“The road and the tale have both been long, would you not say so? The trip has been long and the cost has been high... but no great thing was ever attained easily. A long tale, like a tall Tower, must be built a stone at a time.”
I struggled with whether this deserved four or five stars or not. The ending is bittersweet – after all, isn’t it about the ending since the journey is over? – so why not mention it upfront? The series is one epic, long, torturous journey. Rarely have I read a quest type novel, and this is certainly the longest series I’ve experienced. No matter how complicated King incorporated a blend of genres, (fantasy, science fiction, mystery, even a small amount of romance), it still remains ultimately a seek and find quest.
As said, the ending is bittersweet and makes one a bit angry but it also makes sense. I think there is definite hope when the horn is raised next. Being careful not to leak spoilers here, hopefully those who’ve read the books know what I’m talking about.
I didn’t expect all hearts and roses – it’s King, for one thing, and the man has the tendency to hammer brutality into his words. This isn’t a happy ever after story and was never promised or meant to be one, but damn, depressing stuff. I cry at the drop of a hat when it comes to books anyway, and this one made me positively weep.
Characters got to shine to finish off the tale. Mordred fascinated me, although I could have done without the stomach issues (ew). He’s a villain who stands out as tragic, truly evil, and twisted. Despite gripping villains, showdown scenes kind of sucked. Randall Flagg is especially a letdown. Also King is back into the books, literally, and it feels a little off this time. Maybe part of this is a catharsis from the accident and finishing the series so quickly as a result.
King saturates the pages with grim tones and shattering loss. The price of reward is expensive. The ending, as I’ve said, actually makes sense and is an ironic filled touch. I don’t like the very end wrap up for some of the characters though as it feels unreal and forced.
When the journey ends Roland is a changed man, nothing else would make sense. If he has changed enough is an answer up to the reader.
“And will I tell you that these three lived happily ever after? I will not, for no one ever does. But there was happiness. And they did live.”
“You needn't die happy when your time comes, but you must die satisfied, for you have lived your life from the beginning to the end and ka is always served.”
“May you find your Tower, Roland, and breach it, and may you climb to the top!”
“A coward judges all he sees by what he is.”
Extras on Author's Website:
Link to Robert Browning's Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came poem that inspired the story
Discordia (Game Based on the Dark Tower series)
Reviews of the Series: