Wolves of the Calla: Book 5 of The Dark Tower series

Maybe next time she throws a plate, you’ll pay a bit more attention

 

Wolves of the Calla, the fifth book in Steven King’s The Dark Tower epic, resumes shortly after the final events in Wizard and Glass. Since publication, there has been a short novella written between the two, The Wind through the Keyhole, that covers that time and will be discussed later. King took six years to continue the saga, but when he did continue, he resumed with a book that revitalized interest in a long-thought dead series.

After surviving their latest encounter with Walter, the ka-tet resume their travels along the beam and some experience todash, a lifelike dream that bestows vital information to its inhabitants. With knowledge gleaned from the dream, the group finds itself with important things to do and little if no time to do them.

As they continue along the beam, they come across a town that uses the old forms to ask Roland for help as a gunslinger. Despite not wanting to be delayed, the leader of the group cannot refuse. Here is where we get more of King’s willingness, eagerness even, to work his other stories into the Dark Tower mythos, since the leader of the town is one Father Callahan from ‘Salem’s Lot’. He tells a brief rundown of the story himself (which will oddly be relevant later) and what happened afterwards.

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The story meanders in Calla Bryn Sturgis a little, as the whole of the subplot has to be revealed, unraveled and finished, but King keeps the pace up reasonably well. The main characters learn a lot about themselves and the world they find themselves in, as well as some other things they’d rather not know to begin with.

Wolves, while a welcome return at the time to the series, is, to me, where the story itself starts to jump the shark a little. It’s almost a little too aware of itself at times, and begins to border on the absurd. While there are many, many instances that are worse yet to come, Wolves is definitely where King went from telling an interesting tale that happens to glean some from our world and his other books to a series that enjoys itself a little too much. While I still enjoyed Wolves and indeed the rest of the story, you can tell that the six years between Wizard and Wolves definitely changed the direction of the tale.

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