I've started reading this and then started grad school again, so I haven't really been able to get back into it (as I have a zillion articles/books toI've started reading this and then started grad school again, so I haven't really been able to get back into it (as I have a zillion articles/books to read for class). What I have read so far is very interesting though. It's about magicians and magic in England during the Napoleanic era. ...more
*Spoilers* I read the books in the order that they are according to C.S. Lewis's suggestion, so the The Magician's Nephew is first. It reminded me of L*Spoilers* I read the books in the order that they are according to C.S. Lewis's suggestion, so the The Magician's Nephew is first. It reminded me of L. Frank Baum's stories a bit; Diggory and his neighbor Polly find out that Diggory's uncle is a Magician of sorts who has magical rings to take you to other lands. They come upon a magical wood while wearing the rings and meet the Witch (Empress Jadis) and she forces them to go back to England so she can take over their world like she did hers. Polly and Diggory manage to get the Witch and Diggory's Uncle into the magical woods and then end up in Narnia as it is being formed by Aslan. Essentially a son of Adam has brought the witch into the world and must help to get her out, which Diggory sort of does by bringing a magic apple to Aslan which he plants and is supposed to protect Narnia. As you've probably guessed by now, the Witch will later become the White Witch, who is in the next book "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe." The interesting part is that the Diggory is the professor who houses Lucy, Peter, Susan and Edmund and that other magical apple that he brought back for his mother (so she could be healed from a horrible illness) is planted in his aunt's back garden and when it falls down, he uses the wood to make the wardrobe that Lucy first discovers to get into Narnia. I thought that was an interesting twist and why the books should be read in this order. Recommended for ages 8+, 5 stars.
I had never actually read "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe" until now, though I had grown up with the 1970s BBC cartoon. The story is magical and if you combine the cartoon with the recent Disney movie, you pretty much have the story, although reading it is so much better than watching it. Update from 12/23/15: I had forgotten that I had read it before, needed to do so for our upcoming tween book club in January, and so listened to the 2000 Harper Audiobook version narrated by Michael York (who was amazing by the way!). Recommended for ages 8+, 4 stars.
"The Horse and His Boy" was the next book in the series, and this one I liked the least. It was kind of like Oz meets the Arabian Nights, but also incredibly long-winded. It just isn't as well-written as the other two books in the series. The addition of Aslan almost seems like an afterthought. It is set during the reign of the 4 High Kings and Queens of Cair Paravel. The book is the story of a young boy named Shasta who lives in a fishing village in the South (which is basically supposed to be an Arabic country), who discovers that his father isn't really his father and that he most likely is a Northerner because of his blond hair. So he and a talking horse he discovers named Bree decide to set off on a journey to Narnia, far to the north. Along the way, they meet Aravis, a nobleman's daughter and her horse Hwin, who is also a talking horse. In the capital city of the South, Shasta runs into the royal Narnians, King Edmund and Queen Susan, who is being offered in marriage to the Southerner's prince Rabadash, but who she does not want to marry. They escape and it is from them that Shasta learns the secret way into Archenland, the kingdom just south of Narnia. Aravis, meanwhile, learns that Prince Rabadash is mad at the Narnians escape and wants to capture them and force Queen Susan into marriage. Will Shasta get to Archenland in time to warn the king? Will they ever make it to Narnia? Recommended for ages 8+, 3 stars.