“Ka was like a wheel, its one purpose to turn, and in the end it always came back to the place where it had started.”
The Wastelands by Stephen King
The Wastelands is the third volume in The Dark Tower series. Some might even say it’s where the journey to the Tower truly begins. We find Roland, Susannah, and Eddie only months after the events of Drawing of the Three. Roland has started to train the couple and he’s determined to make Gunslingers out of them. We learn so much more about Roland’s world and its mysteries. The Ka-Tet crosses paths with Shardik, a giant biomechanical Bear. He is a Guardian of one of twelve ancient portals. Each portal connects six Beams which intersect at one central point, the nexus of all worlds, The Dark Tower.
Once Roland and his Ka-Tet find the portal, they easily find the path of the Beam. This physical force creates a visual imprint on the earth and the sky, forming a path. A naturally outlined path straight to The Dark Tower. As they say, “All things serve the Beam.”. So much happens in this installment of the series. Our main characters are finally all together and the real adventure feels like it has finally begun. The strength of their bond is tested when they must facilitate the drawing of the last member of their Ka-Tet into Mid-World.
King really showcases how important each member of the Kat-Tet is and how they each show similarities to Roland’s old friends, the group he began his journey with. We also finally come to a small town of Mid-World locals at River Crossing. We really get to see how those who were left behind by the world that has ‘moved on’ live their life. We learn a lot about this city of Lud that lies ahead, the war that destroyed the city, and the violence that still inhabits the city.
They finally reach the ruined city to find two groups still wreaking havoc upon what’s left, chaos ensues and the group must split up. The rest of the book is a wild ride, with the sinister Tick-Tock man, evil machines, and even an appearance from the mysterious Ageless Stranger. King does not leave this one off on a light note. As our Kat-Tet finally reaches the Wastelands, the terrifying landscape might be the least of their worries as they are left in the hands of an untrustworthy enemy. The end will leave you in awe of Roland and his friends, and you’ll be dying for the next book!