Books Magazine

The Dark Tower Vi: Song of Susannah by Stephen King

By Pamelascott

song of susannah




PAGES: 429


YEAR: 2004


My copy is a first edition, hardback that includes several color illustrations.


The next-to-last novel in Stephen King’s seven-volume magnum opus, Song of Susannah is at once a book of revelation, a fascinating key to the unfolding mystery of the Dark Tower, and a fast-paced story of double-barrelled suspense.

To give birth to her “chap,” demon-mother Mia has usurped the body of Susannah Dean and used the power of Black Thirteen to transport to New York City in the summer of 1999. The city is strange to Susannah . . . and terrifying to the “daughter of none” who shares her body and mind.

Saving the Tower depends not only on rescuing Susannah but also on securing the vacant lot Calvin Tower owns before he loses it to the Sombra Corporation.

Enlisting the aid of Manni senders, the remaining ka-tet climbs to the Doorway Cave . . . and discover that magic has its own mind. It falls to the boy, the billy bumbler, and the fallen priest to find Susannah-Mia, who in a struggle to cope — with each other and with an alien environment — “go todash” to Castle Discordia on the border of End-World. In that forsaken place, Mia reveals her origins, her purpose, and her fierce desire to mother whatever creature the two of them have carried to term.

Eddie and Roland, meanwhile, tumble into western Maine in the summer of 1977, a world that should be idyllic but isn’t. For one thing, it is real, and the bullets are flying. For another, it is inhabited by the author of a novel called ‘Salem’s Lot, a writer who turns out to be as shocked by them as they are by him.

These are the simple vectors of a story rich in complexity and conflict. Its dual climaxes, one at the entrance to a deadly dining establishment and the other appended to the pages of a writer’s journal, will leave readers gasping for the saga’s final volume.


‘How long will the magic stay?’


I love Song of Susannah. It picks up mere moments after Wolves of the Calla ended when it is discovered Susannah has taken off to allow Mia, the woman using her body to give birth to her chap. Song of Susannah nicely bridges the gap between Wolves of the Calla and the final volume.

I love that most of Song of Susannah is set in our world in New York City and Maine. It seems a long time since Roland and his ­ka-tet were in our world. I love the way Song of Susannah opens with the remaining ka-tet split into two groups as they attempt to follow Susannah/Mia through the door in Doorway Cave. Roland and his ­ka-tet did intend to go in two groups but the destinations they had in mind are different than where the door sends them.

I enjoyed the chapters featuring Susannah and Mia the most. In Wolves of the Calla you are led to believe she’s a villain but Song of Susannah makes me feel sorry for her. In a way she’s as much a victim as Susannah. I liked the way King reveals her story. I liked it when Detta Walter makes a brief return to mock Mia.

I thought it was really good that Pere Callahan is a fully-fledged member of the ka-tet in Song of Susannah. The magic door sends him, Jake and Oy after Susannah/Mia. I grew to really like his character and am looking forward to reading more about him in the final volume.

I loved Roland and Eddie’s experiences in Maine. They arrive in a hail of gunfire thanks to betraying Mia. I like to when Stephen King becomes a key character is the world of Roland and his ka-tet. I hated this the first time I read Song of Susannah. I thought it was incredibly arrogant but King’s role had grown on me over subsequent readings and I think it works well. It shouldn’t but it does. I thought it was pretty great that they managed to get Calvin Tower to finally sell them the lot. Hurrah!

I really like the coda at the end of Song of Susannah which includes various fictional extracts from King’s writer notebooks. The entries focus mainly on him working on The Dark Tower series and other novels connected in some way. I thought this was a fun thing to do.

Song of Susannah bridges the gap nicely between Wolves of the Calla and the final volume. I feel sort of sad that I have only one volume left and the spin off novel The Wind through the Keyhole.



Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog