One of my favorite Stephen King novels growing up was his fairy-tale, The Eyes of the Dragon. This little known novel is a prelude to King’s popular Dark Tower series, and features his enigmatic Flagg as the villain. If you’re a King fan, you probably remember Flagg from some of King’s other stories. In this book, Flagg is the royal wizard in the Kingdom of Delain, and has designs on the throne. When the King is murdered, Flagg ensures that the King’s youngest son, Thomas, ascends to the throne as he is more malleable than his older brother. Here is Stephen King’s official synopsis:
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Once upon a time, in the Kingdom of Delain, King Roland is murdered and his son and heir, Peter, is framed for the crime. Peter and his loyal friends must battle an evil wizard and Peter’s usurper brother, Thomas, for the throne. Imprisoned in a tower, Peter conceives an escape plan that will take him years to execute before taking on Flagg, the powerful sorcerer who has masterminded this coup.
It’s amazing how time can change your perceptions of something. Eyes of the Dragon was the book I would always read while I waited for my parents to give me more money for new books. No matter how many times I read it, it never got old. Having read it again as an adult, I can still see what drew me to the book as a kid, but it doesn’t hold the same wonder for me. Not to say I didn’t enjoy it. I did. But I find I have less empathy for Thomas than I did as a kid. Now that I’m older, I can’t understand how someone can sit idly by and watch as their family suffers from their actions, or how you can let evil rule your life. Maybe my lack of understand of Thomas’ plight says more about me than it does the book. If you have yet to read this novel, I recommend giving it ago. Especially if you’re considering taking on King’s Dark Tower series, because it makes a great companion to that story.