A trilogy of urban fantasy novels by noted author TerryBrooks, that deals with several recurring characters caught up in the ongoing war between The Word, which created all life, and The Void, which seeks to destroy it.

The Knights of the Word [[WalkingTheEarth walk the earth]] performing missions for [[DungeonMaster The Lady]], and each night they dream of what will happen if they fail. They are locked in a secret conflict with the demons of the void, once-human {{shape shifter}}s dedicated to the destruction of all things.

The books are as follows:

* ''Running With The Demon''
* ''A Knight Of The Word''
* ''Angel Fire East''

In ''Running with the Demon'', CuteWitch Nest Freemark finds her life thrown into chaos when the titular demon arrives in her hometown of Hopewell, pursued by Knight of the Word, John Ross. Both want something from her, though Nest isn't sure what that could be, and seem to have ties to her family's past, specifically her mother, who committed suicide some years earlier. The demon also goes out of his way to stir up trouble around the town, which is in the middle of a long and bitter strike, putting in motion numerous plans which, if successful, will lead to Nest's subversion, and the end of the world as they know it. A MagicalNativeAmerican named O'olish Amaneh is also in the area, and provides Nest and Ross with some important, if cryptic guidance as the story moves towards a violent climax.

Several years later, in ''A Knight of the Word'', John Ross, following a personal tragedy, has renounced his position as a Knight, and is now working for a mundane charity. Concerned that the demons will attempt to turn him, O'olish Amaneh recruits Nest to do for John what John did for her, charging her with saving the fallen Knight before it is too late. Unbeknownst to John though, one of the demons is already closing in.

After another TimeSkip, both John and the demons return to Hopewell in ''Angel Fire East'', hunting a fairy of enormous potential.

The books were retconned into the backstory of Brooks' ongoing {{Shannara}} series (see ''TheGenesisOfShannara'' for details). One of the author's few ventures outside the world of High Fantasy, ''Literature/TheWordAndTheVoid'' paints a disturbing image of a world caught up in an ongoing war that it isn't even aware of. Highly recommended.

