- 14 Sep 22
King serves up a royally good yarn.
Back when the pandemic first started showing its teeth, the indefatigable King gritted his and asked himself a question. “What could you write that would make you happy?” The result is Fairy Tale and it’s destined to make the Maine-loving modern-day seanchaí’s multi-million-strong fanbase grin with pleasure too.
Centred around Charlie Reade, a young lad who life used as its toilet, the 17-year-old befriends a reclusive old man and his dog and discovers a portal to another world where a war rages between good and evil (as opposed to ours, which is simply evil versus evil, course).
Over the span of near 600 pages, the hugely gifted scribe wraps his Constant Readers up in a comfort blanket then promptly sets fire to it. It’s hard not to be charmed by Charlie throughout (long-term fans will be intrigued by his middle name….). Even when he confesses to some questionable deeds in the past and commits a few more in his present, Reade has the heart of a warrior and gamely weathers life’s slings and arrows, much like some of King’s finest heroes Johnny Smith and Jake Epping.
Once we reach Emphis, the strange yet familiar land beneath the well, business really picks up. It’s a cursed Earth and some of its disfigured natives believe Charlie has the cure. If you’re into H.P. Lovecraft, The Princess Bride and some of the scribe’s older hits such as 11/22/63, The Dark Tower series and Sleeping Beauties (which he co-authored with his son Owen), then you’ll pick up what uncle Steve is laying down.
Sometimes sweet, often sinister and seriously entertaining throughout, King delivers a royally good yarn loaded with characters you actually care about. It’s spell binding stuff.
Out now. Published by Hodder & Stoughton.