The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I first read this about a year after it was published and hadn't thought too much about it since then, but for the young kid I was, it happened to be the first fantasy novel I ever read and the second novel... period.
It shaped my idea of what fantasy was, even if I've reformulated that about a million times since then, but let me be frank: I wasn't all that impressed. SF in all its shapes and forms caught my imagination more. In fact, it took something like a decade and a half before I went off the infrequent perusal of fantasies and did huge binge-reads of the genre.
The old castle, kings, queens, and princes just didn't do that much for me.
On the other hand, Stephen King will not be denied. I enjoyed the characters even tho they seemed to be nearly archetypal templates with hardly any differentiation from the ideals, was amused by the whole handkerchief plot, and was immensely interested in Flagg, that bigger-than-life evil bastard that spans many of King's novels.
This re-read didn't change my initial opinion all that much, but the core is still good if not purely fantastic. And this time, I got to wonder at all the kitchen-sink story elements that had been thrown into this tale, straight out of King's earlier novels. Such as the importance of storms, a-la IT, the incorporation of less than bright characters as extremely important heroes in their own rights, and elements of regret, redemption, and forgiveness for even the greatly-flawed and mostly despicable characters.
I haven't seen but a handful of characters in ALL of King's works that can be described as genuinely decent and/or good, but Peter happens to be one. That's pretty wild. :)
No, this isn't a King masterpiece, but it definitely has a lot of charm.
Can you believe it? It's King's only pure fantasy!
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