Stephen King’s fantastic opus comes to its pic conclusion this week in the most epic way possible, and it’s a stunning read. Picking up where the previous installment left off, the ride doesn’t let up until the very last page as Roland Deschain and his ka-tet are reunited across worlds.
We join up again with Eddie, Susannah, Jake and Oy, but going into this one, I knew it was going to be rough. Roland began his journey alone, and you know that is how he is going to finish it.
Before that, however, he’s going to have to stop the Breakers who are assaulting the beams that hold up the worlds, and support the Dark Tower, as well as facing the Crimson King, and his own monster of a son, Mordred. And it’s not going to be easy, the price will be high, and there will be temptations, and unforeseen trouble in the road, including having to return to the Keystone World to save the writer, again.
But I will ride out this one last time with Roland, and I will watch his friends fall to the wayside as he continues his quest, his obsession.
Busting at over one thousand pages the story grabs you and races along at a unrelenting pace, bringing you to in its inescapable conclusion, one that couldn’t have played out any other way. It pulls you on like the call of the roses in the field around the tower, inexorably, even when terror, violence and tragedy strikes. You may be allowed a quick breather, but you cannot waver from the Path of the Beam, or escape the wheel of ka.
It’s a powerful ride and one that shows King at the top of his game, though according to his avatar in these tales he is simply the hand that carries the message.
And of course the book ties in with other texts from King, we get a character (or two) that seems to have drifted in from another tale, we hear mentions of King’s Hearts in Atlantis, as well as the implication that his giant novel, Insomnia, may have some very strong tie-ins with the Tower.
But by this point, a number of King’s novels and stories tie in with this bigger universe, and honestly, to me, it makes them all that much cooler.
I’ll be sad to leave Roland and his ka-tet, but this journey, reading them all as close together as I have, makes for one beautiful, engaging and solid tale, and I loved every minute of it.
There is oddness here, darkness, and terror, monsters from the depths, but there is nobility, loyalty, family, love and beauty here too, and that makes the story that much more powerful.
I am so glad that I dug into this series again, and I enjoyed every moment of it, even when King was wringing tears from my eyes over some of the developments.
Have you read them? If you haven’t do yourself a favor and visit the worlds King unveils in this epic (and see how they tie in with so many of his other works) and if you have… isn’t time to take on the quest again?