Friday, June 27, 2008

"The Eyes of the Dragon" review

Most people think Stephen King writes exclusively horror. But this idea is by no means true. The Dark Tower is a seven-book-long fantasy series. The Dead Zone, despite its morbid-sounding title, is more of a suspense/thriller book than outright horror. The Running Man, a novel which I will review here in the not-too-distant future, is more of a sci-fi/action blend than horror. And The Eyes of the Dragon is pure escapist fantasy.

The Eyes of the Dragon tells the story of King Roland the Good (though not great) and of his two sons, Peter and Thomas. Peter is a strong-willed boy who exemplifies all of Roland's best traits and seems to magnify them, to the happiness of the people. Thomas, however, is just like his father. Good, but not great. He longs for something he does to catch his father's eye in a good way, and for Roland to look at him as he looks at Peter.

The book also tells the story of the ageless magician Flagg and his desires to stop Peter from ascending to the throne. For what Flagg wants is chaos. Flagg has a plan to use Thomas to get what he wants. If Thomas was king, instead of Peter...

...if Peter were locked away in the Needle for a crime that he didn't commit.

The book tells the story of how Flagg, rejoicing at how well his plan is working does not notice Peter's subtle, but persistent struggle to regain the throne that was rightfully his.

The book is not one of Stephen King's longest, clocking in at just under 400 pages in length. The fast reader can finish it in a day. But King keeps the pages turning with the strength of his prose, and it's compulsive reading. Flagg, as you might have guessed, Constant Reader, is a villain whom King likes to write, and he wrote him fantastically in this gripping tale of kings and successions.

Go. Read.

My rating: 9/10

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