The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King

Rating: 5 of 5

An enchanting fairy tale guaranteed to capture the hearts of fantasy readers, especially those who love stories of good versus evil, sibling rivalry, and prison breaks.

A tale of archetypal heroes and sweeping adventures, of dragons ad princes and evil wizards – as only Stephen King can tell it!

The passage through the castle is dim, sensed by few and walked by only one. Flagg knows the way well. In four hundred years, he has walked it many times, in many guises, but now the passage serves its true purpose. Through the spyhole it conceals, the court magician observes King Roland — old, weak, yet still a king. Roland’s time is nearly over, though, and young Prince Peter, tall and handsome, the measure of a king in all ways, stands to inherit the realm.

Yet a tiny mouse is enough to bring him down, a mouse that chances upon a grain of Dragon Sand behind Peter’s shelves and dies crying tears of fire and belching gray smoke, A mouse that dies as King Roland does. Flagg saw it all and smiled, for now Prince Thomas, a young easily swayed to Flagg’s own purposes, would rule the kingdom, But Thomas has a secret that has turned his days into nightmares and his nights into prayed-for oblivion. The last bastion of hope lies at the top of the Needle, the royal prison where Peter plans a daring escape…(Source: book jacket)

Intriguing, right? Though, that synopsis only touches the surface of the story’s themes and characters.

The Eyes of the Dragon is my favorite of Stephen King’s work. When I first read it, almost 20 years ago, I was captivated. (In awe, too, that a “master of horror” could write a true fairy tale!) And every time I read Dragon I’m transported to the kingdom of Delain: I cry when Peter’s locked away; I rage at Flagg’s deceit and trickery; I loathe Thomas for his betrayals.

It’s a short read, around 300 pages. The story flows smoothly at a steady pace, with nary an info dump in sight, and the suspense of whether good will outsmart and overcome evil is present throughout. Prince Peter will charm you with his loving heart and devotion; Flagg will mesmerize you with his black magic and lust for power. And there are a couple surprising twists in the plot.

If you enjoy fairy tales or fantasies, you will most likely enjoy the Eyes of the Dragon.

Do you prefer “good” to always beat “evil”?

Or do you enjoy stories where the bad guy wins?

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