Stephen King’s The Waste Lands is the third instalment of the genre-defining series that takes readers on a gripping and unforgettable journey through a mysterious and dangerous world.
Make sure you’ve read the previous instalment, The Drawing of the Three, before delving into this epic tale!
First published in 1982, The Dark Tower series has since become a classic of contemporary fantasy literature, inspiring countless imitators and influencing a generation of writers.
King’s novel explores themes of loss, love, and sacrifice, while showcasing his signature blend of suspense, horror, and literary craftsmanship. Come with us as we delve into the wonderful world that only King could write.
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About the Series
The Dark Tower series is a set of eight novels written by legendary American author Stephen King. The series follows the journey of Roland Deschain, a gunslinger from a world that is similar to the Old West, as he travels through a vast and mysterious landscape in search of the Dark Tower.
Stephen King released the series over an epic 30 years. The series was chiefly inspired by the poem “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came” by Robert Browning. This full text was included in the final volume’s appendix. In the preface to the revised 2003 edition of The Gunslinger, King also identifies The Lord of the Rings, Arthurian legend, and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly as inspirations.
The 8 novels include:
- The Gunslinger
- The Drawing of the Three
- The Waste Lands
- Wizard and Glass
- The Win Through the Keyhole
- Wolves of the Calla
- Song of Susannah
- The Dark Tower
The series has been adapted into a film (The Dark Tower 2017) starring huge stars such including Idris Elba & Matthew McConaughey and a television series of the same name.
The Dark Tower Series continues to show Stephen King as a master of his craft. What lands, what peoples has he visited that are so unreachable to us except in the pages of his incredible books? Now Roland’s strange odyssey continues. The Waste Lands follows The Gunslinger and The Drawing of the Three as the third volume in what may be the most extraordinary and imaginative cycle of tales in the English language.
“Stephen King at his best”School Library Journal
Several months have passed since The Drawing of the Three, and in The Waste Lands, Roland’s two new tet-mates have become trained gunslingers. Eddie Dean has given up heroin, and Odetta’s two selves have joined, becoming the stronger and more balanced personality of Susannah Dean.
But Roland altered ka by saving the life of Jake Chambers, a boy who—in Roland’s world—has already died. Now Roland and Jake exist in different worlds, but they are joined by the same madness: the paradox of double memories. Roland, Susannah, and Eddie must draw Jake into Mid-World and then follow the Path of the Beam all the way to the Dark Tower.
There are new evils…new dangers to threaten Roland’s little band in the devastated city of Lud and the surrounding wastelands, as well as horrific confrontations with Blaine the Mono, the piratical Gasher, and the frightening Tick-Tock Man.
Once again, we join Roland with his two companions, Eddie and Susannah. They have been transported to Roland’s world, and they are now on a new leg of their journey to the Dark Tower. They soon realize that they are in the city of Lud, a place of great danger and violence.
The trio is forced to split up as they navigate their way through the city. Eddie and Roland set off to find a key that will help them on their journey. Whilst Susannah stays behind to search for information about a mysterious woman who has been haunting her dreams.
As they make their way through the city, Eddie and Roland encounter a gang of insane cyborgs. They are eventually able to defeat the cyborgs and rescue a young boy named Jake, who has been trapped in Lud for some time.
Meanwhile, Susannah is led to a strange, sentient train named Blaine, who challenges her to a deadly game of riddles. Thankfully, she is able to defeat Blaine and earn his assistance in getting to their next destination.
The group is then reunited and they make their way to the city of Topeka. There they discover that the world has moved on and the city has been destroyed by a deadly virus. They must use their wits and skills to survive in this new, dangerous world as they continue their journey towards the Dark Tower.
The group finally reach the dark tower… but their quest is not over yet.
Welcome back to The Dark Tower! The Waste Lands is a captivating addition to fan-adored series that transports readers on a thrilling journey through a post-apocalyptic world. As the third book in series, we follow the gunslinger Roland and his companions, Jake, Susannah, Eddie, and the billy-bumbler Oy, as they navigate the treacherous landscape in search of the Dark Tower.
The new lands we explore alongside our protagonists absolutely blew us away! From the ruined city of Lud to the perilous trestle leading to the Tick-Tock Man’s stronghold, each setting is mind-blowing. We felt fully immersed in the terrifying world of danger and uncertainty.
The Waste Lands is a seamless blend of science fiction, western, and fantasy elements. Along with the mysterious Tower serving as a beacon that draws the characters towards their destiny. This book in the series also delves deeper into the lore of Mid-World, with references to the powerful psychic abilities of the Breakers, and the enigmatic guardians known as the Beams.
Roland’s relentless pursuit of the Tower is juxtaposed against his growing affection for his ka-tet. Wherein each have their own unique skills and personalities. The group’s bond is tested as they face countless obstacles and adversaries, including the terrifying and mysterious Wolves of the Calla. We promise that you’ll be on the edge of your seat!
Overall, The Waste Lands is a thrilling addition to the series which is sure to captivate sci-fi and fantasy fans alike. With its intricate world-building, complex characters, and high-stakes action, it is a testament to King’s talent as a storyteller.
Our rating: ★★★★★
Frequently Asked Questions
What is The Waste Lands by Stephen King about?
In this part of the series, we follow Roland, Susannah, and Eddie as they moved East from the shore of the Western Sea and into the woods of Out-World. We continue on the search for the Dark Tower.
Is The Waste Land hard to read?
If you’re not accustomed to King’s writing, then starting off with any of the Dark Tower series is a challenge! However, we say that there are no ‘good’ King novels to start off with. No matter what, you’re always jumping into the deep end! If you’re new to Stephen King, we suggest starting off with some of his novellas,. Try The Apt Pupil, or The Body (the novella which inspired the 1986 movie Stand by Me).
How many pages is The Waste Lands?
In typical King fashion, this is no small feat. With over 500 pages, you’d better clear your schedule!