Wizard and Glass. This installation of the Dark Tower series picks up where “The Waste Lands” left off. Our heroes are headed to oblivion aboard the insane monorail “Blaine the Mono” who has been taking them for several miles to the Topeka Railway Station and has promised to jump the rails if they cannot beat him at a riddles game. Eddie Dean defeats Blaine by asking children’s riddles which drives Blaine to short circuit because they are illogical riddles.
Arriving at the Topeka Railway Station, they find they are in a deserted Topeka, Kansas that has been devastated by what they find to be a super flu. They find many clues which lead us to believe that this world has been devastated by the events of Stephen King’s other novel The Stand. Other references to “The Stand” included cryptic messages graffitti’d on the turnpike signs “Watch out for the Walkin’ Dude” which is an alias for Randall Flagg.
They leave Topeka and camp out near a worm hole which Roland calls “a thinny.” Where the barrier between worlds is thin. While camped there, Roland tells his new friends about his first encounter with a thinny, which is a backstory about his youth.
At age 14, Roland earns his guns and becomes the youngest gunslinger in history. He is angered when he discovers his mother having an affair with his father’s trusted advisor Marten Broadcloak (another Randall Flagg alias). He then challenges his instructor, Cort, to a duel to earn his guns early. He wins his guns and his father sends him east of Gilead to the Barony of Mejis. He travels with his friends Cuthbert Algood and Alain Johns.
He ends up falling in love with Susan Delgado, a woman promised to be married to the mayor of Mejis, Thorin. Despite a rift that grows between Roland and his friend Cuthbert because of his love for Susan; they discover a plot against his father by “The Good Man” John Farson and a faction from the elite of Mejis. The band of young gunslingers is set up for the murder of Thorin and end up in jail.
Susan helps them escape and they have a shoot out in Eyebolt Canyon with Farson and his rebels. They are forced into a thinny where they perish. They also capture a pink glove called “Maerlyn’s Grapefruit”. Stolen from the town witch, Rhea of the Coos, Roland see’s visions of Susan’s demise and his own pointless future. As Susan’s demise plays out, Roland’s story ends.
The group awakens the next day, Roland and his new band of gunslingers make their way to Emerald City, parallel to that of the Wizard of Oz. The “Wizard” is none other than Marten Broadcloak and Roland takes a shot at him and misses because Marten (aka Randall Flagg) curses his guns to misfire when shooting at him. As Flagg flees he leaves Maerlyn’s Grapefruit which shows them how Roland accidentally killed his own mother and how Roland is bad luck to anyone he comes close to. However, Eddie Dean, Susannah Dean, Jake Chambers and Oy the Billybumbler; decide to stick with Roland on his quest for the Dark Tower no matter what the cost.