Tag Archives: Narnia

“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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“The Silver Chair” 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 owls are wise, where some of the giants like to snack on humans, where a prince is put under an evil spell… and where the adventure begins. Eustace and Jill escape from the bullies at school through a strange door in the wall, which, for once, is unlocked. It leads to the open moor… or does it? Once again Aslan has a task for the children, and Narnia needs them. Through dangers untold and caverns deep and dark, they pursue the quest that brings them face to face with the evil Witch. She must be defeated if Prince Rilian is to be saved.

The Silver Chair follows The Voyage of the Dawn Treader with Prince Caspian as an old man, although Eustace has seen barley any time go by at all. Eustace and Jill learn that Prince Caspian’s wife met a terrible fate by a serpent – and that their son, Prince Rilian disappeared in his attempt to avenge her. Aslan needs the children to go on a journey to rescue the prince, as Caspian is nearing the end of his life without another heir. After Jill talks to Aslan and is given tasks to accomplish, and signs to remember, they show in the crowd of Narians just in time to see Prince Caspian leaving on a ship. With their first task bungled- ‘to greet [an old and dear friend] and if he does they will have good help.’ Eustace did not recognize Caspian in his old age, and Jill didn’t make the first task clear enough to him.

The second task is that they ‘must journey out of Narnia to the north till [they] come to the ruined city of the ancient giants. The third task is that they shall find writing on a stone in the ruined city, and they must do what the writing tells them. The fourth is that they will know the lost prince (if they find him) by this, that he will be the first person they have met in their travels who will ask them to do something in His name, in the name of Aslan.’ They start out on their journey and team up with Puddleglum, a Marshwiggle. They journey through giant country for a long, difficult time- until they reach a home that they believe holds friendly giants (as they were told by a passing queen), but in reality the giants plan on cooking them up and eating them.

After escaping from the giants they manage to literally fall into the Deep Realm, into a place called the Underland. This is where the Queen of the Deep Realm (who was the one that directed them to unknowingly become giant snacks) has kept Prince Rilian captive against his will for ten years with the aid of an enchanted chair. In the end, the chair is destroyed, the group escapes, and Prince Rilian makes it back to Narnia just in time for Caspian to bless him before he dies. The children find themselves back in Aslan’s land where they get to see Caspian again who is young again.

The major theme in The Silver Chair concerns following truth – the signs from Aslan- versus following falsehood which often appears to be true. Examples of false appearances include the disguise of the witch, the duplicity of the gentle giants, and the children’s misreading of the gnomes in Underland- whom they assume are after them following the demise of the evil witch, but were actually also under an enchantment she cast. Other themes include the image of Jesus/Aslan as the Living Water offering relief to our thirst, us laying down selfish pride, and Jesus/Aslan’s resurrection.

“The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” 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 anything can happen (and most often does)… and where the adventure begins. The Dawn Treader is the first ship Narnia has seen in centuries. King Caspian has built it for his voyage to find the seven lords, good men whom his evil Uncle Miraz banished when he usurped the throne. The journey take Edmund, Lucy, their cousin Eustace, and Caspian to the Eastern Islands, beyond the Silver Sea, toward Aslan’s country at the End of the World.”

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is my favorite book in the series so far. I won’t go into each of the stops they make or everything that happens to them because there is so much information, gorgeous descriptions, and adventure you may as well just read the book. But I will say that this book chronicles how each character is tested along their journey, and how the lesson each of them learns transforms them. Lucy is faced with self-doubt  and the temptation to improve her appearance. Eustace undergoes a transformation of body that leads to a transformation of heart. Edmund and Caspian are temporarily overcome by greed and lust for treasure.

Aslan reappears in times of need, reminiscent of the presence of the Holy Spirit. He convicts the children along their journey, encourages and sustains their faith, and leads them from the darkness into the light. The group discovers the fates of each of the seven lords along the way. Each stop they make reveals a lord or his fate. This book is interesting because it is basically a high-stakes scavenger hunt. It is the only book in the series which does not have a main villain. The adversary is each of the children in turn- usually just to themselves.

