The second book in Stephen King's Dark Tower series is The Drawing of the Three, a novel that continues the adventures of The Gunslinger in big ways.
At the end of the previous book in this series, Roland has finally caught up with the man he's been after for a very long time-- The Man in Black, a sorcerer who holds the answers to Roland's fate. The two palaver, and the mysterious man draws tarot cards, telling the gunslinger he will draw three: the prisoner, the lady of shadows, and the pusher.
The Drawing of the Three begins soon after.
Roland wakes up on an empty bench and is soon attacked by lobstrocities, monstrous lobsters. One chops off two fingers on his shooting hand, and another attacks his leg. Bleeding profusely, he manages to fight them off before realizing he's in a bad spot. Poisoning soon sets in, and he's weak and alone, but he must continue on his quest.
He soon comes to the first of three doors on this beach, and through those doors he comes into our world, and it's these scenes that really show the reader what the Dark Tower series can be. The first novel was stand off-ish and cold, but this one shows King strutting his usual storytelling prowess. Roland's observation of our world (thinking of the airplane he first encounters Eddie Dean, the prisoner, in as a sky-carriage being just one of many examples) are some of the best moments in the novel, hands down.
We are also introduced to a couple of great characters in this novel: Eddie Dean, a young heroin addict from 1987 NYC and Odetta Holmes, a Civil Rights activist with two personalities from 1964 NYC. These characters are stand-outs among the many characters King has created over the years, and that is saying something. They come alive and almost walk off the page. The way they react to Roland coming through mystical doors into their minds and bringing them back to his world feel real. They are confused. Angry. Hurt. Scared. But fate (or ka) has led these folks to one another, for reasons not exactly spelled out yet-- but soon all will be revealed.
This is a book that kept my hands glued to the pages despite the fact I've read it multiple times before. The story still enthralled me. King definitely knows how to spin a yarn. 5 stars.