The character sheet for this series, and the ''{{Shannara}}'' books can be found [[Characters/{{Shannara}} here]]
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This series provides examples of:
* AbusiveParents: Jared Scott's mother and boyfriends. Many others are alluded to.
* ActionGirl: Nest Freemark.
* AfterTheEnd: Ross' dreams show him wandering through a post-apocalyptic future that is very much this trope.
** Which turned into reality by the time ''TheGenesisOfShannara'' takes place.
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: Demons. The feeders are a variation, since they're evil but necessary, while the demons are aberrations in every sense of the word.
* AssholeVictim: The boy who the demon kills in ''Running With The Demon''.
* AwesomeMcCoolname: Nest and Hawk Freemark.
* BadassGrandpa: It's not an over-the-top example, but Nest's grandfather gets points for willingly attacking a bomb and gun-toting nutjob who'd been influenced by the demon.
** [[HeroKiller Findo Gask]] probably counts too, as does O'olish Amaneh, who is so {{Badass}} even Gask would rather not face him.
* BadDreams: of a BadFuture. They provide clues for Knights to defeat the demons in the present.
* BadFuture: Ross and the other Knights of the Word are working overtime to prevent one.
* BigBad: The unnamed demon in the first book, [[spoiler: Stefanie]] in the second, and Findo Gask in the third.
** BiggerBad: The never confronted Void, which is TheManBehindTheMan to each book's BigBad (though even then, it only seems to have been directly controlling Gask).
* BitchInSheepsClothing: The demon and [[spoiler:Stefanie]].
* BlondGuysAreEvil: The demon.
* BookEnds: The death of [[spoiler:Bennett Scott]] in "Angel Fire East" mirrors the near-fatal incident at the [[spoiler:beginning]] of "Running With the Demon".
* TheBully: Danny Abbott and the unnamed victim of the demon in ''Running With The Demon''.
* TheChosenOne: [[spoiler:Hawk Freemark]].
* TheCorrupter: The demons, and in particular, ''the'' demon (of Running With The Demon) are this trope.
* CouncilOfAngels: The Lady comes close.
* CreepyBlueEyes: The demon again. His are pale, washed out, and unsettling.
* DarkerAndEdgier: Than Brooks' writing in general. These books are very cynical to say the least.
* DarkMessiah: If [[TheCorrupter the demon]] had succeeded in touching [[spoiler: Nest, she]] would have become one of these.
* DemonLordsAndArchDevils: Findo Gask.
* DownOnTheFarm: Hopewell is the cynical version of this, being a dried up, poor Midwestern town with no future, and residents whose morals are slowly decaying at best. The steel mill is the only source of income, and farming just doesn't pay like it used to. The town slogan of "We're Growing Your Way" is a bad joke at best.
* TheDragon: In ''Running With The Demon'' the demon invokes the trope's inspiration by loosing [[SealedEvilInACan the maentwrog]] on John Ross.
* DrivenToSuicide: The demon did this to Nest's mother, Catelyn.
* DungeonMaster: The Lady.
* DyingTown: Hopewell. Most of the population is older, the people left behind are desperate and/or poor, and the only real source of income is the steel mill. Brooks paints a very sad picture with it of a town dying a slow death.
* {{God}}: The Word.
* HandicappedBadass: John Ross; justified, he acquired his limp as the price of his magic staff, and his {{badass}}ness.
* TheHeartless: The feeders, mindless living shadows that eat your emotions or drive you into a frenzy. The demons themselves are a borderline case.
* {{Hellhound}}: [[spoiler:Stefanie]], TheBigBad of ''Knight Of The Word'' has one of these as her true form.
* HeroOfAnotherStory: O'olish Amaneh, one of the Lady's other servants, definitely gives off this vibe. It's not hard to imagine him out there contributing in ways that are every bit as important as those of Nest and Ross.
* HeroKiller: Findo Gask specializes in hunting Knights of the Word.
* HeroicBSOD: [[spoiler:Ross]] before the beginning of ''Knight Of The Word''.
* HeroicFireRescue: [[spoiler:Stefanie subverts this in ''A Knight of the Word'' as a cover for the bumps and bruises that she had endured during her fight with Nest; despite her shapeshifting abilities, she couldn't hide those injuries completely.]]
* HumanMomNonhumanDad: [[spoiler:Nest]].
* InTheBlood: All the Freemark women have had the magic. There also seems to be a certain stubborn streak that shows up regardless of gender...
* IllBoy: Jared Scott in ''Running With The Demon''.
* KnightInSourArmour: John Ross to a degree.
* LackOfEmpathy: The demons are ''very'' close to being magically created sociopaths.
* LukeIAmYourFather: [[spoiler: The demon to Nest]]. And for the worst possible reasons. He fathered her in order to get revenge on her grandmother and [[DrivenToSuicide drive her mother to suicide]].
* MagicalNativeAmerican: Two Bears/O'olish Amaneh. He does get genuine characterization though; in some ways he's almost a HeroOfAnotherStory. It's also {{Justified|Trope}} as the [[DungeonMaster Lady]] won't ''let'' him interfere in the main plot, sending him as an observer only.
* ManicPixieDreamGirl: Stefanie. [[spoiler:[[DeconstructedTrope Who is also the villain.]]]]
* MeaningfulName: [[spoiler:Nest Freemark]] and her son, TheChosenOne, [[spoiler:Hawk]].
* MuggingTheMonster: In the first book, a boy demands a toll from anyone who crosses his street, using his dog as the threat. He tries it on the demon. The demon makes the boy smell like a rabbit and the whole affair ends very badly for the bully.
* {{Mutants}}: Ross runs into a few of these "once-men" in the future.
* NoHoldsBarredBeatdown: Jared gets one from George Paulsen in ''Running With The Demon''.
* NotSoDifferent: The demons are fond of this one.
* NothingExcitingEverHappensHere: Hopewell. Beyond the drinking, the strikes, the feeders, and the odd demon attack, they're right.
* OlderThanTheyLook: In both the sequels, Ross returns after being away for years, and Nest notes that he doesn't appear to have aged.
* OmnicidalManiac: The Void seeks to destroy everything created by The Word, making all of its servants this by default.
* OurDemonsAreDifferent: Specifically, they're [[TheSoulless soulless]] former humans corrupted by [[UltimateEvil The Void]]. They manifest a number of powers, including spellcasting, mind control, and ShapeShifting, and exist only to serve The Void's will by erasing all of creation.
* ReallyGetsAround: Enid Scott, who has five different children by five different men.
* RevengeByProxy: Nest's existence is the result of this. When the demon was spurned by her grandmother, he went away for years, then came back and seduced her daughter Catelyn, [[spoiler:got her pregnant]] and then revealed the truth, [[DrivenToSuicide driving Catelyn to suicide]] shortly after Nest's birth.
* {{Satan}}: The Void, which only speaks once (in ''Angel Fire East'') could be considered the setting's Satan analogue.
* ShapeShifter: Most demons can alter their appearance in one way or another. [[spoiler: Stefanie is the most obvious example]].
* SealedEvilInACan: The maentwrog in ''Running With The Demon''. Or more accurately Sealed Evil In A Tree.
* UsefulNotes/{{Seattle}}: The setting of ''A Knight of the Word''.
* ShellShockedVeteran: Derry Howe from ''Running With The Demon'' is what happens when this character is dumb, easily manipulated, and dropped into the middle of a town that's in the middle of a strike. Ross and O'olish Amaneh both have aspects of this.
* SortingAlgorithmOfEvil: Each book's demon is more dangerous than the last one, most pronounced with the jump from [[spoiler:Stefanie]] to Gask. Definitely [[JustifiedTrope justified]] by John Ross' epic level of badassery. Most demons go around sowing general chaos and are a roughly even match for a Knight of the Word, but by the third book they figure out that for Ross they need the demon (Gask) who specializes in hunting Knights. And even ''he'' recruits two more demons to help him.
* TheSoulless: All demons. They're the remains of humans who sold their souls to The Void in return for more power.
* ShoutOut: ''A Knight of the Word'' has numerous {{Shout Out}}s to ''Film/TheWizardOfOz''.
* TenMinuteRetirement: Ross, for most of ''Knight of the Word'', following MyGreatestFailure and a HeroicBSOD.
* TerribleTrio: Gask's henchmen in ''Angel Fire East''. Unusually, all three are quite dangerous.
* UltimateEvil: The Void is less a character than it is raw ChaoticEvil. It seeks to eradicate all creation, reducing everything to the primordial state from whence it came.
* UrbanFantasy
* VillainExitStageLeft: Gask gets this, but it's justified; Nest knows she can't beat him ''mano a mano'', so she tricks him into thinking the Gypsy Morph is gone and his mission has failed.
* VoluntaryShapeshifting: Some of the demons can do this; the main villain in ''Knight Of The Word'' is a good example.
** It's implied that all demons are actually capable of adopting any form they want, it's just for most of them it takes weeks for them create a new form, Knight's BigBad was special in that it could change forms in mere minutes.
* WalkingTheEarth: The Knights of the Word.
* WasOnceAMan: All the demons were once human, and gave up their souls for power.
* WorldHalfFull: It's a cynical, depressing setting, in which the war between The Word and The Void can never be ended, but it is possible to make a small difference in peoples' lives. That's what keeps Nest and Ross going.
* XMeetsY: {{Terminator}} meets UrbanFantasy.
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