Wizard and Glass picks up right where we left off at the end of Book 3. Roland and his ka-tet (Eddie, Susannah, Jake and Oy) are on the Blaine train and fighting for their lives with riddles. Spoiler – they make it (what did you expect, we have many more books to go). This was a good start but the real meat of the story begins after the train ride. Roland owes his ka-tet some stories from his history. We learn of Roland’s first and only true love, Susan Delgado. But, this is so much more than a love story. It’s about friendship – Roland, Cuthbert and Alain share a brotherhood and their bonds are tested. Roland’s mother and father provide another layer of history. Cort, Roland’s teacher. Rhea, the witch. Cordelia, the bitter aunt. Each character brings something special – whether wonderful or truly awful – to Wizard and Glass.
Roland, Cuthbert and Alain’s relationship was one of the best parts of W&G for me. They drew me in and never let go. Susan, I knew that you would bring heartbreak for Roland and for us as readers. I got a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach about halfway through and it’s still there even after finishing. Susan is lovely and smart. I couldn’t help but like her. But, you go into it knowing it won’t end well. It does give us background on where Roland’s obsession with the Tower began and how he became cold and unfeeling.
King references characters from other novels. There is a good amount of tie-in to The Stand and Randall Flagg makes an appearance. The turtle is referenced. King also brings in some of The Wizard of Oz (more the movie than the original book) but it was done seamlessly. Let’s just be honest, he is a genius.
5/5 stars and I wish I had more to give. I know some of you don’t read King because of the HORROR. Give this series a try. It’s about friendship, family, the folly of youth, mistakes and their repercussions.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes to whet your appetite:
“Because it’s trouble,” Roland said, “and it’s in our road. We’ll get there in time. No need to live in trouble until trouble comes.”
“…it is from here that the blood will begin to flow. In two years, no more, the world as it has been will be swept away. It starts here. From its field of roses, the Dark Tower cries out in its beast’s voice. Time is a face on the water.”
“True love, like any other strong and addicting drug, is boring — once the tale of encounter and discovery is told, kisses quickly grow stale and caresses tiresome… except, of course, to those who share the kisses, who give and take the caresses while every sound and color of the world seems to deepen and brighten around them. As with any other strong drug, true first love is really only interesting to those who have become its prisoners. And, as is true of any other strong and addicting drug, true first love is dangerous.”
“If it’s ka it’ll come like a wind, and your plans will stand before it no more than a barn before a cyclone”