At the End of the Path Where All Worlds End (The Dark Tower – A Book Review)

The Dark Tower (The Dark Tower #7)

Author: Stephen King

Published: 2004

On Goodreads

My Rating:

Rated E for an epic end that in retrospect mimics the song that never ends.

“I have never been so close. I hear all my lost friends and their lost fathers whispering to me. They whisper on the tower’s very breath.”

Roland and his ka-tet have come to the final stretch of their journey to the Tower. Together and apart, across multiple worlds, it’s all come to this. Their destinies, bound to the Tower come to fruition but at deadly prices that’ll change them all forever.

The Dark Tower reviews

The Gunslinger

The Drawing of Three

The Waste Lands

Wizard and Glass

Wolves of Calla

Song of Susannah

Holy shit, I can’t believe I finally finished it. I’ve been tackling this one since 2020 and the end has finally come. Though it was a long read, it was worth it. Bold and powerful, this was a hell of an end to such an outstanding series. I laughed, I cried, feelings were had. Just absolutely stunning. It definitely captured the feeling that LOTR and Star Wars does. A true epic. After hearing that the tv show fell through, I hope it one day happens.

Tenor

Now, after all of that gushing, that ending had my jaw depart from my body and land on the floor! I remember hearing about it a long time ago and didn’t think much of it, but finally getting to it after so long, magnificent. I know, I know. King typically doesn’t do too well with endings, but that was not the case here. After such a long journey and losing so much only to come to an ending that made the entire thing almost heartbreakingly pointless, it was amazing. Roland’s ingrained obsession to destroy the Dark Tower after being repeatedly told to turn back came to its peak. I was left gut wrenched for sure, but I’m glad that Susannah’s end turned out much differently, almost happier than those of her ka. Just so many feelings ya’ll.

Imgur

While the fates of ka were realized, so were that of the villains I came to know: Mordred and the Crimson King. Filled with dread and a hollowness of fear, confronting both was something that left me excited but nervous. It was like reaching the main boss of a video game that you’d been following since the start, professing how much you would defeat it, and then getting there and realizing that after everything, it wouldn’t be easy. And it wasn’t for Roland. Still, just as impressive as the journey and the heroes of this series has been, so have the villains. King gave them just as much attention and depth as he did his gunslingers. He kept on making me realize why these monsters were scary and evil.

Like the previous books, King’s vision and imagery remained steady and concise with its fantastical nature. Freaking spectacular and beyond breathtaking. Any nook and cranny thought of and not thought of was there, performing like surround sound.

Nothing about this book series has come across bland, but surprising both wonderfully and in a horrifying manner.  King really bent the fantasy genre, dipping into reality, blending the two together. Dare I say a good comparison, Inception. LOL. While there is so much to behold with wonder, there is so much to be scared of and that’s something I found a deep appreciation for with this series. King didn’t only embrace the beauty of fantasy, he’d showed me that it can be terrifying as well. He stretched out everything about this universe he lords over and touches so many different worlds he’s written, and finding and investigating those connections will forever be a joy of mine.

Overall

Absolutely fantastic. Taken off-guard, and shaken like a rag-doll, I was shaken and left a bit of a mess. This was an incredible read. Thought-provoking and intense. I could keep listing adjectives but honestly, you’ve got to read this for yourself. Phenomenal storytelling that grips you tight until the end.

Quotables:

“Battles that last five minutes spawn legends that live a thousand years. You needn’t die happy when your day comes, but you must die satisfied, for you have lived your life from beginning to end and ka is always served.” (p. 5)

“Sometimes I think we’d all be better off if the people who mean well would just creep away and die.” (Eddie, p. 172)

“She needs you. And you need her. Leave me alone now. Save your hate for those who deserve it more. I didn’t make your ka any more than I made Gan or the world, and we both know it. Put your foolishness behind you—and your grief—and do as you’d have me do.” (King, p. 569)

“Our greatest moments of triumph are always inarticulate.” (p. 788)

“Life is a trick, love a glammer…” (Susannah, p. 930)

“The road and the tale have both been long, would you not say so? The trip has been long and the cost has been high…but no great thing was ever attained easily.” (p. 965)

“All right. I go. Long days and pleasant nights. May we meet again in the clearing at the end of the path when all worlds end.” (Roland, p. 996)

More to come soon…                                                                                               

  -K.

Song Today? Somebody to Die For by Hurts.

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