There’s plenty of fresh invention in Fairy Tale, but much of what Charlie encounters reminds him of something else he’s seen or read ... King’s portals — like his novels — have always been leaky apertures, prone to cultural exchange and playful cross-contamination ... Fairy Tale is a multiverse-traversing, genre-hopping intertextual mash-up, with plenty of Easter eggs for regular King devotees. Thankfully, it’s also a solid episodic adventure, a page-turner driven by memorably strange encounters and well-rendered, often thrilling action ... Despite the plot’s twists and turns, the biggest surprise Fairy Tale has to offer King’s so-called Constant Readers might be the book’s promise of a happy ending ... I’ll bet many readers hungry for a genuinely feel-good adventure won’t care what tactics King uses to deliver the goods: These days, some of us will take all the happy endings we can get, however unlikely they seem.
A good old-fashioned Stephen King fantasy-horror epic ... You’ll inhale Fairy Tale in big 100-page swathes without the slightest effort or strain, and you’ll be grateful that there are 600-plus pages of it to remind you several times over how much fun that kind of reading experience is ... The book’s alternate world combines Grimmian fairy-tale elements with Lovecraftian cosmic horror, but it takes a while to get there. The more of them I read, the more I appreciate King’s set-ups ... Injecting the uncanny into the everyday is a Stephen King trademark ... Fairy Tale supplies both fleshly human frailty and a fully functional heart ... Fairy Tale is both sweeping and self-contained, comic and scary, touching and bleak.
... an epic quest novel with a golden-haired hero and his beloved pooch who save a cursed people from an even more cursed villain. Surprisingly unscary, the book offers a journey through an enchanted world ... It’s a whopping read, just shy of 600 pages, and there are times the reader wonders if it really needed to be that long. There is some repetition...and a lot of signposting and foreshadowing that’s anything but subtle. But if you’re a fan of King, then you’ll be delighted to disappear into this charming coming-of-age tale and cheer for Charlie as he frees an oppressed people from a tyrannical ruler ... It’s a tale as old as time.