The Wind Through the Keyhole is an extra novel in The Dark Tower series by Stephen King that is set between the fourth – Wizard and Glass – and the fifth novel – Wolves of the Calla without actually advancing the major plot. It was also written after the seven actual novels of the series were finished.
Finished on: 28.7.2017
[Here are my reviews of the other novels in the series.]
The ka-tet Roland, Eddie, Susannah, Jake and Oy get trapped in a storm, a starkblast. As they wait it out, Roland tells them the story of when he and Jaime De Curry were sent west to Debaria as young men to investigate the claims of a town that a shapeshifter is terrorizing them. In Debaria Roland finds that the only person who might be able to identify the shapeshifter is a young boy, Bill. They, too, have to wait for a bit, so Roland tells Bill a story he heard in his own childhood, of Tim Ross and his magical quest to avenge his father.
I liked this interlude that provides us with yet another look at Roland’s youth. In fact, it might be one of my favorites of the series – although mostly for the story within the story within the story that was a beautiful fairy tale.
The first level of the story – the quest for the Dark Tower – wasn’t bad at all, though obviously not the point of this novel and was quickly dealt with.
The second level of the story was a nice and bloody supernatural crime procedural. It’s a little predictable and done by the numbers, because it, too, wasn’t the point of this novel. I was hoping for a re-appearance of Alain and Cuthbert and missed them, but I did like Jaime as well.
And then we have the third level of the story, which took up the most space and was absolutely magical. And I’m not just saying this for the surprising appearance of Merlin (which shouldn’t come as a surprise after all the Arthur referencing in th story so far, but it still did). Tim’s quest really transported me to another place.
As usual, it would have been nice if there had been more women in the story, although I found that King nicely capture’s the creepiness of Tim’s stepfather and his mother’s discomfort: she knows something is off, but she doesn’t trust her own gut about it, especially because she can’t afford to as a widow in that patriarchal world.
Even though the entire thing is only very loosely connected to the “actual” story, it makes that world and the series a whole lot richer. I’m glad King returned to this world of his to write it.
Summarizing: Excellent read.