In case you didn’t know; This is NOT a Horror Novel
When most people see Stephen King as the author of a book on the shelf they expect a good scare, a bit of blood and gore at the very least. This is not that book. Nor is this a book On Writing, which Mr. King is also very well known for. This a fairy tale with a twist that only Stephen King could provide.
It has everything that a good fairy tale should have. A vast kingdom, tales of dragons and beasts, peasants frustrated with their way of life who are ready to stand up for what they believe is right and true, princes who will take over their father’s throne some day, and of course a magician. It’s a story of growth, bravery, magic, and forgotten lore.
I’ve read almost everything Stephen King has published over the years, including those published under the pen name of Richard Bachman. This is my favorite of all of them – and truly one of my favorite books ever. I have a first edition hard cover copy (the green cover pictured here) and the pages are very well worn from reading it over and over again.
“This story is for my great friend Ben Straub, and for my daughter, Naomi King.”
Illustrated with Beautiful Pencil and Ink Drawings
One of the things that makes this book special is the illustrations done by David Palladini.
Flagg Makes an Appearance in the Story
Some may say that Flagg is King’s “favorite villain” as the main antagonist in several different stories, including The Dark Tower series. Here you’ll find Flagg as an ancient magician who whispers advice in the ear of the King of Delain and who, of course, plots to rule the land himself from behind his cloak of mystery.
This Book May Have Directly Led to the Writing of Misery
There was a lot of fan rejection when this book was originally published, which is probably why it doesn’t come up as one of the top publications on the long list of Stephen King novels at the bookstore or the library. Many fans felt it was a “children’s fantasy book” and they were disappointed, having expected a horror novel. It has been said over the years that Misery came about as a metaphor for the fact that he was chained to writing only horror fiction.
Of course, if The Eyes of the Dragon were a new release today that probably wouldn’t be an issue. Children’s fantasy has become one with the world of grown-up fiction. I think Eyes would reside nicely on the shelf next to stories like Harry Potter and Eldest – that’s where it sits on my bookshelf at home and it fits perfectly.
If ever I wanted a book to be made into a movie in my lifetime, it would be this book.
Rumors started bouncing around that SyFy was looking into creating a movie adaption or miniseries based on this book some time very soon…. (more info at Entertainment Weekly http://insidetv.ew.com/2012/04/24/eyes-of-the-dragon-movie/) ….I’ve got my fingers and toes crossed that it will finally come to fruition.
What’s your favorite book? Leave a comment below so I can add it to my always growing reading list.