Final installment in Brooks’s Word vs. Void clash (Running with the Demon, 1997; A Knight of the Word, 1998). Ten years have elapsed, and now a “gypsy morph”—or organized aggregation of random magics—has formed: usually they spontaneously disintegrate but, rarely, transform into powerful forces for good or evil. Weary Knight of the Word John Ross rushes to protect the gypsy morph; similarly, the Void dispatches the ancient demon Findo Gask. To his disadvantage, Gask can detect the morph only when it changes form, and since Ross’s guardianship, it’s locked itself into the form of a four-year-old boy. Gask knows, however, that Ross and “Little John” will eventually show up at the Hopewell, Illinois, house of Olympic champion runner and demon-buster Nest Freemark. Nest’s life is already complicated by the arrival of Bennett Scott, an old friend battling drug addiction, and her daughter Harper. The demon schemes to corrupt Bennett and so strike at Nest. Finally, Ross and Little John appear, though Gask still has no inkling that Little John is the morph he seeks. He kills Bennett, then kidnaps Little John and Harper, expecting Nest to trade the children for the whereabouts of the morph. But Nest knows Gask has no intention of trading—he’ll simply kill the children—and so the stage is set for a showdown on Christmas Eve. Once again, a carefully crafted scenario and believable characters undermined by uncompelling and unsurprising developments; still, series fans should be pleased.