My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Oh boy, how to review this without spoilers.
Roland’s quest for the Dark Tower drives him forward relentlessly and, as in the previous installments, people fall victim along the way. You’ll need a tissue. Maybe even a box of tissues.
Still, with the tears, we get grand resolutions, climactic confrontations, a few gag-inducing gross-out moments, and an intriguing explanation for the presence of Character King (as opposed to Author King) within the narrative.
In the end, ka is truly a wheel.
My main quibble isn’t the presence of Character King, as seems to stick in the craw of other readers. Once that was explained, it made sense in context and I accepted it for what it was. No, my chief gripe was Mordred, as Susannah’s baby was named. As a concept, he was excellent: a child conceived from the line of Arthur for the purpose of destroying his father. As a character, he was pointless: simply a bootless boogieman, the promised confrontation with whom turned out to be…well, less than satisfying.
Said quibble aside, I enjoyed the time spent here, traveling with Roland and ka-tet, as we reached the Tower together, at last.
Safe travels, Roland. I’ll visit you again someday.
(NOTE: I read the Scribner first edition trade paperback published in 2005. This review links to the hardcover so it shows the correct cover art.)
This review was written as part of the 2016 Award-Winning SFF Challenge. This challenge is now over, but you can find the sign-up for the 2017 Challenge right here.