The Chronicles of Narnia (#1-7)

ISBN: 0060847131
ISBN 13: 9780060847135
By: C.S. Lewis

Check Price Now

Genres

Children Children's Childrens Classic Classics Favorites Series To Read Ya Young Adult

About this book

The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis, is one of the very few sets of books that should be read three times: in childhood, early adulthood, and late in life. In brief, four children travel repeatedly to a world in which they are far more than mere children and everything is far more than it seems. Richly told, populated with fascinating characters, perfectly realized in detail of world and pacing of plot, and profoundly allegorical, the story is infused throughout with the timeless issues of good and evil, faith and hope. This boxed set edition includes all seven volumes.

Reader's Thoughts

Jarod

A mostly well-written, very imaginative, thoroughly enjoyable read. The narration is warm and witty, the protagonists are well developed and likable but not perfect (written perfectly, but with flaws that give the stories depth), and the settings are vivid and fantastic (remember those loony one-footed invisible things that hop around? and the ending, when the boat sails over that undersea city and then into the clouds at the edge of the world?).I'm always annoyed when people confound the quality of this series as literature with the quality of the worldview it allegedly expounds, as if the literary world is some kind of neo-Stalinist monolith where the only legitimate art is that which edifies us by propounding a correct ethical system. It's just a story, and a good one at that. Furthermore, as an atheist, I think 1) the religious content of the novels is overstated, and 2) even if it isn't, oh fucking well, that doesn't detract from the novels one whit. The books really don't have any more to do with Christianity in particular than does any other story with a character who gives up his life to save others. See Harry Potter 7; see also, religious archetypes in general. As for the Calormen, I think it's highly possible that the garb was just supposed to convey the exotic, and this particular nation just happens to be bad in the world of the book. Everything is not a political statement. The good faun from LW&W is not a statement about how pagan nature religions are good; likewise, I just don't see that the bad Calormen are necessarily a statement about how the people who once wore curly-toed shoes in the real world are bad.In sum, it's a good story, and even if all the criticisms of the book-- it's racist, it's Christian, etc.-- are true, it's still a good story, and if all I ever read were wholesome books explicitly conveying a wonderful worldview, I would be bored as hell.

Tina

CS Lewis' Chronicles are a God-send in my world. Although I have listed 1981 as having read them... I have to say that I am constantly re-reading them. Different books for different moods/issues I'm having. I have found they rejuvenate my spirit and my faith. The Horse and His Boy and The Last Battle have been read the fewest amount of times-2 each; I think this is because I found no common link with either of them. Voyage of the Dawn Treader has been my favorite, however Puddleglum from The Silver Chair is my favorite character. I feel most calmed by The Magician's Nephew-probably because of the quiet world between the worlds. Each book gave a story... most of which children could relate to... however each time I have re-read these books, more insight is given to the Christian world and I delve more deeply into their meanings and their correspondence with different biblical stories. Then, sometimes I just read them to rid myself of the taints of today's world. Excellent motivational books. Easy to read.

Gwen

I'm a little torn. I'm going to review all of them all at once even though the version that I own are the seven separate books. The over all plot of this series is epic and it comes to a conclusion that you don't see often in children's literature. Having said that some of the books really aren't that good. Silver Chair and The Horse and His Boy both come to mind. Without those two books the series would be much stronger. It almost feels like those two were thrown in to get to the number 7 (for symbolism and all that). If you're into allegory and you want a mostly harmless series to read to your children I would recommend books 1-6. Save book 7 until they're older because... Well at the very least read it yourself before reading it to them.

