Tara Hall's Reviews > A Knight of the Word

A Knight of the Word by Terry Brooks
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Nov 17, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: reviewed, recommended-for-teens

Originally reviewed on "http://bloodcrossed.blogspot.com"... Bloody Words.

This review applies to all three books in "The Word & The Void" trilogy.

Brooks has what I would call a "formulaic" method of constructing his stories. I'll try to explain what I mean.

They are nearly as suspenseful as the best chase novels, with intense fight scenes and magical imagery. All three books are written in third person limited, but not always from the two main characters. In the second and third books, in fact, we often see the viewpoint of the demons our heroes are fighting. All of the background information we need is shown as a memory experienced by the character, an inner narration, as they do some mundane activity like running or cooking. Strategic pieces of the puzzle Brooks builds are revealed through varied points of view, sometimes switching between characters every few paragraphs, and he intentionally keeps you in the dark about the most crucial elements until the very end.

I had the sensation when I was reading the second and third books that I was still reading the first one, the information was just different. The structure of the storytelling was nearly exactly the same. I still haven't decided if that's a good thing or not. It certainly made you very comfortable with the flow of things, but reading it as a writer I found myself a bit bored, knowing what was coming next before it happened.

Which was part of my larger problem. By the time I was 50 percent through each book, I knew exactly how it would end. Brooks writing was still excellent and kept me eagerly reading, but the sense of suspense was slightly lost for me because the foreshadowing was so obvious.

The world that Brooks constructs is intricate and complex, but it is revealed so gradually and through such clever means that the reader doesn't realize they're coming to understand it until the very end. It's one of the most compelling and enjoyable fantasy world I've ever read, both because it is based in reality and because of its semi-religious undertones.

I don't want to give the wrong impression: I LOVED these books and these characters. I'm very much looking forward to reading Brooks's other work. And I would wager that the everyday reader would be oblivious to everything I've pointed out. I would say, from what I've seen, that Brooks is very likely the Master of Fantasy.
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