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A welcome return to the world of Roland Deschain,
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This review is from: The Wind Through the Keyhole: A Dark Tower Novel (Dark Tower Novels) (Kindle Edition)The Wind Through the Keyhole is a welcome return to the world of Roland of Gilead and his quest for the Dark Tower. Nestled comfortably between Wizard and Glass and Wolves of Calla, this book is fairly called Dark Tower 4.5 and picks up immediately following the end of DT4: W&G.
The story finds Roland and his ka-tet of Eddie, Susannah, Jake, and Oy (the billy-bumbler) on the path toward what will turn out to be Calla, when they stumble upon a ferryman who gives them passage to the far side of a waterway with some helpful advice and some food to see them along. Not long down the road, Oy warns Roland that a starkblast is coming - a ferocious tsunami of Arctic weather that decimates everything in its wake - and they are forced to seek shelter in the ruins of a nearby town. They hunker down to wait out the storm in the reinforced town-hall.
Knowing they'll be holed up for a few days, Roland passes the time sharing a tale from his youth with the others as they attempt to stay warm around the fire; the tale involves young Roland and his fellow gunslinger Jamie (last seen in DT4: W&G) being sent out to a remote bordertown to investigate the particulars behind a series of killings being committed by a shapeshifting skin-walker. They arrive just after another attack and Roland takes young Billy (a survivor) under his protection while they look for the human form of the skin-walker amongst the miners in town. King takes a page from Inception, by having the younger incarnation of Roland share the tale of The Wind Through the Keyhole with Billy...hoping the old story will put the traumatized boy at ease and pass the time.
This story within a story is well told and fills out more backstory of the world before it had moved on - a tale of a young boy on a quest to save his mother, and along the way taking the first tentative steps toward manhood. We see dragons, fairies, tygers, and a reappearance of North Central Positronics along the way.
The novel finishes on a great note with more development of the Roland character and a nice bridge to book 5. There is a hook left in the text that could easily be another story told about Roland's world after the events of The Wind Through the Keyhole (the version imparted by Roland to Young Bill), and I'm sure many DT fans will be clamoring for it. I would be amongst them. This return to the world of the Dark Tower was a fresh breath of air, and I'd welcome the chance to visit it again.