Song of Susannah is the sixth book in Stephen King’s, The Dark Tower series. With over 400 pages of a blend of western, science fiction, horror and fantasy, it’s an intriguing read. As with earlier books in this series, it is important to read the previous instalments to fully appreciate this book.
The Dark Tower series centres on the last gunslinger Roland Deschain and his quest to reach the top of The Dark Tower. The tower is the point where the hearts of all worlds join and something or something is trying to destroy it. Roland’s character was inspired by the Man with No Name, which was portrayed by Clint Eastwood and from Robert Browning’s poem, Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came. He begins his journey alone but encounters many friends and enemies along the way.
Song of Susannah continues from where the previous book The Waste Lands ends. Our hero and his travelling companions, a young boy Jake Chambers, his pet Oy, a Catholic priest Father Don Callaghan and Eddie Dean a heroin addict, are on a mission to find the woman of their group. She is pregnant and missing. The party is separated to different times and place Jake, Father Callaghan and Oy arrive in New York of 1999, while Roland and Eddie go back to Maine 1977.
Susannah Dean is on a mission of her own. Since her pregnancy, she has been suffering from split personalities and is mainly under the control of a demon named Mia. It is important to Mia that this baby is born in a certain place and she is determined to reach it.
This book includes the usual revelations and horrors we come to expect from Stephen King. The characters are like family to us now and easy to return to time and again. This book is certainly not my favourite of the series but the suspense kept me turning the pages. The most enjoyable parts for me were the incorporation of Stephen King the writer and Father Callaghan from Salem’s Lot, into Roland’s journey. I imagine there will be mixed reviews from Stephen King fans regarding this book but it is part of the journey which must be taken before the final book in the series can be read.
‘One more turn of the path, and then we reach the clearing. Come along with me, will ya not?’ – Stephen King.