Thoughts on the Dark Tower series

Warning, there be spoilers ahead!

It’s been about a year since I finished reading Stephen King’s Dark Tower series and I wanted to finally share a few thoughts on it. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it, although it is a long series (7 books), and most of the books are rather lengthy. But worth it. And you haven’t read it and plan to, avoid this post so you won’t read any spoilers. I was really careful not to read anything until I was done with the series because I hate spoilers.

I actually came to the Dark Tower series differently than most people. I first read the graphic novels about Roland as a young man, and I saw his friendship with Alain and Cuthbert and his love for Susan. While some people found The Gunslinger (book 1) a bit slow, I was riveted because I was already invested in Roland’s world and couldn’t wait to find out what else had happened since I’d last seen him as a teenager mourning the tragic loss of Susan. (Side note, I don’t think I ever finished all of the graphic novels but I would like to someday.)

There have been lots of books and articles that analyze the Dark Tower. I’ll be brief and list a few things I loved about the series:

1. The world. Worlds within worlds, some like ours and some not. Pretty amazing and mind-boggling stuff. I read the books almost one after the other with a couple breaks in between, so by the end I felt like walking around saying “thankee sai” because I was so caught up in the world Stephen King had created.

2. The characters. Roland especially. What’s not to love about Roland? He has an old world charm and he’s the kind of guy you don’t want to mess with. And yet you also want to take him and shake some sense into him because the damn tower is going to be the death of him and all his friends. And he doesn’t care. It’s his goal and he’s sticking to it. My next favorite character was Oy, because I have a soft spot for animals. His death was the one I feared the most.

3. The action sequences. Wolves of the Calla and The Waste Lands were my favorites in the series. Blaine the Mono and the city of Lud. Facing down the Wolves in Calla Bryn Sturgis. Pure gunslinger style.

4. The ending. Okay, I think a lot of people may disagree with me. I didn’t have to wait years and years to finish the series as people did who were reading them as King wrote them, and I’m not sure if I’d feel differently if that were the case.  *SPOILERS* I really liked the idea of Roland finally getting to the top of the tower and… ending up back at the beginning. It worked perfectly for me. The reason is that as much as I love Roland as a character, he was an asshole much of the time. He cared more about the tower than anything or anyone else and he would have sacrificed all of the others in a heartbeat to get there. To me the idea that he didn’t get it right and would have to do it again–and keep doing it again–was poetic justice. Ka, if you will. He needed to learn from his mistakes and do things differently. Having Cuthbert’s horn gave me some hope as a reader that he might have a chance to succeed in his next try. In my mind I was expecting Roland to die when he entered the tower and find some peace, but I also felt like he didn’t really deserve that yet. So the ending worked for me.

Now for the one thing that really bothered me. My main frustration with the final book was with the villains. There was so much build up over Mordred, especially in Song of Susannah, and I was expecting something big. I mean, you have King Arthur references galore and Mordred is Roland’s son. I’m thinking of the legend of Arthur and Mordred killing each other on the battlefield and wondering how that might have some sort of reference here.  And I have to admit, as much as I hated the spider (yes, Mordred is half spider and you know how much I love spiders–NOT), there were a few scenes where I had a bit of sympathy for Mordred the starving boy, until I reminded myself he was also a spider that liked eating eyeballs. I thought maybe there would be a big confrontation between Roland and Mordred and he’d be conflicted about killing his son, I don’t know, something. But dying of food poisoning? No last words between Roland and Mordred? What a waste! And I know there’s more of the Man in Black in King’s other books, which I haven’t read, but his ending also seemed anticlimactic. And ditto with the Crimson King. As soon as we learned what the Artist could do with his erasers, I know what was going to happen to the Crimson King. He posed little threat to Roland with his sneetches, which Roland could easily shoot down. Again, lots of build up but little return. I don’t know if Stephen King was trying to say something profound here, but for me it was just annoying.

Still, on the whole, thumbs up for the Dark Tower series. If you haven’t read it, go get the books and stretch out in a comfy chair and be prepared for the ride of your life.

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Cover reveal and pre-order: Soul Reborn by Jean Murray

I really enjoyed Jean Murray’s Soul Reborn! So glad she is re-releasing it and check out the gorgeous new cover!

New Look – Great Price



Asar, the Egyptian God of the Underworld, has been tortured and left soulless by a malevolent goddess, relegating him to consume the very thing he was commissioned to protect. Human souls. Now an empty shell of hatred, Asar vows to kill the goddess and anyone involved in her release, but fate crosses his path with a beautiful blonde huntress who has a soul too sweet to ignore.


Lilly, fearless commander of the Nehebkau huntresses, is the only thing standing in the way of the goddess’ undead army unleashing hell on earth.  But Lilly has a secret—one she is willing to sell her soul to keep. If the Underworld god discovers her role in the dig that released the goddess, she will lose everything, including his heart.

Releases April 1, 2015

Get your copy today and have it delivered to your Kindle April 1st.

Ready to read more Key to the Cursed Series?

Just click pre-order for the next book!

