It is the cornerstone of every girl’s hope for a perfect life. Prince charming, that tall, tan male with the strong jaw, using his sword and his wits to slay the fire-breathing dragon. Fairies. Knights. Trolls. Wizardry. The parts that collectively make up a fairy tale. The fairy tale is a solid in our culture, so it’s only necessary that one of America’s most prevalent writers stake his claim in the genre.
Stephen King’s The Eyes of the Dragon is the fairy tale story of the kingdom of Delain, which is ruled by King Roland. His eldest son, Peter, is set to take the throne, but there’s one problem: King Roland’s right hand man, an evil magician named Flagg, is plotting against Peter, preferring the weak, idiotic younger son, Thomas. Flagg proceeds to poison King Roland and frame Peter for the death. Peter is sent to prison, Thomas is crowned king, and Flagg draws out his plans for the total destruction of Delain.
This work is unlike any other Stephen King story. Usually a fix for horror, King transcends all expectations and travels the unfamiliar world of fantasy and fairy tale. He does a good job of doing so. The story is interesting and the characters are well developed. The first two hundred pages are especially interesting, but the story seems to drop off at the end (the last one hundred pages), or at least slow to a quiet idle.
The main antagonist of the story, Flagg, is a fixture in the realm of Stephen King. Flagg has also been included in the Dark Tower Series, The Stand, and Hearts of Atlantis. He is the personification of evil. He meets his end not in The Eyes of the Dragon, but in the Dark Tower Series when Mordred Deschain finally kills him.
Every girl wants for a perfect fairy tale. Unfortunately, for those girls, they will not find it in Stephen King’s The Eyes of the Dragon. If not for the last one hundred pages, this would be a very solid work in the fantasy/fairy tale genre. However, due to a lackluster conclusion, it has to settle for only “somewhat solid”.