Catherine Thompson's Reviews > The Last Battle

The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis
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's review
Jan 09, 12

bookshelves: classic-literature, fantasy
Read from January 08 to 09, 2012

The Last Battle is the apocalypse of Narnia. King Tirian confronts Calormene warriors who have, by stealth and treachery, infiltrated Narnia and are using a false Aslan (concocted by Shift the Ape, out of a lion-skin and a bemused Puzzle the Donkey) to control the Narnians. He calls upon Aslan for help, and Eustace Scrubb and Jill Pole (The Silver Chair) appear to help.

This is easily the most exciting of the Narnia books, if you're looking for fighting and battles and heroics. It's also the saddest, as good Beasts and men die in those battles. And it can be said to be the happiest, for though Narnia is no more, everyone lives happily ever after beyond Narnia.

Lewis here plays with the tropes found in The Book of Revelation; in fact, I first read this book as part of the curriculum for a university course on the Bible as literature. Shift the Ape becomes a false prophet, with poor Puzzle a sort of Antichrist (though hardly an evil one). There's also a bit of an environmental theme, as the Calormenes intend to use the false Aslan as justification for raping the land: cutting trees and stealing Beasts and the like.

I didn't find The Last Battle a particularly satisfying end to the Chronicles of Narnia, but it's Lewis's end, and it wouldn't feel right to moan about it. I still enjoyed it.

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