Series Pre-order / Release schedule

Soul Reborn

Pre-order NOW / Release April 1st

Soul Awakened

Pre-order on Apr 1st / Release July 1st

Soul Unbound

Pre-order on July 1st / Release Oct 1st

Soul Unleashed

Pre-order on Oct 1st / Release Jan 1st

Soul Sacrificed

Pre-order on Jan 1st / Release Apr 1st

“Only the strongest love can unlock the souls of the Underworld.”


Romantic Times (RT) Book Reviews (Sept2011) –  4 / 4.5 stars/Scorcher,

Night Owl Reviews:  Reviewer’s Top PICK / 5 Stars (Abigail, Feb2013)  “The first book in the “Key to the Cursed” series was absolutely phenomenal. Anything that deals with old world deities and is written well always hooks me from the get go. This was definitely an excellent book to begin a new series.”

Bitten by Paranormal Romance – 5 / 5 Alpha Howls, Hot 


Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Jean_MurrayIn her pursuit of a nursing degree, Jean Murray aspired to see the world and joined the Navy. At the end of 2011 she said a heart-breaking goodbye to her Navy family and retired after twenty years of military service. Although her dreams of writing full time have yet to come true, she continues her writing journey and draws inspiration from her travels abroad. She enjoys spending time with her family and of course, writing about the “Carrigan sisters and their mates, Gods of the Underworld,” to bring you the next installment of the Key to the Cursed series.

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Happy new year and a 2015 writer’s wish list

Happy new year! I know a lot of people who are more than happy to see the end of 2014. There were plenty of both good and bad things for me. I was really hoping to finish Thief of Destiny, but fate seemed to conspire against me and instead I ended up re-releasing and self-publising Thief of Hope. I think that will end up being a good decision. It came out in early December and that month has been the best I’ve had in terms of sales in a long time. I’ll be self-publishing book 2 and that means once I finish, the book will come out much quicker.

Here’s my annual writer’s wish list. Some of them will be repeats of last year.


1. Better time management

I’m determined to write more and waste less time on the internet. I have little enough time as it is, so no Facebook until I’ve written a page. Doable? I think so.

2. Finish book 2

All right, I think this is the third writer’s wish list and this item is still lingering. It will NOT be on the 2016 wish list. I’ve been telling people late spring. Fingers crossed I can stick with it. I have almost half of the book written, it just needs a bit of rewriting and then the big push to finish. I even have some ideas for the ending.

3. Blog more

I’m hoping to have a lot more to post about this year. Exciting things are coming. Plus I know a bunch of people with new books out that I’d like to feature. And hopefully more of those to come during the year.

4. Attend more author events

I went to Balticon last year, but that was about it in terms of events. With my book in limbo for a while, it made sense to hold off attending events and plan for 2015. I have a list of events in mind already.

5. A copy of Adobe Create Suites

I broke down and signed up for the trial copy of Photoshop and InDesign so I could do some basic graphic design and marketing materials, but I really need to invest in a good design program.

6. Enjoy life

It’s easy to get caught up in work and family and chores and putting one foot in front of the other just to get through each day. I want to take more time to truly appreciate life, even–or especially–the little things.

That’s it for now. Wishing you much success and happiness in whatever your endeavors may be!

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Thief of Hope free for Kindle 12/26-12/28

ThiefOfHope _editedThief of Hope is currently free for Kindle! If you don’t have a copy of the newly revised version, now is a great time to get one for your e-reader: Limited time only, though, 12/26-12/28! After that it goes back to the regular price of $2.99.

Thief of Hope blurb:

Sydney, a street urchin and pickpocket in the town of Last Hope, has managed to evade the oppressive Guild for years, but there is no escaping fate when she’s sentenced to death for associating with the resistance.

After she’s rescued by a wizard, Sydney is forced to accept that magic—long outlawed throughout the Kingdom of Thanumor—still exists, and the Tuatha, a powerful faery folk, are much more than ancient myth and legend. When the wizard offers a chance to fight the Guild and bring Willem, bastard prince and champion of the Tuatha, to the throne, Sydney embraces the cause as a way to find her own redemption.

But Sydney’s fear of the Guild, distrust of authority, and surprising connection to the Tuatha threaten Willem’s success. Can she untangle the strange threads that entwine her life not only to the fate of the kingdom, but also to Willem himself?


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Teaser Tuesday

Now that Thief of Hope is back out in the world once more, I can finally get back to finishing book 2 in the series. I’m thinking I will do a regular posting of some teasers to let you know what’s coming. Be warned, though, the book is still in progress and whatever I post here is by no means final!

Thief of Destiny teaser:

“You have no idea how dangerous they can be.” Tam’s voice returned to a whisper. “They’d control me if they could. I know who you really are, Sydney. I know what you are. We are alike, you and I.” He leaned across the table. “The shadows. You’ve seen them, haven’t you? They haunt your nights and your days.”

The room suddenly grew cold. A dozen questions flashed through her mind. “What do you mean, we’re alike? Have you seen the Shadow Folk?”

“All the time. If we don’t—” He stopped and stared at the marble in her hand, then stood abruptly. “I can hear them. They’re watching you, just like I warned you. It’s not safe for me to linger here. Remember what I said. Beware the faery folk. They will destroy you if you’re not careful.”

 Copyright © Cindy Young-Turner

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