Updated on October 10, 2016
32. ‘The Eyes of the Dragon’ by Stephen King
Since reading ‘On Writing‘ I decided that I wanted to read more Stephen King. I had a go at Cujo – one of his classic horror novels – and really enjoyed it, so this time I decided to try something completely different. ‘The Eyes of the Dragon’ is more of a classic fairytale: there’s an old king, two handsome princes and an evil magician. Oh, and a dragon.
The story itself is quite fast-paced – although sometimes there is a little too much pondering about what is to come – and just a really good read. Flagg, the evil magician, wants to destroy the good prince, Peter, whom he imprisons in a tower whilst he manipulates his younger brother, Prince Thomas. There are schemes, revelations and a dramatic, high-rise escape.
It seems at first that this book has a very simple ‘once upon a time’ storytelling style, but look a little closer and there are some fascinating complexities. The narrator often addresses the audience directly and this works best when he describes certain characters, insisting that they are not inherently evil but accepting that we, the readers, must make our own decisions about them. The narrator isn’t trying to give us a definite moral with his story – as is typical of fairytales – but lets us make of it what we will.
In places the narrator gets even more self-aware, especially when he tells us that, in a fairytale, the plot would go a certain way but, because this isn’t one, it goes in a different direction. I loved how King makes use of straightforward, clear language to hide all these more complicated meanings.
‘The Eyes of the Dragon’ is quite different from the spine-chillers King is known for, but it is worth a read if you just want something quick. It doesn’t really break any boundaries but it is a good quality, entertaining book.
“I think that real friendship always makes us feel such sweet gratitude, because the world almost always seems like a very hard desert, and the flowers that grow there seem to grow against such high odds.”
If you liked my review, why not read the book and let me know what you think?