A junkie, a crippled thief and a kid walk into a bar….
Stephen King’s second installment in The Dark Tower series, The Drawing of the Three, comes immediately after the events of The Gunslinger. Roland has palavered with the man in black and been given a glimpse of his future. Drawing continues to expand that future and brings Roland together with his ka-tet.
Before he meets his companions, he has an unfortunate run-in with a lobster-like creature that cripples the gunslinger by removing two fingers from his right hand (and part of one toe.) This becomes infected, leaving the gunslinger feverish while he treks north and encounters three doors that lead him to his companions.
Here is where The Dark Tower series really takes off. The doors lead to three different times in our world, and King’s writing ability to draw readers in takes off. You feel like you know when and where you are even if you didn’t live in those times yourself, or even with the circumstances around those people or times.
You also get a good amount of character building, both from the new cast members and Roland himself. Despite being completely taken by surprise by what happens within the doorways, Roland manages to scrape by with his instincts and training to complete his tasks and gain his allies as was foretold. But, while he gains people that he grows to love and consider his friends, his deeply ingrained duty, a character trait that is evident early and often for the gunslinger, keeps him keenly aware that, despite his feelings, these people might be sacrificed along the road to the Dark Tower.
Overall, Drawing is a significant step in the right direction after Gunslinger. The pacing is better, the characters are ones you will care about and the settings and times feel accurately portrayed. Here is where Roland and his quest begin to truly take shape, and avid readers will have a hard time putting down the series from here on out.
Justin enjoys most games. He is currently learning the ins and outs of competitive modern Magic while enjoying all sorts of other gaming mediums, assuming he can find the spare time.