Read for the I Just Have to Read More of That Author Reading Challenge, the Second Best Reading Challenge, the Apocalypse Now! Reading Challenge, the High Fantasy Reading Challenge, and the Read the Sequel Reading Challenge.
This book was nominated for the Stoker and Locus Awards.
I guess it’s no secret now how much I love the Dark Tower series. One of the best parts about it is that it’s a genre-bender. Is this fantasy or science fiction or horror? Is it a post-apocalyptic Western or a high fantasy quest? Is it magical realism or dark fantasy or portal fantasy? The answer is yes, and that’s why it’s awesome.
The other reason is its characters. They feel human. Even Roland Deschain, who seemed such a larger-than-life, enigmatic figure is humanized after Wizard and Glass; his world isn’t ours, but it’s close enough that we can relate, and he has suffered and lost and now we know of it.
Be warned; this is an edge-of-your-seat, highly-tense page turner, which can be somewhat of an inconvenience since it’s a long one (better set aside the weekend if you hate to be interrupted.) Be also warned; this book and its sequel, Song of Susannah, is one story; this one ends on a major cliffhanger!
Critiques: the division of gender roles may be mildly irritating to a present-day audience. I was okay with it because a) Susannah is from the sixties, so wouldn’t chafe against those things as much as I would, and b) this is a different culture. But never fear, ladies; it’s hands-down the women who play the most significant (and bravest) role in this one!
Second criticism: there is a subplot going on, that, without any spoilers, becomes a major part of the plot in the next book, and it felt to me very much like going backwards, covering ground we’ve already covered in many ways. I found it frustrating the first time I read it, and that stuck in my mind enough that the re-read took a while to get back to.
Give it a try if you want something different. Well worth your time.