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on 29 April 2017
excellent book
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on 6 February 2017
Wonderful read, a great king book
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on 20 March 2017
This book was an interesting read, because it was more like a piece of epic fantasy than a work of horror. In fact, King himself faced a backlash after the book was released, and the subsequent furore inspired the plot of Misery, with Annie’s obsession acting as a metaphor for his demanding, dissatisfied readers.

It’s a shame, because speaking personally, I loved it. In fact, it’s refreshing to see King flexing a different set of authorial muscles, and it certainly proved a point – the man knows how to tell a story, no matter the genre. It’s also a great little read if you have kids and want to introduce them to King without giving them nightmares.

The plot has a classic feel while still seeming original and innovative, following the tale of two princes after their father is murdered and the heir to the throne is imprisoned for the crime. We, the readers, know that he’s innocent, but everyone else thinks that he’s guilty because he cried when the murder was revealed to him. And so they lock him up at the top of a tower and his younger brother assumes the throne, under the beady, watchful eye of a twisted magician named Flagg.

Flagg is interesting, because he appears elsewhere in King’s work. He’s the antagonist of The Stand, and he also appears in his Dark Tower series – along with several other minor characters and several of the themes throughout the manuscript. Here, he seems like more of a cliche, but crucially he’s not too much of a cliche. It’s kind of necessary for the story to be what it is – a scintillating twist on the fantasy genre, and one that’s beautifully crafted by a master storyteller.

If you only like King because you like horror then this isn’t the book for you. But if you like his work because you believe him to be a master storyteller, like I do, then you’re in for something of a treat. I loved pretty much everything about it, including the gorgeous illustrations that punctuated the story. My copy was an old one – the cover fell off and some of the pages fell out while I was reading it – but that somehow added to it.

So go ahead – go out and buy a copy if you can. It’s one of those rare books that kicks ass but gets often overlooked. Don’t be one of the people who overlook it.
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VINE VOICEon 20 June 2009
Stephen King's talent is a little wasted in this fleshed out short story about political backstabbing in the fantasy kingdom of Delain. Although it's a strictly by the numbers affair, the story is interesting enough to see you through to the end. The characters are rather dull, even with considerable time devoted to their development, for the book spans some 20 years or so. Despite this time-scale, the plot is very simple and never really looks beyond the few central protagonists. Overall, this feels more like a short story than a full book and takes a simple narrative style, when it could have been so much better.
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on 14 July 2012
Bought this second hand but would have been disappointed if I had paid full price. I appreciate that it is aimed primarily at a younger audience but the (admittedly tame)sexual references at the beginning upset the balance of an otherwise acceptable fairy tale. I am no prude but I felt that it wasn't necessary and not appropriate for my two 10 year old daughters who have wanted to read a SK book having seen my collection of his work. Better to read the Inkspell Trilogy or Septimus Heap!
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on 26 April 2007
Wonderful stuff. King's classic horror fare, while generally entertaining, can be sometimes be too long-winded for me (although I haven't read his recent stuff). But this... if you liked the old Mumfie adventures, or say The Thief Of Always, you will so dig this. A simple tale belonging in the overcrowded childrens' fantasy genre - but like the above examples, intoxicating, beautifully narrated and illustrated, laced with funny, tender and dark scenes, carried along by some memorable characters. It's not as explicitly gruesome as many of his other stories, but there's plenty of cruelty, injustice and suffering, orchestrated by a fascinating and devious villain. And there's a bittersweet climax, with a sublime moment of forgiveness, which always brings a tear to my cynical eye. A perfectly self-indulgent enduring escape for all ages. For me, Stephen King's best, and not by coincidence, the most whimsical - and by all accounts one of his most personal.
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on 12 September 2003
Most people either love or hate King's work, strangely i'm in the middle. Christine, Salem's Lot and Bag of Bones really bored me ( although i can appreciate why people would enjoy them) yet It, 'Everything's Eventual' and The Dark Tower series took my breath away. I read this after IT and the two books are poles apart in storyline but close on high quality. Flagg, is mentioned in the Dark Tower books and is a brilliant character, the intertwining plot is well written and comes together beatifully at the end.

Some people would call this a book for young adults and is a little below the age range of normal king readers but that is a little narrow minded. The easy to follow style of writing makes it accessible for most ages. I highly recommend this book if you enjoy the Dark tower area of King's writing.
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on 4 August 2005
This story will require something of a leap of faith for hardened King fans who like their books laced with Lovecraftian evil from beyond the stars. However, it is worth it. Just pick it up and read it - You will be transported into a dark fairy tale. Whilst it could easily be read by children, it's darksome charm still holds plenty of currency for an adult reader (Adults read Harry Potter after all). And Flagg's in it. King's books are often all part of a larger tapestry of theme and story, and this one fits well. Very good indeed.
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on 13 February 2013
Of course, this book is connected with the Gunslinger and the Dark Tower. One of the tales of MidWorld.
Flagg is the sorceror, the evil who permeats the human race when they arent aware.
King is the one. on the top of the tower.
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on 25 November 2003
One of the things I like about Stephen King is his versatility as a storyteller. Yes, he focuses on horror and the supernatural -- telekinetic teenagers, vampires, creatures from other dimensions and even a really "killer" flu -- and is therefore not considered to be a "serious" writer. However, considering the vast output of King books and his longevity as a bestselling author, if nearly 30 years of novels, short story collections, screenplays, original teleplays and a loyal fan base doesn't make him a serious writer, I don't know what would.
I used to buy each new King novel either in paperback or, when I could afford it, in hardcover. Gradually my tastes shifted to military fiction by Tom Clancy, Stephen Coonts and Harold Coyle, but I never stopped liking King's books.
One of my favorites is his 1987 excursion into fantasy, The Eyes of the Dragon. Essentially a story for younger readers -- aimed at kids 12 and up -- and beautifully illustrated by David Palladini, it's a classic story of sibling rivalry between the sons of King Roland of Delain. Peter, the bright and handsome first-born, is heir to the throne, while Thomas, who is not as smart and takes after his short and stout father, tries hard to cope with the knowledge that his status in life is secondary to Peter's. Worse, even though he tries hard to gain the love of his father, Thomas is clumsy and not very skilled with his hands. (In one sad scene, Thomas spends a whole day making a small wooden sailboat for his father the King, only to hear his dad remark that it looked like a dog dropping with a handkerchief attached to it.)
Thomas' only friend is the court magician, a pale and brooding fellow named Flagg. He takes a keen interest in Thomas, but not for altruistic reasons. For Flagg is an inhuman entity in the guise of a man, and he has a dark agenda of his own: to rid Delain of both Roland and Pete so he can take the reins of power for himself. Knowing that the late Queen Sasha was too smart to be manipulated by any of his spells or shrewd manipulations, Flagg set in motion both Thomas' conception and his mother's murder. Slowly, surely, the evil wizard feeds upon and helps stoke Thomas' resentment of his smarter, handsomer brother....all the better to manipulate the well-meaning but weak-willed Prince Thomas when Flagg pulls off his evil scheme.....
The Eyes of the Dragon is decidedly different from King's normally huge novels, but his tone is remarkably evocative of an oral storyteller. I like the way he sometimes goes back and forth in the story to show a seemingly trivial detail (such as Sasha's dollhouse) and then reintroduce it later as a critical plot device. The story itself is charming, and even though it is a story for older children, adults will enjoy The Eyes of the Dragon's mix of fairy tale and classic King supernatural chills.
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