Stephen King's "Fairy Tale" (Scribner, 608 pp.) has unseated the queens. After an entire summer of Colleen Hoover's "It Ends With Us" and "Verity" and Delia Owens' "Where the Crawdads Sing" owning the top spot on USA TODAY's Best Selling Books list, King has claimed the crown.
"Fairy Tale" is the 26th King novel to hit No. 1 and 82nd book to appear on the list (including those written under his pen name, Richard Bachman).
In "Fairy Tale," 17-year-old Charlie Reade appears to be an average, everyday high-schooler. The key word being "appears." It turns out that Charlie inherits both a dog sidekick as well as the keys to a parallel world where a war is raging between good and evil.
The novel's narrative spans two worlds with "man-eating giants, electric zombies, duels to the death, a cruel ruler and a fair princess. It’s a boy and his dog, though, who will win your heart as much as King’s past efforts have unnerved your soul," according to USA TODAY's Brian Truitt, who gives "Fairy Tale" ★★★½ (out of four). King "brings his own flair to the fairy tale, good enough to land this hefty tome right next to your Brothers Grimm collection. It’s a genre full of poison apples and big bad wolves, and King thankfully doesn’t skimp on the horror here."
Ultimately, Truitt writes, the novel "is an escape that feels needed especially for modern eyes, a profound story of good vs. evil that’s timeless and timely."
'Fair Tale' review:Stephen King weaves a profound story filled with heart
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'The Rings of Power' renews interest in J.R.R. Tolkien
Amazon's "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" debuted earlier this month and brought fantasy author Tolkien back to the best sellers list. Tolkien's "The Silmarillion," a collection of works that set the stage for the world of Middle-earth, returns to the list at No. 89. His seminal works "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" return as a boxed set at No. 150.
The Amazon series is based on a small amount of material written by Tolkien that describes Middle-earth's "Second Age." The "Third Age" is the time period we saw in the "Rings" and "Hobbit" films and books, and the "First Age" is covered extensively in the author's encyclopedia-like "Silmarillion."
This period in Middle-earth, some 4,000 years before "The Hobbit," includes the forging of the rings of power – from which the series gets its name and that film fans remember was explained in voice-over at the beginning of "The Fellowship of the Ring."
USA TODAY TV Critic Kelly Lawler gave the new series ★★★ (out of four), writing the producers "have created something that looks, sounds and smells like the 'Lord of the Rings' we know and love."
Contributing: Kelly Lawler, Brian Truitt USA TODAY
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Stephen King's 'Fairy Tale' beats Colleen Hoover on best sellers list