Stephen King’s Wizard & Glass 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 Waste Lands, 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
Filled with “blazing action” (Booklist), the fourth installment in the Dark Tower Series “whets the appetite for more” (Bangor Daily News). Wizard and Glass is a thrilling read from “the reigning King of American popular literature” (Los Angeles Daily News).
In Wizard and Glass, Stephen King is “at his most ebullient…sweeping readers up in…swells of passion” (Publishers Weekly) as Roland the Gunslinger, Eddie, Susannah, and Jake survive Blaine the Mono’s final crash, only to find themselves stranded in an alternate version of Topeka, Kansas, that has been ravaged by the superflu virus. While following the deserted I-70 toward a distant glass palace, Roland recounts his tragic story about a seaside town called Hambry, where he fell in love with a girl named Susan Delgado, and where he and his old tet-mates Alain and Cuthbert battled the forces of John Farson, the harrier who—with a little help from a seeing sphere called Maerlyn’s Grapefruit—ignited Mid-World’s final war.
We continue our quest to reach the Dark Tower, a mythical structure that stands at the center of all existence. Along the way, they come across a ruined city called Lud, where they confront a dangerous gang known as the Grays. After narrowly escaping the city, Roland tells his companions the story of his youth, specifically his first love, Susan Delgado.
The majority of this novel is a flashback to Roland’s past, where he then tells the story of how he became a gunslinger and fell in love with Susan, who was betrothed to the mayor’s son, Rhea of the Coos. As Roland and Susan’s relationship blossoms, they discover a plot by the evil wizard to overthrow the government of the Barony of Mejis. Roland and his friends are forced to intervene, leading to a violent confrontation with Marten and his allies.
Roland’s memories of Susan serve as a bittersweet reminder of a time when he was capable of love and happiness, before the events that led him to become a hardened gunslinger. The novel also introduces new characters, such as Cuthbert Allgood and Alain Johns, who become Roland’s closest friends and allies.
One of the most notable aspects of “Wizard and Glass” is its departure from the traditional Western-style setting of the previous books in the series. Instead, the novel takes place in a fantastical kingdom, complete with magic and mythical creatures. This change in setting allows King to expand upon the world he has created and introduce new elements that will be important in future series instalments.
Wizard and Glass is widely considered one of the best books in Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series, receiving critical acclaim for its masterful storytelling and vivid world-building. King’s decision to use a flashback structure to tell Roland’s backstory was a bold move. But it pays off in spades, as the story of Roland’s first love, Susan Delgado, is both emotionally impactful and essential to understanding Roland’s character.
The novel’s departure from the Western-style setting of the previous books in the series . This allows King to explore new territory and introduce new elements to the world he has created. Moreover, the kingdom of Mejis is a beautifully realized setting, filled with magic and danger, and the characters that populate it are memorable and well-drawn.
At its heart, “Wizard and Glass” is a story about love, loss, and redemption, themes that King explores with his trademark blend of horror, fantasy, and psychological insight. It’s easy to see how this novel stands as one of the best entries in The Dark Tower series.
Our rating: ★★★★★
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Wizard and Glass a prequel?
Although this book isn’t technically a prequel, but features heavily on the story of Roland’s past.
How old is Roland in Wizard and Glass?
At the beginning of the flashbacks, Roland is around 14. We then go on to follow his life for a while, and it’s not exactly easy to follow his age.
Can you read Wizard and Glass on its own?
Many people claim that Wizard and Glass can be read on its own, to a degree.