midnightfaerie

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis is one of the books in his series, the Chronicles of Narnia in which Christianity is portrayed through various fantasy creatures. God, for instance is portrayed as a talking Lion. What a wonderful series! What child hasn’t climbed into a closet and explored the back cracks in hope of finding an entrance to a new and exciting world after reading this book? I used to sit in a closet with the door closed and a flashlight reading my favorite books after reading this series, in hopes that someday a door would open and take me to another realm. Of course, the white witch is my favorite character. I’m always attracted to the bad ones. The Lion, Aslan, is a wonderful character as well, but I have to admit, knowing that he was an analogy for God, changed my view of the story a bit and left me a bit disappointed. He was a bit cheesy. Or maybe typical is a better word. Which is why I almost wish I wouldn’t have known the true meaning of the books until after I read them. In any case, the stories were great, the first one being the best. (You always lose a little of the naiveté of the children as they get older) But the movies did them justice as well. Reading them again as an adult, found me a little bored, but still enchanted overall with the series. The next movie is due out soon and I can only hope they will continue to make the movies which were incredible. I highly recommend this series and consider it a classic as well. ClassicsDefined.com

Julie

** spoiler alert ** I finally got around to reading these all the way through. I'm pretty sure I read through book 4 when I was much younger, but really, it was a different experience reading them as a twenty-something. I vividly remember the moment several years ago when my mother and I were watching a televised version of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe... and suddenly made the connection that the whole thing was a giant allegory with Aslan as Jesus. We just looked at each other going, gee, this is sounding very familiar all of a sudden. Well, if you think that particular book smacks you across the face with Christian metaphors (and obviously as a small child I didn't pick up on this at all), wait til you hit some of the later books (especially The Last Battle).The end of the series completely shocked me. I understand the whole thing was a Christian allegory to begin with, but HOLY COW. I will try not to spoil it here, but... it's vaguely creepy to see how enthusiastic they are, and also horrible to think that Susan is now left behind. I did read that Susan's fate is meant to be an example, that rather than showing that she is now damned/unable to someday go to New Narnia, her fate is left open—if she repents and returns to believing in Aslan, and asks him for forgiveness, she will be able to join her family. Still creepy and shocking though.You can also see in A Horse and His Boy how harshly Lewis contrasts the Calormenes with the Narnians. The Calormenes are repeatedly referred to as "dark," "smelling of garlic and onions," with "curved swords..." he even says their poetry is far inferior to the Narnians'. The picture he is trying to paint here is painfully obvious, as all the Calormenes' culture reflects that of the Middle East (whereas the Narnians are obviously very similar to medieval England). It's a seriously bigoted world view, one that I'm sure was more acceptable at the time the books were written, but now is rather jarring to read.I did enjoy reading these books. I'd thought them awfully dry the first time through—stuffy English children in a fairly entertaining magical land, etc... The difference this time was, I watched the 2005 movie first. The movie completely blew me away, and while reading the first book (and even the succeeding books which involve the Pevensie children) I was able to imagine those warm, courageous and yet flawed children in place of the stuffy English ones, and it added a wonderful new dimension to the story. It was enough to carry me through the boks I didn't like as much, and made me enjoy my favorites even more (those would be The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and The Horse and His Boy).Overall, I'd recommend them (they're a super-quick read too, you could probably finish one in a single day if you tried), but only after viewing the 2005 film first. :D Can't wait til movie #2!

Mansoor

The Magician's Nephew is easily the best story of the Chronicles. First of all, it's the least overtly religious. There is a creation-of-the-world element, but it's not our world so it seems more fantastic than religious. Not only is there a veil over the religiosity, there's so much creativity in this story: the magical rings, the in-between place, the Deplorable Word, the founding of Narnia.Starting with The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, the religiosity becomes noticeable, with the Witch as Satan, Aslan as Jesus, and the Emperor as God. And because of the talking, fighting animals, the fantasy seems aimed at children. I might have enjoyed it more at age 12.The next story in the series, The Horse and His Boy, takes a dark, ethnocentric turn with its unfavorable depiction of the Arab-like "Calormen" (shoes turned up at the toe, scimitars, suffixed phrases of praise, "son of" lineage declarations). In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, we get a not-quite-positive summary of the Calormen:"...they are a wise, wealthy, courteous, cruel and ancient people. They bowed most politely to Caspian and paid him long compliments...but of course what they wanted was the money they had paid."Given that this book was published in 1954, it's possible to forgive the cultural insensitivity, but it's sad that children around the world still uncritically read such racist material.The Voyage of the Dawn Treader demonstrates the problem with using God (or Jesus) in a story: there are no real conflicts. When the Dawn Treader stops at Dragon Island, the boy passenger Eustace wanders off, encounters a magical spell, and is turned into a dragon. This raises all kinds of serious issues about how to keep Eustace the Dragon with them, but none of these problems matter because, within 24 hours, Aslan just changes Eustace back to a boy.There was a similar deus ex machina (the term being used most appropriately) in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. To save Edmund's soul, Aslan sacrifices his life. But it wasn't Aslan's only life, he had another one ready.One thing I found especially creative about The Chronicles is how a story involving talking animals justifies eating animals.

