FC: The Heroic Cycle, Archetypal Characters and Story lines By Josh Clauson
1: The Knife of Never Letting Go tells the story of Todd Hewitt, a young boy living on New World, where all the women died from the war, and the town he lives in, Prentisstown, is the only surviving town after the war. Todd is awaiting his thirteenth birthday, when he will finally be known as a man. However, Todd's adoptive father Ben tells Todd the terrible truth of what happens on kids' thirteenth birthday, how they are forced to kill a man. Todd flees Prentisstown, accompanied by his dog Manchee, in search for safety.
2: Cast of Characters | Todd Hewitt | Todd is the hero in this novel, although he doesn't realize it until later in the story. After leaving Prentisstown, Todd comes across Viola, the first girl Todd has ever seen. Todd realizes that almost everything that he knows is a lie, and he must run for his life from the army that Mayor Prentiss has created to capture him.
3: Through a note left by his "father" Ben, Todd is told that he must reach the settlement "Haven", which could be the only place that can protect him and Viola from the army. Throughout his journey, Todd must make many sacrifices, including his dog Manchee, and must face several tests and trials.
4: Viola Eade | Viola is Todd's ally, and the only person that Todd can trust. She helps him while fighting Aaron, a preacher from Prentisstown, who is intent on killing Viola and capturing Todd. Viola also provides Todd with motivation and inspiration whenever Todd feels like giving up
5: Manchee | Manchee is Todd's loyal and faithful dog. In the beginning of the story, Manchee is nothing but a nuisance to Todd, but as Todd's journey continues, Manchee proves his loyalty by biting anything that threatens Todd and Viola.
6: Ben, Todd's adoptive father, turns out to be Todd's only mentor. Although he is only seen twice in the story, Ben does his best to guide Todd through his voyage. Ben does not share the old age that most other mentors have, but he is wise, and tries to impart his wisdom to Todd before he dies. | Ben
7: Aaron's role in this story is the Threshold Guardian. Aaron constantly slows Todd and Viola from reaching their destination, usually by capturing Viola and beating Todd to unconsciousness. Aaron's whole purpose is to try and get Todd to kill him(Aaron), to turn him from innocence to sin. | Aaron
8: Mayor Prentiss | Mayor Prentiss is the ultimate symbol of evil in this story, the Shadow. Mayor Prentiss is the leader of the army chasing Todd, and is the reason Todd's life was shattered. Throughout the story, Todd often finds something to be hopeful for, and is usually thwarted by the Mayor.
10: The Heroic Cycle | Call to Adventure | Todd's call to adventure was when he encountered Viola in the swamp. This discovery turned Todd's world upside-down, because it was then that he realized all of the lies he had been told.
11: Threshold Crossing | Todd crossed the threshold when he fled Prentisstown, and dicovered that everything he knew is a lie. He must now flee from the army that is trying to destroy his innocence.
12: Almost all of the tests and tasks Todd encounters is brought on by Aaron. Aaron constantly stops and torments Todd, on one occasion killing his dog, Manchee. | Tests and Tasks
13: Other tests are the sheer odds against Todd, and the hopelessness he encounters.
14: Supreme Test | Todd's supreme test occurs in a cave beneath a waterfall, right outside the settlement Haven. In this cave, Todd has his final confrontation with Aaron. You'd think this is when Todd proves himself by killing Aaron, right?
15: Well, since Aaron's original purpose was to get Todd to kill, and turn from innocence to sin, that's not really an option. However, Todd is so consumed by revenge and he rage that he fails to notice this. It's up to Viola to plunge a knife into Aaron's neck, ending his ploy to corrupt Todd.
16: Sadly, there is no reward or return for our hero. Upon arriving at Haven, his only hope against Mayor Prentiss, Todd realizes that he lost. Mayor Prentiss traveled ahead of the army, and took control of Haven. | Reward and Return
17: Todd and Viola are then captured and separated, setting the scene for book two, "The Ask and The Answer."