The ka-tet of Roland, Alain and Cuthbert have returned safely to their home in Gilead. But all is not well. Roland has kept the evil Maerlyn’s Grapefruit and has become obsessed with peering into its pinkish depths despite the deadly toll it’s taken on his health. And what the young gunslinger sees brings him the darkest of nightmares. Meanwhile, Roland’s father has led a posse in search of those who threatened his son’s life in Hambry—John Farson and the Big Coffin Hunters. And in this encounter, Stephen Deschain’s life may be forfeit.
With the battle between the evil John Farson's Big Coffin Hunters and Steven Deschain and his gunslingers finally over, the true death toll is revealed. Will Roland's father be among the dead? Meanwhile, in Gilead, as Roland suffers from the after-effects of his multiple encounters with Maerlyn's Grapefruit, his ka-tet desperately requires his presence at the all-important coming-of-age feast the next night, or the consequences will be dire. Worse still, Cort, the gunslingers' mentor, has chosen his niece, Aileen, to become the betrothed of young Roland…and Cort rarely takes no for an answer.