Wizard and Glass begins with the end of the train, or Blaine the Pain. How did they do it? How did they beat Blaine? Which riddle did it, if indeed it was a riddle at all? (Nope…no spoilers here!) They do, and I don’t believe that’s a spoiler as there are a number of books after this book so you know at least one of them goes on.
And on they go…this time in a similar Topeka, Kansas as our own. Only it’s nearly empty of people due to the disease that swept the people in Stephen King’s story The Stand. (If you don’t know yet, King often links places, people, figures, and such from one story into another. There are others in this novel as well but that’s another post for another time.) This novel is all about giving the reader (as well as the other members in Roland’s ka-tet the answers that begs to be answered…flashbacks to his past take up the better part of the book. First, we learn how Roland earns his gunslinger status and his guns as well as Roland’s first encounter with a thinny.
Roland is the youngest ever in history to earn his guns but it was forced upon him by his father’s counselor and wizard Martin. Without thinking Roland takes some matters into his own hands and earns his guns. Later his father, instead of congratulating him sends him away, with his two friends, for his own safety. They are sent to Mejis where they take pseudonyms and claim to be there to ‘count’.
While there, Roland falls in love with Susan Delgado and at the same time learns of a plot that is going down in the town. As it always does, love blinds his ability to reason things properly, landing him and his companions in heeps of trouble and eventually in jail accused of crimes they never committed. Susan however helps them escape and the good destroy the bad. Wait…nope. That’s wrong. Wrong book. Yes, they do ring in many successes and they thwart the plot but it costs much. Very much.
So, what is the title Wizard and Glass got to do with all that? Well, there is this pink-colored wizard’s glass orb or well, better known as a crystal ball. This ball keeps reappearing throughout the novel and for good reason. It plays a very significant role in the past, present, and future of the book. And it is a no good, stinky, bad, evil vibe, smelly, troublesome ball. That’s all I’ll say of it.
Now, I know I keep saying that the last was my favorite of the series but it’s been so very long since having read this and having a fresh eye to this story…I have to say this one was just brilliant. The best? Quite possibly. LOL. When the book came to a close, I honestly said aloud, “man he is an awesome writer!” Because nobody can spin a tale such as he. There are so many parts about this book I loved. The young love between Roland and Susan was done elegantly but I loved the story surrounding them. With numerous deeply woven pieces, together they crafted a story so completely….complete. With such a patchwork of stories it’s hard to summarize the story accurately and give each significant part its fair share. Every single character was pulled off the page and given a real life. Not one character, not even the very least was left uncooked. Each was baked to perfection, like the perfect moist cake, they were all given ample time to rise to perfection.
If there were anything I didn’t like in the entire book, it would have been the pre-ending where Stephen King draws his tale to a close and the ka-tet find themselves in something similar to the Emerald City in the Wizard of Oz. I know that sounds utterly ridiculous and even reading this…it does sound kinda lame. But this is King and he can pull anything off. LOL And of course, he does. I just didn’t care for how far he took the similarities…The tick-tock man was bothersome to me. And when Oy found him…way too far into Oz for me. But the rest, even Randall Flagg, from The Stand I could accept. I even liked it…made me want to watch the movie again. (I won’t though because this year is all about reading his books…not watching his movies.) The wrap-up, with the last scene of Roland’s secret…the one he didn’t include and wouldn’t have shared with his ka-tet was revealed and it was done so fiercely. And it ends…with them back on the path of the beam. As always.
My Verdict: 9.5/10