A great read that (sort of) ties into the Dark Tower story as a distant prequel. If you aren't a Dark Tower fan or haven't read the series, do not let that put you off. It's a nice little fantasy story that stands on its own. It also differs from King's more popular works in that there is no horror or excessive violence. The story is comparable to a children's fantasy novel, though it paints a few violent themes that push it out of that category.
The basic story is that of a kingdom in a far off land, where the simple minded King is advised by a magician counselor, the Man in Black. The King falls in love with and marries an intelligent woman who challenges the magicians sway over the King. The pair have two children, the older is brilliant, athletic and headstrong and the other is clumsy and of moderate intelligence. After the mother dies, the King ignores the younger brother, which results in him gaining a tendency of anger and cruelty that attracts the attention of the magician. When the older brother shows he will not fall under the sway of the magician, he takes steps to make sure his protege, the younger brother, takes the throne.
A great little story on its own, which is even more appreciated by fans of the Dark Tower series, who will undoubtedly recognize the mysterious magician.
This book was the first Stephen King I read, and it remains a favorite. Another reviewer described it as a modern fairy tale and this is probably the best way to look at it. In retrospect, this book feel a lot like Neil Gaiman and a lot like the Gunslinger (the first book of the Dark Tower series). The book is suspenseful, but not the typical Stephen King scare-a-thon. King proves here, as he did with many other works, that he is more than simply a prolific horror writer.
This book roxors my soxors clean off.
I was around 8 or 9 when my dad read me this novel. It's awesome!
A detailed and delicous spin on a fairy tale story. It spells 'Stephen King' all the way through it.
Don't let the name Stephen King deter you from reading this book. If you like adult fairy tales this is one of the best.
not your typical Stephen King novel, that's for sure! enjoyable read nonetheless.
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