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The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King

The Eyes of the Dragon (original 1987; edition 1987)

by Stephen King

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7,145110499 (3.82)161
Title:The Eyes of the Dragon
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Signet (1987), Edition: Reissue, Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Books I have read, Favorites

Work details

The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King (1987)

  1. 80
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  2. 30
    The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King (sturlington)
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  3. 31
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    The Adventures of Jack Varty Smith, Book One - The Calling by R.S. Marlow (robertsmarlow)
    robertsmarlow: Classic story about good versus evil involving a mid-evil period of time including wizards and conflict.
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» See also 161 mentions

English (106)  Dutch (2)  French (1)  German (1)  All languages (110)
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“Once, in a kingdom called Delain, there was a King with two sons. Delain was a very old kingdom and it had had hundreds of Kings, perhaps even thousands; when time goes on long enough, not even historians can remember everything.”

King used a unique narrative style for this fairy tale, where he flexes his writing muscle and offers something much different than his usual fare. Fans of the Dark Tower series will see some name similarities and tributes here like King Roland (much different personality than our beloved gunslinger) and Flagg, who is as evil as always. Set in historical fantasy-land times, it's a story about two young brothers rising to become Kings while the kingdom is really being ruled by a demented magician.

I loved how King tied in two childhood habits into the story later as major game changers. I enjoyed the characterization - Peter and his allies were formidable forces for good, Roland and Thomas among many who struggle between right and wrong, and then finally Flagg - pure evil badassness with his laboratory and potions. It follows fairy-tale tropes with kingdoms, towers, betrayals, and the day old struggle of brotherly love/envy and living up to a father's ideals.

It's not gory, but there are disturbing scenes, such as the use of a certain dragon-influenced poison. King again indulges in weird body humor - scenes with the King farting and picking his nose. King does this often so I guess it's a humor he enjoys, although I could have done without some of the scenes. Gross!

Overall it's a well written book and easy to follow, but the pacing lags after the first 1/4th. While the story is a good one, there's just not enough action and variances to justify it's length. Not ridiculously long at 380 pages, but my interest started waning.
( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
This book was written for his daughter. It's not his usual scary stuff. ( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
The Eyes of the Dragon is Stephen King's book he wrote for his young daughter who didn't like his works of horror. It has no profanity, and is a mature fairy tale more than anything else.
A foolish king has two sons, the elder son smart, kind and wise, the younger son dull, meanspirited and foolish. He also is counseled by an evil sorcerer. The sorcerer kills the king and frames the elder son, leaving the younger, more manipulatable son to inherit the throne. But royalty cannot be executed, so the framed elder son is imprisoned in a tower, which he will not leave until his death. And the real plot of the story begins there. ( )
  fingerpost | May 30, 2016 |
The Eye of the Dragon is a fairy tale and the perfect first read of a young adult looking to ease into the fascinating world of Stephen King. ( )
  FrancineZane | Mar 18, 2016 |
The passage through the castle is dim, sensed by few and walked by only one. Flagg knows the way well. In four hundred years, he has walked it many times, in many guises, but now the passage serves its true purpose. Through the spyhole it conceals, the court magician observes King Roland -- old, weak, yet still a king. Roland's time is nearly over, though, and young Prince Peter, tall and handsome, the measure of a king in all ways, stands to inherit the realm.

Yet a tiny mouse is enough to bring him down, a mouse that chances upon a grain of Dragon Sand behind Peter's shelves and dies crying tears of fire and belching gray smoke. A mouse that dies as King Roland does. Flagg saw it all and smiled, for now Prince Thomas, a young boy easily swayed to Flagg's own purposes, would rule the kingdom. But Thomas has a secret that has turned his days into nightmares and his nights into prayed-for oblivion. The last bastion of hope lies at the top of the Needle, the royal prison where Peter plans a daring escape...

This book is a departure from Stephen King's typical horror writing. He wrote this story so his 13-year old daughter could read one of his books. I think he succeeded in writing a delightful fantasy story that can be enjoyed by both young and older readers. There is strong theme of Good versus Evil and a struggle to "do the right thing". As the story progressed, there really weren't any surprises, but while not unexpected, the ending was satisfying.

I listened to the audiobook and thought the narrator did a great job. Flagg's evil was palpable, including a hissing speaking voice. I liked the way the "storyteller" spoke to the reader and hinted at things to come. And as the story came towards the end and the suspense amped up, the chapters were very short. It was like we couldn't waste any time; it made the end come very quickly.

Recommended to:
Fans of fantasy stories with distinctly good & evil characters. It can be read by middle school students and above. (Note that many fans of Stephen King did not like this book.)

( )
  Jadedog13 | Feb 3, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
King, Stephenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pinchot, BronsonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tamminen, TapioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This story is for my great friend Ben Straub, and for my daughter, Naomi King.
First words
Once, in a kingdom called Delain, there was a King with two sons.
Perhaps it was luck that saved him, or fate, or those gods he prayed to; I'll not take a stand on the matter.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0451166582, Mass Market Paperback)

A kingdom is in turmoil as the old king dies and his successor must do battle for the throne. Pitted against an evil wizard and a would-be rival, Prince Peter makes a daring escape and rallies the forces of Good to fight for what is rightfully his. This is a masterpiece of classic dragons-and-magic fantasy that only Stephen King could have written!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:44 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

In the kingdom of Delain, a young prince must struggle against powerful forces to gain his rightful inheritance.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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