John Ross is a Knight of the Word, a magical champion for the world who is plagued with nightmares of a future he seeks to prevent. Nest Freemark is a young woman gifted with unusual abilities and friends, who seeks to know more about the dark secret of her birth. Both live in a world amidst our own, where magic and the wondrous are present. But in that world there is a timeless evil that seeks to bring chaos and despair to the earth through its demons. John and Nest must band together to fight this evil and its demons as they struggle to find the one thing that can defeat the oncoming darkness: hope.
Terry Brooks, most famous for his Shannara series, switches gears from his high fantasy epics to dark urban fantasy in his informally titled series Word & Void (comprising of Running with the Demon, A Knight of the Word, and Angel Fire East). Written in the beginning days of the urban fantasy genre, Brooks presents a world that doesn't know it is on the cusp of annihilation. There are only a few chosen who actively work to prevent the coming destruction, but their efforts seem small in the face of the darkness. Brooks focuses on the themes of good versus evil and the influence and power our choices have on the world. These books are much darker in nature than his others, but he still manages to create sympathetic characters, though world-weary, who are still fighting. With these urban fantasies, you will not find telepathic vampires or sympathetic werewolves, but a burned-out hero and an untried girl arrayed against forces they do not quite understand.
I have felt for a long time that these are Brooks’ best works. I was disappointed when he merged this series into the more well-known world of Shannara as a prequel’s prequel (i.e. The Genesis of Shannara series) as I believe that these books were great as is. Still, one does not have to read his other books to be satisfied with these.