Slow moving, even boring in places. It's not that I don't like love stories, because I do, and this is a particularly good one - it's just that this is the wrong love story in the wrong place. Most of the novel is set before the fall of Gilead, when Roland is 14, and so that sense of a world gone wrong is missing, notwithstanding a few broken oil derricks. In fact, much of the story is essentially a western - the saloon hold-up, the horses riding over the plain - with a few supernatural elements, the most important of which is the old witch Rhea. In summary, almost everything I really like about the Dark Tower series is missing from much of the book, apart from Roland himself, who, at 14, is not exactly the Roland we know and love.
However, the beginning and end of the novel - set in Roland's "present" are good, especially the riddle game, which is exceptional, even for King. And there are some shock revelations at the end which leave Roland at his most vulnerable.