This book could be considered a stand alone, but I highly recommend reading the preceding stories in the Narnia series for first. As a part of the Narnia series, it is definitely interesting, but not the best nor worst of the series. For those who haven't heard of Narnia, it is a magical land watched over by Aslan the great lion and inhabited by noble people, mythical creatures, and talking animals.
In the Silver Chair, Eustace (who has visited before) and his schoolmate Jill are running from bullies when they are brought into Narnia. Due to foolishness, Jill accidentally pushes him off a cliff, but he is saved by Aslan, and after Aslan gives Jill a task, she is also swept away by his breath to arrive in the Kingdom of Narnia just as Prince Caspian is leaving its shores on a journey. They watch the old King leave and then set off to find his son Rilian, who was kidnapped years before. Their only companion on this journey is a Marsh-Wiggle named Puddleglum who is sober and depressing, but very level headed throughout the novel. They have many dangerous encounters on their adventure and their biggest enemies seem to be themselves at times. But they must stick it through and find Rilian or die in the trying.
I think that this book has some very undeveloped characters. Rilian doesn't have much description in the way of personality and Eustace, while present isn't elaborated on. I just found Jill annoying, which was a shame as she was a main character. My favorite would have to be Puddleglum as he was written excellently. But neither he nor the Green Lady had very much history or backstory that I would have liked to see. After all, we have never heard of Marsh-wiggles before and I wonder where they've been in all the books before this one.
The writing is appropriate for children (just a few minor curse words) and should be easily understandable. There are a few scary parts, but they are over quickly and should have no lasting effects. An adult may find the book rushed, but it is a good pace for children. There is nice description on the areas and land and other fascinating things, but as said before the characters seemed to lack this same care.
Overall it is a good book, but not my favorite in the series. It fits in well and provides a nice change of pace from the rest of the series.
The Silver Chair
Review by M. Reynard 2011