A nice, quick one; that just about sums up the whole book and my response to it.
Not knowing anything about the book beforehand, it’s apparent in the first pages that it falls squarely in the fantasy genre. I’ve got to say, I’m not sure how I feel about the fantasy as a genre. It’s not something I generally read, but don’t have an outright aversion to it. I think people who reject whole genres of literature are idiots. Whatever setting they’re in, the stories are all about people being people and, while not always groundbreaking, they’re often revelatory or at least illuminative of our capacity to cover the spectrum of good and bad behaviour.
It’s also quickly apparent that this is an all-ages book. There’s no horror, no bad language or sex etc. It’s just a nice, wholesome story of good vs. evil in a fantasy land of magic, dragons and kings and queens in their castles. From reading this (http://www.stephenking.com/library/novel/eyes_of_the_dragon_the_inspiration.html) King wrote the book for his then 13 year old daughter who wasn’t keen on his horror stories. It feels to me like an author flexing his writing abilities and trying his hand at a genre exercise outside of his usual fare. As I’ve already said, it’s a nice story, nicely written and, of course, has a nice ending (I don’t think that comes close to spoiling it) but that really is it. I haven’t even got anything bad to say about it. I don’t have a great deal of praise for it either. I will say that I happily charged through it, was very interested to see how things would turn out in the end and did get caught up in the race against time, was touched by the loyalty between friends and fealty of servant to master. It will serve as the perfect introduction to his works for my own children when they get a little older.
That he would eventually come to see his grand fantasy series, The Dark Tower, as his true magnum opus is interesting and a little disconcerting at this stage as I’m not really buzzing at the prospect of spending more time in a fantasy land. Presumably, The Dark Tower is a lot more grown-up? As The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three is next on my list, I guess I’ll be finding out sooner than later.
Well, once I’ve read Jeff Lemire’s
Trilogy. My wife got it for me at Christmas and I've been looking for an opportunity to read it without interrupting the King mission. As I'm now waiting for my local library to find a copy of The Drawing of the Three - now's as good a time as any. Essex County
If you're into comics, or not, check out Jeff Lemire's Sweet Tooth series. It's so good! In fact, anything he's put his hand to is worth a look.