(5/5) It took me nearly three years to read this book, and that was on purpose. The book itself felt like a fine wine, one that should be mulled over in one’s mouth a little at a time—something not to be rushed. Stephen King’s writing in this novel was poetic, and told from the point of view of a storyteller in our world, telling a story of a fairy tale.
Peter and Thomas are the two sons of King Roland, Delain’s ruler. Peter was always seen as good, while Thomas always sulked in his shadow. And all the while a malicious, hateful, yet entirely entertaining magician pulled Delain’s strings. After nearly a thousand years, the magician finally had Delain in a place where ruin might ensue—his life’s work nearly complete. The magician only ever had one goal: to bring about a chaotic and devastating end to the good kingdom of Delain.
His master plan is nearly complete when he frames Delain’s heir, Peter, for a crime he did not commit—that of killing the king, Peter’s father. After peter is imprisioned, Thomas becomes king. From there, the story takes on a life of its own, and I don’t want to spoil the ending.
The question is: Does Thomas rule forever? Does the evil magician finally get his way? And what will happen to poor Peter? There were only ever two outcomes of the story: either Delain is ruined or it is not. That is for the reader to discover.
I absolutely enjoyed this story. The writing quality was superb. Is it any surprise? Hardly! This is the only true fantasy story that King has ever written. It has dragons, magic, kings and queens, and everything else a fantasy lover expects. The only (perhaps) negative is that the story is simpler than many fantasy stories because it was written for King’s daughter, Naomi. But sometimes simple is best; again, that is for the reader to decide. I, personally, appreciated the simplicity of the story line. There was still plenty of exciting moments where I had to force my eyes to slow down, especially towards the end of the story.
If you enjoy fantasy, this is a MUST read!