Carl

I read this entire series multiple times when I was younger, I think near the end of elementary school or during Jr Hi, and actually got sick of it after too many reads and had to wait to rediscover it later on-- several times, in fact. The books are nice and short, yet each is a quality fantasy story, loaded, of course, with Lewis' exploration-in-fiction of man's relationship to diety and the world. Tolkien was always my favorite, but Lewis has his own particular approach to the fantastic which is just a beautiful-- it's a shame that Tolkien didn't go for the Narnia books, though I can understand why he didn't. For two such close friends, and with such similar tastes in material, they ended up speaking very different fictional languages. Lewis, of course, was a big fan of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and Silmarillion, but Tolkien was so much more militantly purist that it is no suprise that Lewis would find in Tolkien's work that "joy" which he found in the Norse myths. Lewis' Narnia, however, was more in the service of the fantastic as percieved by moderns, blending and borrowing to create a whole of the present moment, rather than pursuing the more reconstructionsist cohesion of Tolkien. Lewis, of course, remained more faithful to George MacDonald than Tolkien, and that shows: Narnia is a fantasy of the Victorians pulled into the Modern period. If I were to try to recover Tolkien's own perspective on the contrast, I would perhaps say that Narnia and MacDonald's creations were fantasies of a more effeminate, decadent age in which the "horns of Elfland" are a bit more shrill and prettified, in contrast to Middle Earth's masculine hardness and depth-- but typically my own perception of Narnia is much more positive, and I enjoyed these books very much. Maybe not really allegory, though I've heard them described as such (I think by Tolkien), but I can see how one would get that impression-- the world feels much more unabashedly fictional, in comparison to Middle Earth or most "gritty" fantasy that is out there today. This is not necessarily a bad thing, I think-- sometimes the more fictional the context, the brighter the human truths within that fiction. Out of the series, I would have to say that my favorites are The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (how can you not love such a straightforward title! It spoils nothing, and yet is as pertinent as you can get), the Magician's nephew, and the Last Battle-- the last two because I like beginnings and ends, I think. The structure of the series itself is nice-- first you are pulled in by the plight and plot of children and world in the first book, then this is developed into a love affair with that world in the next few books, with the world itself becoming a character, then, having fallen in love, you behold the birth of your beloved in the Magician's Nephew, and finally, experience her death and redemption in the final book.Okay, I had at least two or three other paragraphs, but apparently there is a 4000 character limit on these reviews-- which sucks! I'll try and spread out my CS Lewis comments over a few other reviews.

Brian S

I made it through all 7 books, which says something. They are enjoyable, extremely quick reads, definitely tailored to children or adolescents. The Christian typology is quite obvious to an adult reader, although I'm not sure it would be to a child. It makes for an interesting dilemma. Lewis has created a series of worlds where individuals and events are near exact replicas of individuals and events in Christian salvation history, yet his worlds don't quite match up with the real world in detail or breadth. The result is that events that occur both in the Chronicles of Narnia and in Christian salvation history (i.e., the death and resurrection of Christ/Aslan) are different theologically and in effect. I guess it’s not really a big deal, but I wonder how it would play out in the mind of a child who might understand the Chronicles of Narnia long before he understands the corresponding events in the real world. Probably that concern is baseless because children will read and love the Chronicles for the story and adventure and will come away with a sense of good doing battle with evil and individuals choosing which side they want to be on. I would guess that was C.S. Lewis' intention. My rating reflects what I thought as an adult reader, not how good I think these are as children's books.

