I didn't know Uncle Stevie had it in him to be this charming.
This is a traditional fantasy story, almost a fairy-tale (which means I'm already inclined to love it anyway), with some King-style added in there for good measure (talkative narrator, great eye for details and use of motifs, character depth in unexpected places). Also, the "eyes" of the dragon did not turn out to be what I expected them to be, which made me absurdly happy for some reason.
Really, really enjoyed this one. It's like a hidden gem in the middle of the giant pile of King's published works.