Stephen King Hands Readers the Keys to Another World in Forthcoming Novel, ‘Fairy Tale’ [COVER REVEAL]

Old shed door
A locked shed hides well kept secrets in Stephen King’s forthcoming book, Fairy Tale. (Photo courtesy Canva)

Legendary author Stephen King has long been the reigning master of horror. But his novels are more than just scary stories about things that go bump in the night. They are insightful forays into the human psyche that examine our deepest fears and desires. While his books consistently entertain, more often than not, they also teach us valuable lessons about life and make us examine who we want to be. That’s why I’m always thrilled to discover when a new King novel is due to be released, and it sounds like his forthcoming story is going to be a doozy.

The novel is called Fairy Tale. But before I tell you about the premise, let’s take a gander at the cover. Isn’t it a beauty? I have always loved the dust jackets to King’s books, and for me, this one is right up there with the original covers for The Green Mile, Four Past Midnight, and The Bazaar of Bad Dreams. It does everything cover art should. It lures you in and makes you wonder what can possibly be at the bottom of that winding staircase. And in this story, pretty much anything is possible!

Scribner

King has always demonstrated what an amazing imagination he has, whether he’s writing about a car with a mind of its own (Christine), the ultimate showdown between good and evil (The Stand), or evil clowns that have us avoiding storm drains long after we close the book (It). And yet, he also writes beautiful tales about the fragility of life, like Dolores Claiborne and Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption. But in Fairy Tale, he combines both the realistic and the fantastic.

In this story, King’s protagonist is a likable high school kid named Charlie Reade. He does well in school and is a natural athlete. But he also carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. Ever since his mom was killed in a hit-and-run accident when he was 10, he’s had to take care of himself and his dad who sought solace for his grief in the bottom of a bottle.

At 17, Charlie meets Howard Bowditch and his dog Radar. Howard’s a recluse who lives in a big old house at the top of a hill. Eventually, Charlie starts doing odd jobs for Howard and falls in love with Radar. Yet even as their friendship forms, Charlie can’t help but notice the locked shed behind the house, especially when he hears weird sounds coming from it.

When Howard dies, he leaves behind a cassette tape for Charlie which spins a fabulous yarn few would believe. For Howard has kept a secret his entire life. Inside the locked shed, there’s a portal to another world where good and evil face off, and it will be up to Charlie and Radar to lead the battle.

King says early in the Pandemic he asked himself, “What could you write that would make you happy?” The result is Fairy Tale. “As if my imagination had been waiting for the question to be asked, I saw a vast deserted city—deserted but alive,” King said. “I saw the empty streets, the haunted buildings, a gargoyle head lying overturned in the street. I saw smashed statues (of what I didn’t know, but I eventually found out). I saw a huge, sprawling palace with glass towers so high their tips pierced the clouds. I saw a magic sundial that could turn back time. Those images released the story I wanted to tell.”

This makes me think of something C.S. Lewis or J.J. Abrams would write, but better. Obviously, this fairy tale will be pure Stephen King. But maybe his agent sent the book over to Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams, or even James Cameron to see how they might bring the novel to the big screen. But I’m getting ahead of myself. We need to read the book first!

Fairy Tale hits store shelves and e-readers on September 6, 2022, but you can preorder it now in both hardcover and e-book. I’ve included the links to all the usual retailers below so you can get your hands on it on publication day. In the meantime, watch the alluring trailer below.

If you’d like to read an exclusive sneak peak of the novel, Entertainment Weekly got permission to post one on their site, which you’ll find here. Also, be sure to click the button below to add the book to your TBR list on Goodreads.

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About the author banner

Stephen King is the author of more than 60 books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes Billy SummersIf It BleedsThe InstituteElevationThe OutsiderSleeping Beauties (cowritten with his son Owen King), and the Bill Hodges trilogy: End of WatchFinders Keepers, and Mr. Mercedes (an Edgar Award winner for Best Novel and a television series streaming on Peacock).

His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller. His epic works The Dark TowerItPet Sematary, and Doctor Sleep are the basis for major motion pictures, with It now the highest-grossing horror film of all time.

He is the recipient of the 2020 Audio Publishers Association Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2018 PEN America Literary Service Award, the 2014 National Medal of Arts, and the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

For more information, visit StephenKing.com or follow him on Twitter and YouTube.

Stephen King
Stephen King

FAIRY TALE
By Stephen King
608 pp. Scribner. $32.50

Purchase Fairy Tale direct from Jathan & Heather Books or from one of these fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Half Price Books, Hudson Booksellers, or IndieBound.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

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