Rules for a Knight

  • by Ethan Hawke
  • Narrated by Alessandro Nivola
  • 2 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

It is 1483, and Sir Thomas Lemuel Hawke, a Cornish knight, is about to ride into battle. On the eve of his departure, he composes a letter to his four young children, consisting of 20 virtues that provide instruction on how to live a noble life and on all the lessons, large and small, that he might have imparted to them himself were he not expecting to die on the battlefield.
"Why am I alive? Where was I before I was born? What will happen to me when I die? Whatever well our lives are drawn from, it is deep, wild, mysterious, and unknowable...."
Rules for a Knight is many things: a code of ethics; an intimate record of a lifelong quest; a careful recounting of a knight's hardest won lessons, deepest aspirations, and most richly instructive failures; and an artifact, a relic of a father's exquisite love.
Drawing on the ancient teachings of Eastern and Western philosophy and religion, on literature and poetry, and on the great spiritual and political writings of our time, Ethan Hawke has written a parable that - in the story of a young man's journey toward a life of authenticity and meaning - captures the instinctive movement of the heart toward truth and beauty. Rules for a Knight has the appeal of Arthurian legend; the economy of Aesop; and the vitality, intelligence, and risk-taking that could emanate only from Ethan Hawke.


What the Critics Say

"[Narrator Alessandro] Nivola uses grandfatherly tones - melodious, deep, and enchanting - to draw listeners in. Using lyrical tones, he BECOMES the knight who writes his timeless advice for his sleeping heirs." (AudioFile)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

This is the book you should read!

If you could sum up Rules for a Knight in three words, what would they be?

Simple, elegant, and straightforward. Meaningful, concise, and moving. This book uses a entertaining narrative to convey important messages about what it is to be a mature and thoughtful human being.

Highly recommended!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Rules for a Knight?

The secret is: there is no secret.

Paraphrased form: “Pay attention: what you need to know is usually in front of you. There are no secrets, just things people choose not to notice.”

What does Alessandro Nivola bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Good voices and a consistent and appropriate accent.

If you could rename Rules for a Knight, what would you call it?

Rules for humanity.

Any additional comments?

Read this book.

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- Mark Whiting "Metophile"

Knights Tale

I approached this book as real and didn't realize it was a piece of fiction until later when I goggled the author and background after a few chapters. I started getting suspicous after the two wolves story which is from Indian folklore. Also the Knight's world view was very modern, and secular.

I think that is why it was hard to finish the book because I no longer felt that I was receiving some ancient wisdom like the Art of War.
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- HW

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-10-2015
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio