This is part four of my read-through of 'The Dark Tower'. Part 1 is here, Part 2 is here, Part 3 is here, Part 5 is here, Part 6 is here, Part 7 is here and Part 8 is here. . Once again, here be spoilers.
This is the book I've been waiting for in this series - the book where we find out why Roland is questing for the Dark Tower, and what that quest has already done to his life. We finally get the back story to Roland that I've been waiting for for so long, and it comes at a great time. So far the ka-tet have been travelling without any concrete goal - we know they're looking for the Dark Tower, but even they don't know why, and they simply travel and react to the conflicts that ka sets in their path. Any more of it and it would start to get repetitive and boring, so King choosing to focus this book on Roland's history was a good call.
A lot of this book came back to me as I was reading it. I remembered feeling mounting horror towards the end of the book, when we keep hearing the words Charyou tree and know exactly what that will mean for Susan. Rhea of the Coos is a great character, and I can't remember for the life of me if she plays a role later in the series - but I hope she does.
I said in the last post that I'd keep an eye out for something from The Waste Lands cropping up in this book - and that thing turned out to be the Tick-Tock man. I'd remembered the mirroring between the story of 'The Wizard of Oz' and the events in the Oz of this book - which, again, I remembered taking up more time in the book than they did - but I'd forgotten that Tick-Tock turned out to be the man behind the curtain.
This is also the first time in the series that King starts to bring in material from his other books - namely The Stand, and Randall Flagg. I really love that Flagg turns out to be the villain in this series, but I also remember that we're not far now from the point where King appears in the novels as a character himself - and I remember how much that annoyed me on my first read through the series.
I'm really looking forward to Wolves Of The Calla - I seem to remember that there's another showdown with Flagg, though I could be wrong. Before that, though, is Wind Through The Keyhole - and I have no idea what to expect with this one. I'm going to guess that it focusses on the rest of the story Roland tells in Wizard & Glass, the events that transpire between his return to Gilead and killing his mother, but I could be wrong. Either way, I'm looking forward to it.