King, Stephen. (1987). The Eyes of the Dragon. Viking Penguin Inc.; New York.
This novel was written by Stephen King for his daughter’s benefit, and thus has all the trappings of a typical fairy tale. There’s an evil and malevolent wizard, a young prince fighting for his right to the kingdom, and plenty of potions. However, the writing style and plot elements are not written in a simplistic or coddling manner – harsh truths, adult topics, and violent death are frequently described. According to Stephen, he respected his daughter enough to “try and give her my best….and that includes a refusal to ‘talk down’. Or put another way, I did her the courtesy of writing for myself as well as her” (King, 1987). The result is a book that is accessible for a broad and varied audience.
There is an unknown story-teller who speaks directly to the reader throughout the book; this practice of breaking the fourth wall made me feel unsettled during my first experience with the novel. However, on my second (third?) reading, I enjoyed it a fair amount. It’s a relaxed and often humorous book, well removed from the horror stories that Stephen King is known for. The fantasy-based plot also meant that many of Stephen’s regular fans were turned off and refused to read the novel (Wikipedia article). However, I highly recommend it as a quick, fun little read.