Ryan

I was in college the first time I read all the Chronicles of Narnia. Eight years later, I was ecstatic to get the whole set for free through the Goodreads first reader program. (Thanks to Harper Collins.) This time around I enjoyed them quite a bit more and understood the symbolism a little better. Rating on story alone I probably would give them three or four stars. But because all the stories are so deep in meaning and strike a chord with Christians everywhere, I've bumped the series up to AMAZING.I've reviewed each book individually (in order.) Don't expect to find anything profound or insightful in any of my comments. I just recorded how the books made me feel and what I found particularly great (or not-so-great) about them.The Magician's Nephew, the first book in the Narnia series (which was actually the sixth published) receives 5 stars from me. (Here they are: * * * * *)Although I read this book only a couple years ago to my wife, I found it just as enjoyable the second time. The first half of the book (Polly and Diggory's discovery of magic travel and struggles with the witch) is basically the main story, while the second half (Founding of Narnia) is a very long denouement. Although the falling action is full of annoying animal conversation and endless description of landscape, the symbolism is quite poignant. If the book was split into two I would give the first 5 stars and the second 4. But together the first half easily makes up for the meandering finish. Why do I love the beginning so much? Very clever writing, a terribly gripping plot (I've said before that the Wood between Worlds is the most exciting concept I've ever encountered in any book), and of course the great one liners. For example, "That's absolute bosh from beginning to end."The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is the most well known of the seven books, and it's one of my favorites. Even so, I grew a little bored reading this one, and I attribute it to the many readings and countless film adaptations I've ingested over the years. Unlike the Magician's Nephew, this has a great cohesive plot from beginning to end. And even if Aslan does come in at the end and save the day a little easily, the Christian symbolism is nicely done. Five stars.A Horse and His Boy was an incredibly engaging story from beginning to end. (5 stars) The symbolism of God helping us through our tough times brought me close to tears, and it was so satisfying to see justice served in the end. It took me until now to comprehend the cleverness of the title. (My mind always just switched the horse and boy around.) I'll end with one of my favorite lines uttered by King Lune: "Have we no more gravity among us than to be so chafed by the taunt of a pajock?"Prince Caspian was a great book (four stars), although in general I enjoyed the movie more. The duel between Miraz and Peter, however, was actually better in the book. Lewis has an incredible knack for making you feel like you're there watching. One of my favorite lines: "That's the worst of girls," said Edmund to Peter and the Dwarf. "They never carry a map in their heads.""That's because our heads have something inside them," said Lucy.Something else that I found funny was the difference in language and meaning. This line for example would probably have to be cut from any of today's children's books: "Of course, if the children had attempted a journey like this a few days ago in England, they would have been knocked up."One thing I didn't understand was this: The Pevensies are called into Narnia by the horn and then it takes them a few days to get to where Prince Caspian is (I think they sleep at least twice.) But then when they get there they hear Caspian saying he blew it just that morning. (p.391) Did I just read it wrong? Can someone explain this to me? After re-reading The Voyage of the Dawn Treader my hat goes off to the three screenplay writers that adapted this for film. Lewis's original is rich with originality and symbolism, but destitute in storyline. The movie somehow brought together all the episodic "lessons" and turned it into a cohesive whole. Now I remember why this book wasn't one of my favorites. Not enough story to sink my teeth into. Still, it was an enjoyable read. I would probably get more out of the novels if I was astute enough to understand all the symbolism. With this book, I quite often said to myself, "I know that last story was supposed to mean something...oh well, let's see if anything cool happens on the next island."The best line of the book was also the first: "There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it."Three stars for Voyage of the Dawn Treader. * * * And three cheers for me for getting through these so quickly with three kids and a full time job.I enjoyed The Silver Chair much more the second time. (4 stars) I'd remembered the Marsh-Wiggle as being exceptionally annoying. This time I found Puddleglum's constant pessimism exceptionally funny. (I'm not sure what that says about me now.) The plot was very well formed with a beginning, middle, and end (this one should convert very nicely to film.) I really liked the symbolism of the Queen trying to convince them there was no overland (akin to unbelievers trying to convince us there is no God or heaven.) And I now know this is immature, but I just have to share a few more of the tidbits that sound funny in our modern culture. (Apologies to Clive Staples.) "Gay," said Puddleglum with a deep sigh. "Thats what weve got to be. Gay." ... "All right. Gay's the word," said Scrubb. "Now, if we could only get someone to open this door. While were fooling about and being gay, weve got to find out all we can about this castle."I'll finish with one more passage and just let you wonder what it's really about. (Hint: Lewis's intentions were rated G.) She made love to everyone - the grooms, the porters, the housemaids, the ladies-in-waiting, and the elderly giant lords whose hunting days were past. She submitted to being kissed and pawed about by any number of giantesses, many of whom seemed sorry for her...The Last Battle started out with a great story, but then kind of threw the plot away to make room for the powerful end of the world allegory. Although I did appreciate Lewis's amazing insights into what the end of the world will be like (and the profound symbolism of Christ as Alsan), I would've also like to have seen the characters find a way out of their predicament without being magicked away. I guess in this last book at least, I can't satisfy both my need for story and need for meaningful symbolism. Overall, C. S. Lewis does an amazing job crafting stories that ring true to Christians and Story Lovers alike. The writing is good enough that you can choose to ignore all the deeper meanings. Why anyone would do that, however, makes as much sense to me as a Liberal watching Fox News to get the weather.

