Rules for a Knight (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Shane's Staff Pick, December 2015:

For the college student.

In this story, a Knight named Sir. Thomas writes a collection of letters, reflecting on his life. Each letter contains a different moral or life lesson for his children to understand. Sir Thomas writes these as a passing of knowledge, for he does not think he will make it home to his family.

Rules for a Knight is a great read for fiction lovers or those who just need a little push to help them along their quest.

— From December 2015 Holiday Staff Picks

Recommended by Virgie: This book is small enough to fit in your pocket, but contains wisdom that far excels its size!

Author Ethan Hawke reconstructs the translation from a badly damaged letter written by a 15th-century knight on the eve of his death in battle. The purpose of this letter to his children is to impart his wisdom for life, in case he isn’t able to share his wisdom in person. He leaves nothing out!

I am a woman. I live in the 21st Century. Nevertheless, this book speaks to my soul. It is a steadfast reminder of what is important in life! Each chapter has become my new nightly meditation before sleep... I’m already on my second time around!

— From March 2016 Staff Picks


From Ethan Hawke, four-time Academy Award nominee—twice for writing and twice for acting—an unforgettable fable about a father's journey and a timeless guide to life's many questions.

A knight, fearing he may not return from battle, writes a letter to his children in an attempt to leave a record of all he knows. In a series of ruminations on solitude, humility, forgiveness, honesty, courage, grace, pride, and patience, he draws on the ancient teachings of Eastern and Western philosophy, and on the great spiritual and political writings of our time. His intent: to give his children a compass for a journey they will have to make alone, a short guide to what gives life meaning and beauty. 

About the Author

A four-time Academy Award nominee, twice for writing and twice for acting, Ethan Hawke has starred in the films Dead Poets SocietyReality BitesGattaca, and Training Day as well as Richard Linklater's Before Sunrise trilogy and Boyhood. He is the author of the novels The Hottest State and Ash Wednesday. He lives in Brooklyn with his four children and this book's illustrator, Ryan Hawke.

Praise For…

"A guide for living an upright and noble life."
  —The New Yorker

"Hawke (Ash Wednesday) pens a heartwarming, medieval tale on ethics . . . an easy and endearing read, perfect for young and old children alike."
  —Publishers Weekly

"Philosophy lovers will enjoy the Eastern and Western philosophical musings, but everyone will enjoy the touching storyline."

"Hawke's book of wisdom declaring life to be a gift should be pondered."

"Entertaining and insightful."
  —The Buffalo News

"A deliciously digestible read. . . . Read this book. You’ll be reminded of just how powerful simple gestures can be when they’re fueled by passion and purpose."
  —The Free Lance-Star
Product Details
ISBN: 9780307962331
ISBN-10: 0307962334
Publisher: Knopf
Publication Date: November 10th, 2015
Pages: 192
Language: English