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Wolves of the Calla: Less than the sum of its parts

Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King

In Wolves of the Calla, the fifth novel in Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series, Roland and his posse defend a village from monsters. King borrows the great ideas of a variety of favorite stories, yet his final product is ultimately less than the sum of its parts.

Calla is a farming village preyed upon by the Wolves of the Thunderclap. The Wolves come once per generation, take children, and return them “roont,” mentally handicapped and destined to grow gigantic before dying young. Should the village continue to live with this curse, or should they stand and fight? Enter Roland and his band of gunslingers, the last of Mid-World’s heroes.

King’s focus is divided between the primary Calla storyline and advancing the overall quest to reach the Dark Tower. It turns out ... Read More

The Wizard and the Glass: Tight plot, western setting, fantastic villains

The Wizard and the Glass by Stephen King

The Wizard and the Glass, the fourth of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower novels, returns to the Mid-World of Roland’s youth. Having recently bested his teacher in combat, Roland is now a gunslinger, one of the cowboy-knights of Gilead. However, Roland is young, and his father sends him away from his court — and away from the villainous sorcerer Marten Broadcloak. With his two companions — clever Cuthbert and the steady, cerebral Alain — by his side, what’s the worst that can happen?

Unfortunately, there are no safe places for Roland in Mid-World. “Good Man” John Farson’s rebellion against Gilead has reached the distant Barony of Mejis. Worse, Marten Broadcloak has charged The Big Coffin Hunters, exiled gunslingers that failed their final test, to hunt down and kill Rola... Read More