Elizabeth

I have loved these books my whole life. They are frequently misread, I think, by people who insist that everything in Narnia has to "equal" something in our world (Aslan=Jesus, Calormens=Muslims, Tash=Satan, etc.) While Lewis is clearly writing about God, as I read it, he is imagining how the Christian God might reveal himself in another world rather than allegorizing our own. Aslan is not "Jesus," but rather the earthly aspect of God as he reveals himself in Narnia. The Calormens are not Muslims, but rather another culture in the universe of Narnia that worships another god. Tash, I suppose should be read as Satan as he reveals himself in the universe of Narnia, but again, the point is how these forces function in this fictional universe, not what the characters "represent" from our own world. Anyway, these books are great, and I encourage adults as well as children to give them a shot. All due respect to the movies, but as usual the books are much better.

Sean Watson

Absolutely LOVED these books when I was a kid. I don't recall making it all the way to the end of the series, but I know I read most of them. The Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, Horse and his Boy, and Dawn Treader were easily my favorites. I read each of those to my seven year old daughter recently, but I noticed things that bothered me as we read, primarily the religious elements. I think it was in The Silver Chair where Lucy proved superior than her siblings because she didn't question her beliefs whereas they were found wanting because they expressed doubt. I found this a profoundly troubling message to kids, and was sure to correct this misguided message to my daughter. I want her to question EVERYTHING including me against the possibility that something I tell her might be wrong.The quality between the individual books varies widely. I didn't care for The Magician's Nephew or The Silver Chair at all while some of the ones I mentioned were highly enjoyable and occasionally had great moral messages that I didn't fault. However, I found when the book veering towards more religious elements, it began to appear more insidious. My younger brother who read through all the books to the end, tells me that in The Last Battle, Susan gets cast out of Narnia or something because she decides she doesn't believe in it anymore. So I guess if we question authority, particularly church authority, we get sentenced to eternal torment!? That's quite a sentence for Susan who was always a virtuous girl and lived a life full of good deeds.My suggestion is to read the Wardrobe, Caspian, Dawn Treader, and Horse and his Boy books, and forget the others. As fairy tales, they are just as they should be: enchanting, tantalizing adventures. Those are worth five stars. Forget about the others. They are pretty dull, confusing, or disturbing reading and unlikely to hold your child's interest or yours.

Scribble Orca

A classic, breath-taking series about a hidden world, good versus evil, strange characters and growing up. Probably best enjoyed as a child, because an adult might find the religious themes detract from the wonderful story-telling.

