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Last month I finished the final book I wanted to read about The Dark Tower Series. I wrote reviews for all books, but I also want to write one single post about the story as a whole.
I will try to not write spoilers here, especially for the main plot, but I may touch some points that I feel are quite interesting and you may want to experience yourself, especially in the Song of Susannah, so be warned. 😉
Before reading the first book
I had a feeling it was “The Lord of the Rings” mixed with “wild west”. I knew it was written by Stephen King, but I didn’t know the author that well before that. I watched The Green Mile and The Mist movies, but did not read the books.
J.R.R. Tolkien is my favorite author (no surprise here if you follow me) and the fact that the Dark Tower was inspired by the Lord of the Rings brought me to the series.
Now that I finished the books, I can see how the relation with Tolkien books can totally mess up with the expectations. The Dark Tower is quite interesting and is written by a great author (Stephen King is above expectations for sure), but it’s not complete and detailed in the same level as Tolkien’s works.
After reading The Gunslinger
I have to say, I was quite disappointed when I finished The gunslinger. I had the wrong expectation (because of the Tolkien thing) and also faced a book that was not very engaging (IMO). One of the few parts that I enjoyed was the final chapter of the book, that kind of introduces the next book.
I finished reading the book in January 2018 and only got back to the series in April 2021 because I was tired of seeing a lot of books in my shelf 😅.
The Drawing of the Three
I started The Drawing of the Three because I already had the audiobook bought on audible and the physical book in my shelf, so I said: “Why not!?”. For some time I felt I was wasting my time, but after a short period of time I started to get into the story and got the first book to review.
The Drawing of the Three is a great book. The story is quite crazy and interesting. This book is the responsible to get me into the world of the Dark Tower again.
The Waste Lands
The Waste Lands is probably the best book of the whole series. A lot of mystery, more about the Mid-World, and some things that will only make sense (at least to me) in the future.
The whole thing with Blaine the Mono was quite interesting to me. This book shows a lot more about what may have happened to the world before it moved on.
When I finished this one, I was totally hooked to the whole serie.
Wizard and Glass
A book with Wizard in the name, which was again breaking my expectations. It was interesting to see the past of Roland, but it felt totally unrelated to the plot. I felt some references to Tolkien here (palantiris, thorin, etc.), which felt nice.
The Wind Through the Keyhole
I read The Wind Through the Keyhole when I finished the whole story. I regret this, and I think it would be nice to read this book chronologically, after the Wizard and Glass. I don’t know if I would have enough patience to do that, but it felt a bit weird to read this right after finishing the main plot. If you’re reading (or planning to read) the entire set, I recommend you to try to do that in order.
The Wind Through the Keyhole is a good story and will even add more information about another guardian of the beam. 😉
Wolves of the Calla
I liked Wolves of the Calla. It would be even better without so many references to “pop culture”. There’s mystery and more about the gunslinger mysticism, which is quite interesting.
Song of Susannah
The whole plot with Susannah was not very catchy to me, but the whole thing related to time was quite interesting. I saw a lot of criticism about King’s participation in his own book, but it felt quite different to me. He doesn’t feel like a Deus-ex machina to the story and the link with his final notes on every book is quite good.
The Dark Tower
It was great to finally see the story coming to an end. I will not strongly criticize the story of Roland and the Dark Tower in the end. That was very Stephen King. :)
My main criticism is related to how he deal with the main villains of the book. The way the story happened to them was very bad. There was even a Deus ex machina (that I did not mention here) in the story.
The way the main character[s] face the main villain[s] and what happens was very anti-climatic. Other than that, the way the story ends was OK-ish IMO.
The Little Sisters of Eluria
A short story worth reading if you’re into the Dark Tower. I read this after finishing the series and it felt great to read more about Roland’s past.
It was great to read the whole series. When I finished the books, I went to the Dark Tower Fandom page to get the information and the links I was missing. As a fan of Tolkien, I have to say I was very disappointed with the amount of information I found there 😅. I don’t think this is a problem with Stephen King though, it’s just that Tolkien set the bar too high.
There are many dead ends in the Dark Tower world, some are just not worth expanding for the author (for a good reason). The main plot is good, IMO. The whole book is about Roland going to the Dark Tower, it’s exactly what the old poem says: Roland childe to the dark tower came.
The world of the Dark Tower is quite interesting, and I finished the story wanting to read more about what happened there. What about the other guardians? What exactly happened to the world to get to that situation? Many other questions. I think that was kept as a mystery on purpose. 🙂