After the encounter with the Man in Black, Roland wakes on a beach, the Man in Black’s tarot reading of his fate still ringing in his ear. Before Roland can get his bearings, he is attacked and injured by lobstrosities. In an increasingly weakened state, he starts to move along the beach in search of the Three that were announced to him as his partners. It’s then that he stumbles upon a door that stands on its own on the beach. When Roland opens it, he is transported to another world, New York City, which is deeply connected to his own.
The Drawing of the Three is an exciting read that left me wanting more (fortunately there is more), although there were also things I didn’t exactly like about it.
Apart from Roland himself, the best thing about this series, to me, is still the connection between Roland’s world and ours and how it all plays together. With the three doors, that connection becomes more obvious and more firmly cemented as not just echoes but actual paths between the worlds. I really loved that.
I also liked the people Roland encounters and “draws” through these doors, although they each came with their own problems as well. Eddie I really liked from the start, though I did feel that he was a bit too much like a Stephen King White Guy Stock Character. I was annoyed by Odetta/Detta, especially since Detta is her own racial parody. As the only black woman in the book, this made me uncomfortable to say the least (in fact, she’s the only person of color and the only woman of consequence in the book, to make it even worse). It got a bit better when Susannah emerged, but there was still something very othering about the way her disability was described (I think she “slithers” more than once, for example), so my unease with how the character was portrayed remained even after my annoyance was gone. I was also very happy that Jack Mort (which is simply such a stupid name) didn’t get much room.
The Drawing of the Three is a much smoother read than The Gunslinger, showing that despite the “Kingness” of his writing, King keeps growing as a writer. Which personally, I like a lot. It also made me even hungrier for the rest of the series and finding out where the quest for The Dark Tower will lead us all.
Summarizing: despite some issues, I enjoyed it.