Kirsty Rice

I LOVED the chronicles of Narnia. There are seven books, starting with the origin of the world of Narnia in "The Magicians Nephew" to the end of Narnia in "The Last Battle". The main characters alter slightly, starting with 2 children we won't hear from again and then the 4 siblings that. These numbers dwindle as the oldest children become too old to go to Narnia and are replaced by a cousin in "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader". There are many lessons within these books that are subtly written that you won't notice you are learning. The books have been adapted into different films and television programmes but the books are truly the best. I've read them repeatedly and if in a KS2 classroom I will always have a copy in my classroom library for the children to read. They are excellent books to read extracts from to encourage creative writing and inspire children's imagination. As the books weren't written in the order than most people choose to read them, they could be used to explain to children that stories don't always go in order, that sometimes there are flashbacks or prequels. All in all I think these books are fantastic and all children should have the chance to delve into the world of Narnia.

Lindsay Stares

** spoiler alert ** Fair Warning:I am reading (in some cases, rereading) this as an adult, one who is most decidedly Not Christian, and somewhat against religious children's books. If that doesn't describe you, your mileage will obviously vary. The following is very very long, as I sum up each book. Spoilers aplenty.After seeing the new Prince Caspian movie this summer, I decided that, as a fan of both classic children’s literature and fantasy literature, I should really take another look at The Chronicles of Narnia. As a child, I read what I considered to be “the good ones” of this series (Lion/Wardrobe, Caspian, Dawn Treader, Silver Chair) although the little I remember is mostly from the BBC TV specials. Overall opinion: Any book with the default plot of “kids fall into fantasy world, proceed to defeat evil” is going to have at least some fans in the legions of kids who wish they could do just that. I enjoyed the ones I read as a child. Reading as an adult, the writing is weak, the characters thin, the plots thinner. The more of these I read, the more I couldn’t stand the writing style. Sometimes speaking directly to the reader works, but most of the time here, I just find it hugely patronizing and distracting. The first time Lewis reminds his readers that it is "foolish" to shut oneself into a wardrobe, it's cute. The 5th? Less so.Now, I’m going to sum up what I liked and didn’t like in each book. (Also note, these books are really short! Around 110 pgs each in this edition.)The Magician’s Nephew: Had some very pretty parts. The beginning was interesting, but this book seemed to do its level best to demystify the later adventures, and make all the magic more like science. This is not inherently a bad thing, but it felt out of tone with the books which were written earlier, but come chronologically later.Best: The descriptions of the wood between the worlds, and Aslan sings the world into being.Worst: Shoehorned in references to Lion/Witch/etc, making that book less cool.Most Annoying Jesus-the-Lion Moment: Actually not awful, despite the whole creating out of the void and all.Score: 2 starsThe Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe:Classic. When I read this as a child, I completely missed the whole “Jesus” thing. What surprised me on rereading was that they spend, pretty much, one single day in Narnia before they fix everything. That’s kinda silly in my book. Best: Lucy and Mr. Tumnus, Edmund and the White Queen. Santa brings them weapons.Worst: And then, we won the battle... Lewis starts a grand tradition for him of all major action taking place ‘offstage’.Most Annoying Jesus-the-Lion Moment: You know what? After reading some of the later ones, I’m behind Jesus-the-Lion on this one.Score: 3 starsThe Horse and His Boy:And now, suddenly, we’re in the Arabian Knights. But no one who lives in Arabian Nights world is nice and kind and good like the people of Narnia... Eesh. I’m also confused, at this point, why there are huge human countries just off the borders of Narnia. I never got that implication that they were there before...Even the Telmarines in Prince Caspian are given a special explanation for how there happen to be Humans in Narnia. Note that this one was written fifth, after Lion, Caspian, Dawn Treader, and Silver Chair.Best: Shasta and company sneaking into/around the big city is pretty well done. Worst: Not only is the person who doesn’t treat you well not your father, you’re a prince! Yay! Not a surprise, and not interesting.Most Annoying Jesus-the-Lion Moment: Throughout, Aslan "secretly" helps them escape to Narnia by scaring them, appearing