"The call of the three" is the second book belonging to the saga of the Black Tower. Written by Stephen King and published by Donald M. Grant in 1987, this volume continues the story of Gilead's Roland where readers had left it at the end of the first book: on the sea beach. Although the two texts are placed chronologically adjacent, it would seem that King decided to change genre during the writing of the novel.

Plot of the novel

We find Roland of Gilead on the beach, exactly where we left him at the end of the book "The last knight". An Aramostra attacks him, with all his ferocity, and the gunslinger tries to defend himself with the weapons that distinguish him. Unfortunately the revolver fails because of the cartridges wet by the sea water, costing Roland the loss of two fingers of his right hand. Unable to shoot and with an infection in progress, the gunslinger is forced to seek shelter. During his journey, drawn by a mysterious force, he will meet three doors that will allow him to call three people.

The Drawing of the Three (The Dark Tower, # 2) by Stephen King

The Prisoner

The first bears the name of Eddie Dean, "The Prisoner", a cocaine dealer with an innate sense of debt to his older brother Henry and a heroin addiction. All the prerequisites for a great hero, Roland tells himself shortly before discovering that he can momentarily merge his conscience with that of Eddie. Thanks to the gunslinger and his help, the Prisoner manages to escape the controls of the airport customs and get revenge on his brother's murderer.

The Lady of Shadows

The second bears the name of Odetta Holmes ... or rather Detta Walkers ... or better of both. A very rich young black civil rights activist who suffers from schizophrenia and lives two parallel lives without her mind realizing these gaps. Each of the two sides invents stories to fill the absence of conscience, forcing the woman to live perpetually divided.
To add insult to injury, and not insult to injury, not too many years before Roland's arrival, someone pushed the young woman under the subway rails, causing her to lose her legs. The gunslinger immediately realizes this duplicity and how one of the two women is a born warrior.

The Drawing of the Three | Stephen King Wiki | Fandom

The drug dealer (Pusher in English)

The third and final to be called is Jack Mort, a person who enjoys the murder or his attempt. Unfortunately, the Italian translation cannot perfectly make the word game born with Pusher, since Jack Mort has absolutely nothing to do with drugs. Jack is referred to as the man who pushed poor Jake under the car, who threw the brick on Odetta's head (creating Detta) and who later pushed her under the meter. In this sense it would have been more correct to define it based on the action of pushing but, in doing so, it would have been a free spoiler.
The gunman will use Jack's body to get drugs for his infection and bullets for his revolvers, then sacrifice him to reassemble Odetta and Detta and finally save Jake.

Roland's meeting with New York

Although this book abandons western tones to focus on something more urban, making us live New York in three different decades, Roland's first impact with the city is one of the novel's strengths. The gunslinger interprets reality with his own eyes, wondering if, after all, it is perhaps not better that his world has gone on than the one in which we live. After hearing all his life about the kingdom of light, where man ruled the machine, physics and its laws, Roland does not seem impressed by what he sees. Surprised many times, the gunslinger will recognize in others the strength needed to be like him.

The beginning of Retcon in "The call of the three"

Sore point of "The call of the three", which will also spread in the third book of the saga, is the constant change of the cards on the table. The explanations provided by King convince on the spot, when the reader is caught by the thread of the narrative, but upon careful consideration it is clear that this title is a general afterthought compared to "The Last Knight".


The elements of Roland's world culture are literally sipped in the first three novels of the saga. One wonders if King has not added these elements because he had not yet thought of them or for a precise authorial choice. Fortunately, the concept of Ka is presented in The Call of the Three.
The Ka is described in many ways: it is a wheel, a destination, perhaps a destiny but certainly nothing certain and defined as a "plan". In a vulgar sense, it means a physical place where you need to go.
This force, described by Roland's words, seems to be superior to the concepts of good and evil, influencing them both.

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