right in the middle of our own. As a result, he's reaped more than a few magical moments . . .”—Seattle Times
As a Knight of the Word, John Ross has struggled against the dark forces of the Void and his minions for twenty-five years. The grim future he dreams each night—a world reduced to blood and ashes—will come true, unless he can stop them now, in the present.
The birth of a gypsy morph, a rare and dangerous creature that could be an invaluable weapon in his fight against the Void, brings John Ross and Nest Freemark together again. Twice before, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance, the lives of Ross and Nest have intersected. Together, they have prevailed. But now they will face an ancient evil beyond anything they have ever encountered, a demon of ruthless intelligence and feral cunning. As a firestorm of evil erupts, threatening to consume lives and shatter dreams, they have but a single chance to solve the mystery of the Gypsy morph—and their own profound connection.
“Superior to most of the fantasy fiction being published today.”—Rocky Mountain News
Fighting supernatural evil is taxing work, and Brooks's third novel of humanity's stand against the demons of the Void shows hints of battle fatigue. Fifteen years have passed since the events chronicled in Running with the Demon (1997), but neither Knight of the Word John Ross nor former Olympic runner Nest Freemark seem much changed by their encounters with predatory devils who incarnate modern social ills: he is still the reluctant hero tasked with preventing the Void's incursion into human affairs, and she remains the righteous heroine suppressing her demon-tainted powers. The plot follows a pattern similar to A Knight of the Word (1998), beginning with Ross's tormenting vision of the future that will occur if he fails to keep a gypsy morph--a shapeshifting bundle of "wild magics" with potential to become a weapon for good or evil--from falling into demon hands. Ross seeks Nest's help in Hopewell, Ill., a hometown of Norman Rockwell blissfulness primed for demonic devastation. There the morph changes into a young boy, which makes him vulnerable to the schemes of avuncular fiend Findo Gask and provides Brooks with a focus for exploring the importance of parental responsibility and mother love. This predictable dark fantasy springs a few surprises at its end, but the long parade of characters from the earlier installments gives it the feel of a family reunion one endures out of obligation rather than enthusiasm. Like Nest, this novel keeps pace, but a change of direction is in order for the series.