In The Wind Through the Keyhole (Hodder & Stoughton,Rs 999) Stephen King continues Ronald Deschains odyssey,albeit in a slightly different manner. The book,eighth in Kings Dark Tower series,is chronologically placed between the fourth and fifth books. Here,Roland,last of the order of The Gunslingers,and his three companions,Jake,Eddie and Susannah,continue their quest towards the Dark Tower.
A devastating storm,known as the Starkblast,causes a sudden drop in temperature,resulting in an instantaneous freezing of lakes. Roland and others take shelter in an abandoned building. To pass time,Roland relates a tale,one from his younger days. In it his father sends him and his partner,Jamie DeCurry,to the western town of Debaria to capture a murderous shapeshifter known as the Skin-Man. The killer is known to transform himself into various dangerous animals and rip the victims to bits. The only survivor of his attack is a young boy named Bill Streeter. While DeCurry and the local sheriff round up possible suspects based on the boys account,Roland relates to Bill another story,one involving fairies,dragons and wizards,both white and black (morally,not racially).
This is actually a companion novel to the Dark Tower series. By itself a very readable story,it is especially meant for newcomers to the series,providing a greater insight into Rolands character. For fans,it expands the epic in delightful ways.
Fast paced,suitably gory and with enough humour and action,Kings The Wind Through the Keyhole is an entertainer.