Yes, this story is only nine thousand words, when many other two-part episodes have been closer to fifteen thousand words apiece. So? A short story is not a bad story. Sometimes, a short story is actually a better story.
In the original release post, I claimed that Kiluron and Doil needed more active roles, and that this should not have been a two-part episode. I disagree with my former self.
From his seat in the rearranged great hall, Kiluron sat beside Doil and watched the performers, who had to be the least interesting performers Kiluron had ever witnessed. The customary furnishings of the great hall had all been cleared away, a raised platform had been erected, seating in a special, semicircular arrangement had been set forth, and odd panels and long bunches of thick, dark, heavy cloth had been hung erratically all through the chamber, all at the request of a woman who had so far spent the entirety of the performance standing with her back to her noble audience. At least the other performers were all facing the correct direction, more or less focused upon the woman who led them, but they had spent the whole time thus far sitting mostly still and make a dreadful din upon their instruments. Admittedly, the performance had only begun a few moments before, but so far Kiluron was not impressed.
I don't read a lot of Stephen King, not because I don't like his writing, but because I'm not a big fan of horror. I actually very much enjoyed one of his fantasy novels, Eye of the Dragon. My own horror writing tends to not remain in the genre for long, as you may recall from reading Zombies, and I don't especially enjoy reading it from others. To me, reading is usually about escaping to a better world of the imagination, not a darker one. However, a friend recommended this book to me, as it was rather topical, and so I figured I would give it a read.