Monday, September 05, 2005

Books: Dark Tower V - Wolves of the Calla

"There will be water if ka wills it." - Roland of Gilead

I had a Powerbooks gift certificate the other week, and the Powerbooks at Megamall happened to have a sale, so I took a look around. And lo, I was lucky enough to find a copy of the fifth book of Stephen King's epic western fantasy, The Dark Tower. It was a huge book, larger than my copies of the first four, but with the same cover style and by the same publisher, so it was the copy I wanted. I spent less than a hundred pesos on it.

And so it was that I once again journeyed into the world/s of the Dark Tower, following the path of Roland of Gilead and his ka-tet of gunslingers along the path of the Beam, heading inexporably towards the Dark Tower.

The Dark Tower series has always been a weird sort of hybrid. Primarily a western, set in a fantasy multiverse which intersects with multiple versions of our own reality, Roland and his posse find themselves facing robots, bears, wizards, psychotic trains, undead and such. This time they face "Wolves", an unknown new enemy who plague a farming community along the path of the Beam. Like any good RPG-party, the gunslingers decide to offer aid to the people of the Calla, though not all would accept their help. In exchange, they are granted the power to travel back to New York, the nexus of all New Yorks, where they must protect the Rose, an incarnation or manifestation of the Dark Tower.

The one thing I did not like about this copy: It had illustrations. Normally, that would be a good thing, but I find I did not really want to know what Roland of Gilead looked like, even to another person, as it spoiled my own vision of what the book tells me. That's how good the series is -- it's the type of series where you form your own version of it in your head and you are completely drawn into its saga.

As always, the book is dark and compelling. Despite the hectic work schedule last week, I finish the thick book in less than four days, and the volume ends in cliffhanger, as the ka-tet is broken. Two more books to go before the end of their quest; I can only hope the last two come out in my preferred format soon.

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