“The Last Battle” by C.S. Lewis

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This year I will read all of the books in the Chronicles of Narnia series– five of them, and will complete a goal on my 2014 Manifesto. So curl up with a cup of hot coffee, your fuzzy socks, and a blazing fire, and let’s get reading.

Narnia… where you must say good-bye… and where the adventure begins again. The Unicorn says that humans are brought to Narnia when Narnia is stirred and upset. And Narnia is in trouble now: A false Aslan roams the land. Narnia’s only hope is that Eustace and Jill, old friends to Narnia, will be able to find the true Aslan and restore peace to the land. Their task is a difficult one because, as the Centaur says, “The stars never lie, but Men and Beasts do.” Who is the real Aslan and who is the impostor?

That’s only the beginning. As the aptly named title suggests, this last book in The Chronicles of Narnia series is the end of the old Narnia- and the beginning of the new Narnia.  In the beginning of the book, the ape named Shift persuades his gullible ‘friend’ the donkey named Puzzle into dressing up as Aslan and pretending to be him. In this masquerade he is able to gather a large following and to enslave many of the Narnians. They are destroying Narnia and the last King of Narnia, King Tirian and his friend the unicorn Jewel try to stop them. Events lead to Eustace and Jill being called back from England- and we get a glimpse of Peter, Edmund, Lucy and even Digory and Polly. Edmund and Jill help King Tirian in his quest to expose the plot against the real Aslan which culminates in the last battle.

This book mirrors the story of Revelation in the Bible. We see the climactic ending of the Antichrist’s (the ape’s) reign of terror and Jesus’ (Aslan’s) triumphant return to establish His worldwide kingdom. The main characters mentioned above get to see old friends in the new Narnia, and will live there with Aslan for eternity. Perhaps the most powerful of lines comes at the very end of the book: “And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”

‘The Narnia series has a timeless quality, due in no small measure to C.S. Lewis’ unstinting willingness to use his stories as vehicles for Christian theology. Their power to uplift as well as to entertain, unrivaled in children’s literature, make them genuinely worthy of inclusion in the home library of any Christian.’ I have genuinely enjoyed reading each of these books. I recommend every one of them- read in order of course. 😉 I’m very thankful that C.S. Lewis has other bodies of work that I can now read!

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