Wizard and Glass is my favorite of the Dark Tower series. The story in The Wind Through the Keyhole starts after that novel but before Wolves of the Calla. Reading this was a no-brainer for me. I have missed Roland and his ka-tet and have been contemplating a re-read soon. So, finding new-to-me material was a treat.
At his core, I believe Stephen King is just a storyteller. Since Roland is basically a version of King, he is also a storyteller. Some of my favorite scenes throughout The Dark Tower series were Roland telling Jake, Eddie and Susannah tales from his past.
TWTTK begins with the ka-tet on the path of the beam. A storm, or starkblast, is coming and they need to find shelter. They find a meeting hall in a deserted town and settle in for several days while the storm rolls through. Roland then tells them the story of The Skin-Man. After the death of Susan Delgado and Gabrielle Deschain, Roland and another young gunslinger, Jamie DeCurry, are sent to investigate several killings in Debaria. There are rumors that a shapeshifter (Skin-Man) is committing these murders. A potential witness is being held in protective custody and to help ease his mind during another storm, Roland tells him The Wind Through the Keyhole. I wasn’t sure what to expect as there was a lot of build-up to the main event. It’s classic King – young boy trying to come of age, people making horrible mistakes, magic, trickery and a little bit of ka.
At this point, we are now in a story, within a story, within another story. Only King can keep a reader interested through these layers. He brings us back to finish the search for the Skin-Man and then completes the tale on the path of the beam.
What can I say? 5/5 stars. Learning more about Roland – a strange choice for a book boyfriend, but nevertheless he’s one of my favorites. There are many opportunities for more stories within this world and I hope that King will continue to write them as the wind blows through him.
A few of my favorite quotes:
“There’s nothing like stories on a windy night when folks have found a warm place in a cold world.”
“My mind was like his: cold.”
“Once Tim asked his father what civilized meant. “Taxes,” Big Ross said, and laughed – but not in a funny way.”
“The guardian of the beam at this end is Aslan. Aslan is a lion, and if he still lives, he is far from here, in the land of endless snows.”