The Eyes of the Dragon is Stephen King’s first and, for the most part, only venture into the genre of sword and sorcery fantasy. Written because his daughter Naomi disliked his fictional explorations into the horror genre, readers might also be interested to find out that one of the characters, a peasant girl, is also named after King’s daughter.
Following the classic template for general fantasy, Eyes of the Dragon is a tale of good and evil with a host of characters whose names will be familiar to those who are familiar with King’s work. The villain of this novel, Randall Flagg, also makes appearance in King’s Dark Tower series and The Stand, among other works.
Eyes of the Dragon is the tale of Prince Peter of Delain, beloved son of King Roland (a name that will also be familiar to readers of the Dark Tower series) and rightful heir to the thrown of Delain. The tale takes a turn as the result of sibling rivalry when Peter’s younger and weaker brother, Thomas, becomes a pawn of the king’s magician, Randall Flagg.
After King Roland is murdered and Peter framed for his murder, Thomas is made King of Delain and Flagg his chief advisor. Peter is imprisoned in the Needle, a structure that towers over the Kingdom of Delain. Under the rule of Thomas and the deception of Flagg, Delain begins to move quickly into chaos.
Peter, trapped inside the Needle, begins to plot an escape in order to save his Kingdom from the evil Flagg as Thomas becomes nothing more than a puppet of Flagg. Requesting only his mother’s dollhouse and a royal napkin with each meal, Peter begins to plot to save his kingdom and clear his name.
The Eyes of the Dragon is told in true fairy tale fashion and combines King’s trademark storyteller’s flair with a passion for a genre that King normally avoids. However, the combination works and makes The Eyes of the Dragon one diversion from the normal King fare that both King fans and fantasy readers will enjoy.
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