Tina's Reviews > The Silver Chair

The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis
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's review
Dec 11, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011, fantasy, christian
Read from November 13 to 20, 2011

Original post at One More Page

I remember talking to my friend who's the biggest C.S. Lewis fan, asking him if there will be a next Narnia movie. I caught The Voyage of the Dawn Treader on the plane on my way to Europe last August, and as usual, I shed some tears with Repicheep's scene and whenever Aslan comes out. To my dismay, he told me it might take a while years before the next movie will be made because the license expired. And that just made me sad.

But that doesn't really excuse me from continuing my Narnia adventures, so when I was already feeling too full of contemporary stuff while writing my NaNoWriMo novel, I decided to pick up some simple and familiar middle grade fantasy and what better book to read than a Narnia one, right?

The Silver Chair introduces different characters from what I have been used to, save for Aslan and Caspian and Eustace, who I first got to know in the previous book. In this book, I was introduced to Jill Pole, Eustace's school mate and a bully target. One day, while she was hiding from the bullies in their school, Eustace finds her and tells her about the magical place he had been in with his cousins that changed him. The bullies arrived, and Eustace and Jill scramble away, going to a door on a wall that led them to Narnia. Or what looked like Narnia. Jill was surprised and scared, so much that she ends up pushing Eustace off a tall cliff. But Aslan comes to the rescue and saves him, and then gave Jill a mission with specific signs. Aslan warned Jill that she must remember these instructions and repeat them and put them in her heart, especially since it was different there in the mountain where they landed and in Narnia where they have to fulfill their mission. Aslan sends her away and she finds herself in the Narnia that Eustace also knows, and off they go to follow Aslan's instructions, not knowing the adventures and troubles that would await them.

The Silver Chair had that same vibe that The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe had, in the sense that it was also an adventure book where our heroes and heroines have a mission to fulfill. While it didn't feel as magical as the first book in the series, there was still that sense of the unknown and the various charming and fearsome creatures that mean them good and bad. I liked how it feels like it's a different Narnia from what I know from the first three books I've read.

Eustace is loads better in this book, even if I can't stop imagining him the same way as how the actor who played him spoke and acted. He still had that annoying know-it-all tendencies, but it was not as annoying as it was before. On the other side, there is Jill. Oh Jill. How much you reminded me of myself! I always thought I would be an Edmund (and in a lot of ways, I still am), but Jill. I saw so much of myself in Jill Pole that it felt uncomfortable. At the start of the story, I kind of wanted to strangle Jill for being so stubborn -- as a reader I could see where she would go wrong from a mile away, and I knew that it's all going to bite her back. But then as I think about it...don't I do the same thing, too? Aren't I just as stupid and as shortsighted as Jill was, trading quick, temporary comforts for the things that really matter?

But I kind of have a feeling Aslan knew that Jill would mess up, hence the warning (also one of my favorite quotes in the book):
But, first, remember, remember, remember the signs. Say them to yourself when you wake in the morning and when you lie down at night, and when you wake in the middle of the night. And whatever strange things may happen to you, let nothing turn your mind from following the signs. And secondly, I give you a warning. Here on the mountain I have spoken to you clearly: I will not often do so down in Narnia. Here on the mountain, the air is clear and your mind is clear; as you drop down into Narnia, the air will thicken. Take great care that it does not confuse your mind. And the signs which you have learned here will not look at all as you expect them to look, when you meet them there. That is why it is so important to know them by heart and pay no attention to appearances. Remember the signs and believe the signs. Nothing else matters. (p.27)

There was more of Aslan in this book, but one of my favorite scenes in the book was actually one without Aslan. I liked how the kids and Puddleglum got through the encounter with an enemy without Aslan's direct interference, but just plain belief in him. I wasn't expecting to like The Silver Chair that much, really, but I'm glad to say it's one of the books that surprised me. I think The Silver Chair is that book for people who's already found the faith and is in need to strengthen that faith they found. I think it's a book that teaches how it is to follow, how it is to live and keep the faith even in the face of adversity, and how Aslan is victorious even with the slightest, smallest concerns that we have.
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Quotes Tina Liked

C.S. Lewis
“Aslan's instructions always work; there are no exceptions.”
C.S. Lewis, The Silver Chair

Reading Progress

11/14/2011 page 12
5.0% "Movie Eustace is in my head. I can imagine him speaking his lines in this book. Hee." 1 comment
11/19/2011 page 100
41.0% "I am a bit amazed that C.S. Lewis used the word "bivouacked". Heee."
11/20/2011 page 243
100.0% "Of course, Aslan's words made me tear up again."

Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Apokripos (last edited Dec 12, 2011 12:15AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Apokripos I agree with on you regarding the Repicheep scene both in the book and movie of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Puddleglum is my favorite character here.

From the last I heard, 20th Century optioned the rights to The Magician's Nephew and, as much as I want the movie sequenced similar to the order of the books' original publication, more likely that's the next one in the bunch. I don't know if it's in production now, though.

Tina jzhunagev wrote: "Agree on you with Repicheep scene both in the book anf movie of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Puddleglum is my favorite character here.

From the last I heard, 20th Century optioned the rights t..."

Repicheep - I had to wipe the tears quickly because my seatmate on the plane was awake! Haha. But aw, love, love that scene, even in the book.

Yes, I also love Puddleglum! (view spoiler)

So if that's next...hm, weird order. But I guess by the time it's out, I would've read it that book na rin. Haha. I'm reserving the last two Narnia books for Holy Week, since RE suggested that The Last Battle is best read by then. :)

Apokripos Tina wrote: "I'm reserving the last two Narnia books for Holy Week, since RE suggested that The Last Battle is best read by then. :)"

Oh! I have to agree with RE, The Last Battle is one of the best installments in the series. I will not say much here but the ending really got me. Tears just welled in my eyes.

I'm not an overtly Christian guy but I owe the Narnia series for making me look at Christianity in a new light and appreciate it more.

If only our priests here are as good a preacher as C. S. Lewis I'll attend Mass every day! ^_^

Tina jzhunagev wrote: "Tina wrote: "I'm reserving the last two Narnia books for Holy Week, since RE suggested that The Last Battle is best read by then. :)"

Oh! I have to agree with RE, The Last Battle is one of the bes..."

Hmmm interesting! I look forward to that, then. That's why I think every house has to have a Narnia set, because it's so good for discussions. :)

message 5: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Oh it did broke my heart when Repicheep bade goodbye. But I'll bet we'll be seeing him soon. :) I really love the movies and I'm currently reading all books in the series.

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