as a friendly cat, etc. A pretty wussy power set, overall. This is the Son of the Emperor-etc-whatever? What, do your powers only work in Narnia, all of a sudden? Ironically, this is almost more annoying than his super mega powers in other books.Score: 1 starPrince Caspian:Okay, first off, all the cool scenes in the movie? Not here. Most of the lame scenes in the movie? Also not here. Clearly it was adapted in the loosest sense. Caspian spends his time joyously capering with the good folk of Narnia, and then they get in trouble, and call some kids. Kids bring Aslan, he fixes it. Huh.Best: Peter’s hysterically funny letter to Miraz. Seriously. And mice who kill soldiers. They’re cool.Worst (Sort of): Downright weirdest part is that when the Earth kids finally get to Caspian, where he’s fighting off armies and such, the boys get to go help fight. Not that it makes a huge difference, since Aslan sends the trees to scare the Telmarines away "almost before the Old Narnians had really warmed to their work". The girls, on the other hand, get to take a nap, and then dance with Aslan and Bacchus and his Maenads (Wha-Huh?!?) all over Narnia, freeing people to be happy, and turning nasty little boys into pigs and nasty men into trees and such. I kid you not. One little girl is brave enough not to run away and "The Maenads…whirled her around in a merry dance, and helped her take off some of the unnecessary and uncomfortable clothes that she was wearing." I could not make this up.Most Annoying Jesus-the-Lion Moment: Subtext of the Lucy/Aslan scene is basically the same as the movie: If you really trusted/believed, you wouldn’t care what your family thinks, you’d trust me... Creepy...Score: 3 starsThe Voyage of the Dawn Treader:I have fond memories of this one, but it was awful. Like Gulliver’s travels, but with Jesus. They go to an island and get into trouble due to a magical thingy. Aslan bails them out. Rinse. Repeat. Oh, and then they sail to the end of the world.Best: Lucy and the Magician’s book. A pretty decent scene, if somewhat overly moralizing.Worst: Whole thing deadly dull. No Plot.Most Annoying Jesus-the-Lion Moment: All of them.Score: 1 starThe Silver Chair:Lovely after the dreck that was the Dawn Treader. Aslan gives two kids a quest, they mess up some, but mostly get out of it on their own, overall a good solid adventure story.Best: Adventure in the Giant’s House. Predictable, but good. Scene with the ensorcelled Prince. Jill and Eustace terrorize their school bullies with swords.Worst: Almost anytime Aslan butts in. He’s out of tone in this one. Happily, he’s barely in it.Most Annoying Jesus-the-Lion Moment: See above.Score: 3 starsThe Last Battle: This was just... odd. I already had heard the plot, but it was just weird. An Ape sets up a false Idol Aslan to make himself rich and important, the Arabian folks we last saw in Horse and His Boy show up to conquer Narnia with the Ape’s help, the King totally fails to stop them, and then Aslan shows up to end the world. It was just... that. Also King Tirian has a very special relationship with a unicorn, and as a side note, all the characters are dead and in joint Earth/Narnia Heaven. Whatever.Best: King Tirian and Eustace and Jill sneaking around the countryside.Worst: The number of things in this book described as indescribable was pretty annoying. Also, Susan can’t go to joint Earth/Narnia Heaven because she grew up and likes boys. I can understand that with Neverland, but really, now.Most Annoying Jesus-the-Lion Moment: Aslan has a heart to heart with an Arabian, I mean Calormene, and is told that all the good stuff he (and anyone) ever did in the name of his Calormene god was actually done for Aslan, and all the bad stuff for his god. Oh dear. Score: 1 star (Not actively bad, just dull)Conclusion:Even trying to put aside the heavy handed preachifying, I probably wouldn’t read these again, or give them to my hypothetical future kids. Maybe Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe. Only, however, along with books I prefer, like The Wind in the Willows (better talking animals), Peter Pan (better plot, characters, and themes) and The Just So Stories (better use of narration).

Amanda

I read this entire series on my lunch breaks while I was working as a framer at Hobby Lobby. I don't know that I would've read them at any other time in my adult life simply because they are a bit slow and too juvenile in parts, but altogether these are definately worth the read. They are very easy to read and very creatively done. It's easy to see the author's genius throughout the series. And I wish badly that I had read these as a child when my mind was more open. I know I would have loved them. They have really good messages spread throughout, too. Very Christian messages. I can appreciate any book that does that.

Share your thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *