... is that they really shouldn't write love stories. King is great at fantasy, horror or science fiction, but the relationship between Roland and Susan develops too slowly and remains to be defined by raw attraction and the difficulties they face rather than any positive interactions of their personalities. In the end, Susan remains a rather shallow character and readers will emphasize more with the bumbler or even the man in black than with her.
Having read the whole otherwise excelent series, I would say you can skip this book without missing much enjoyment and without lacking much context later in the story.
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