The Eyes of the Dragon

The Eyes of the Dragon
by: Stephen King

Published: 1987

# of pages: 380

This is the second book I've read by King. The first is Cell. However, I hear this isn't his typical writing style. The Eyes of the Dragon is a fantasy, fairytale-like book. I really enjoyed it! It has a storybook narrative and even though it features the classic good vs. evil dilemma in an obvious way, it is still unique.

The story revolves around Peter, the oldest son of King Roland and his wife, Sasha. Peter is the perfect son and the perfect prince. He's responsible, studious but outgoing, accomplished, but most of all - polite. Peter's younger brother, Thomas, was born 5 years after Peter. Sasha dies giving birth so Thomas wasn't able to get to know his mother. The two boys grow up and the difference between the two is notable. Thomas is jealous of Peter for receiving more of their father's attention. He's alone and miserable. So when Peter is unjustly accused of a terrible crime that Thomas knows he didn't commit, Thomas just stands silently by. Now he's in line to be king and receive all of the attention he's never had before.

The character of Peter is perfect. Sometimes I find perfect characters annoying, but Peter was still human and just because he's such a good person doesn't mean that good things always happen to him. Plus, the story doesn't concentrate solely on him.

Then there's the evil character of Flagg, the king's magician. He's the exact opposite of Peter. I also find purely evil characters annoying sometimes, but like the perfect character of Peter, the evil character of Flagg fits with the novel. Even though they are sterotypical storybook characters, the book was still interesting for me and it wasn't annoying at all.

I found it interesting that all of the main characters are men. There are only a few women mentioned in the book. The only woman who plays a real role, Naomi, is more masculine. Sasha is mentioned some at first, but the narrator doesn't go into many details and we don't hear much of her dialogue except one of her conversations with Peter. Throughout the country's history all of these men are in charge. But women are the ones who really save it from the evil that Flagg tries to spread over hundreds of years. A back story mentions the queen Kyla the Good, who saves the country 400 years before Peter and Thomas are born. And although the male characters are trying to save the country in the present time of the story, Sasha works through Peter, otherwise he wouldn't have been able to resist Flagg. It's also interesting that King wrote this book for his daughter. At least that's what I heard and he does dedicate the book to her. Her name is Naomi, so he names the major woman character after her. I think it's great that he shows women as such strong characters that have huge influences, but it does make me curious about his decision not to feature them more prominently.

My copy of this novel had beautiful illustrations! I loved them! They weren't in color, but I wonder if some editions are in color. Now I want to go to the bookstore and see if I can find a copy with colored pictures.

I recommend this book to lovers of fantasy, fairytales, Stephen King, and people who just like a good book. I think it's appropriate for young adults and adults. It could possibly be read out loud to kids with perhaps a few sentences here and there left out depending on your preferences.

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A. Estella Sassypants said...

This one sounds great! I've read a few of King's offerings, but not nearly as many as most people I know. My favorite thus far is definitely The Shining, but I think I'll give this one a go sometime.


Andrea said...

I always mean to read more of his, but just never get around to it. The Shining is one that I really want to read. I haven't even seen the movie! Cell was good, it wasn't a super amazing storyline, but I'm glad I read it because now a lot of things remind me of it. And it was an interesting concept to think about.

Stacey said...

I'm glad you wrote about this book, Andrea. As I was reading your review I realized that I'd read it years ago and had forgotten about it! I remember liking it and thinking it wasn't like King's usual work.

I have only read a handful of Stephen King books but my favorite is The Stand. It's long, but good.

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