The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass is a misnomer in the extensive and sometimes bloated Dark Tower cycle. The 7-part fantasy epic is put on hold for upwards of 850 pages, as Roland, the lead character and the guy who looks eerily similar to Clint Eastwood circa 1965, finds love in the small town settlement of Mejis.

The book dawdles for chapter after chapter in a seemingly endless run of mild tension boosts and inner-cast turmoil. Roland has a few friends along for the ride, but neither are particularly favorable to his moon-filled evening bouts with Susan delgado who is “owned” by the comically evil mayor of the town.

Wizard and Glass is a slog. A pure drag through the mud that I found entirely too predictable about 150 pages in. It may have worked as a nice “small village” encounter condensed to 150 pages, but it dragged all these characters into needlessly dull directions and regurgitated arguments, love, and these same cycles ad nauseum for these paper characters.

Worst yet, the book took a debilitating pause on the larger action. After the cast defeat the crazy train from the previous volume, they sit by a campfire and Roland shares this story. It’s an important one for his development, but in typical King fashion, it is stretched to its finite limits. If Wizard and Glass was condensed or sprinkled out throughout the narrative or the entire series, it could have been more digestible. In this format, it is an information dump that results in one foregone conclusion. It took us way too long to get there, made worse by a core temporary cast of weak characters.

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