Author: Stephen King
Genre: Fantasy / Romance
Publisher: Plume, 1997
Series: The Dark Tower, Book 4
"It wasn't blood but roses."
Synopsis: Stephen King invites readers back into the world of Roland the Gunslinger, in this, the eagerly anticipated fourth volume in his epic series of horror and fantasy. Wizard and Glass picks up where the last book left off, with our hero, Roland, and his unlikely band of followers escaping from one world and slipping into the next. And it is there that Roland tells them a story, one that details his discovery of something even more elusive than the Dark Tower: love. But his romance with the beautiful and quixotic Susan Delgado also has its dangers, as her world is torn apart by war. Here is Roland's journey to his own past, to a time when valuable lessons awaited him, lessons of loyalty and betrayal, love and loss. As he did in the first three volumes in the Dark Tower series, The Gunslinger, The Drawing of the Three, and The Waste Lands, Stephen King displays his marvelous talent for storytelling. Wizard and Glass is Stephen King at his very best.
Death for you, life for the crop. Charyou tree.
Review: This is probably the most difficult book of The Dark Tower series for me to get through. A great deal of the story is about Roland's past. His childhood takes several horrible twists and turns. I know it's required. How else would he become the Gunslinger he needed to be later in life? But, that doesn't make the story any less tragic.
I also never loved the way this book brings portions of the The Wizard of Oz into the mix. It just seemed strange and unnecessary to me, although I admit it does create an oddly scary backdrop for the meeting with Randall Flagg. It can be argued that Maerlyn's Rainbow and The Wizard of Oz fit together seamlessly, even if it is in a twisted fashion, but the fit seems just a little too forced, a little too bizarre, and somehow out of sync.
All that aside, this story is a necessary part of the quest. It defines how, when and why Roland began the quest and why, after all this time, he must continue it to the bitter end. It's also a great story, even though I find it strange in places.
Rating: 9 / 10