Like each of the novels, Aslan represents Jesus Christ. However, in this book he appears at the end as a lamb. He transforms into a Lion, and tells Edmund and Lucy that they won’t be coming back to Narnia again as they are too old. Then he tells them, “I am [in your world]. But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This is the very reason you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little you may know me better there.”

“Prince Caspian” 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.

“Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy are returning to boarding school when they are summoned from the dreary train station (by Susan’s own magic horn) to return to the land of Narnia – the land where they had ruled as kings and queens and where their help is desperately needed.” ‘Prince Caspian’ is a classic story of good vs evil by C.S. Lewis.

The story begins as the children are suddenly and unexpectedly summoned back to the land of Narnia. They realize it has been hundreds- perhaps thousands of years in Narnia since they last left, although it had only been a year for them in England. C.S. Lewis gives us Prince Caspian’s back story through a Dwarf the children rescue called Trumpkin. Caspian was brought up by his uncle, King Miraz and his aunt. He was told by his uncle not to believe in the ‘fairy tales’ of old Narnia- the four (the children) and Aslan. Uncle Miraz goes to great lengths to keep the truth from Caspian.

Caspian’s aunt has a baby boy, so Caspian flees after council that King Miraz would kill him to ‘fix’ the line of lineage. He meets the creatures from his nurse’s ‘fairy tales’ – the old Narnians. After getting over much suspicion, they accept him as their king. King Miraz has discovered their location in his hunt for Caspian and so there is nothing for it but to fight. In the midst of battle King Caspian blows Susan’s magic horn- which will bring aid to any who use it. He knew it might not bring the four to their exact location, so several envoys are sent out, including the Dwarf Trumpkin. He was the one to discover the children who arrived at the ruins of their old castle. Once Trumpkin has explained it all they set out on their journey to meet the army.

In the Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis uses an underlying Christian theme to drive the storyline. The main theme of Prince Caspian is good vs evil, seen with the side of the old Narnians (good) and the Telmarines and some of the Dwarfs (evil). One of the themes is the continuing need for Chirstians to count the cost of following Christ, even to the point of death if necessary. Lewis draws parallels to lives of Christians who will be ridiculed for their beliefs. Lucy’s struggle portrays the struggle of all Christians who must follow the path of faith and obedience against all opposition. Another theme is the universality of questioning God’s timing and purposes. There are several times at which main characters wonder why Aslan doesn’t just intervene to make everything better. They also wonder why he has been gone from Narnia for so long. In the end King Peter proclaims, “We don’t know when He will act. In His time, no doubt, not ours. In the meantime He would like us to do what we can on our own.” As Christians, that is to live by faith in the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

It was a very entertaining book, if not my favorite in the series. It’s definitely worth a read!

“The Horse and His Boy” 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.

‘During the Golden Age of Narnia, when Peter is High King, a boy named Shasta discovers he is not the son of Arsheesh, the Calormene Fisherman, and decides to run far away to the North – to Narnia.’ The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis is the tale of how Shasta sets out on a journey to what he supposes is his homeland, and on the way discovers himself. He learns of friendship, loyalty, and humility.

The story begins with Shasta escaping from his father Arsheesh who he discovers isn’t really his father. He learns that his ‘dad’ is about to sell him to someone far worse, and so Shasta leaves with Bree- the stranger’s talking horse who is really from Narnia. Along they journey they run into Aravis and her talking horse Hwin who are also running away to Narnia. they team up and through many perils discover plots of battle and kidnap. They must race to save many lilves, and Shasta must risk life and limb to fufill his destiny and discover his true family.

This story is incredible, tying together different storylines seamlessly. Shasta meets Aslan and discovers he was there for him, interceding at moments throughout the story- and even before- to help him. The main theme of this book is the folly of pride and the wisdom of humility. Several characters exhibit pride in its different forms, and by story’s end are taught a lesson, or turned into a lesson for others.

In the Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis uses an underlying Christian theme to drive the storyline. the previous theme of pride vs. humility is in accordance with James 4:6, ‘The Lord Jesus (in the form of the character Aslan) is presented as the all-powerful Sovereign who directs both the fate of nations and the hearts of individuals with equal precision.’ It also brings to mind parallel verses Matthew 23:12 and Luke 14:11, ‘For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.’

I very much enjoyed this book, and would definitely recommend it!

“The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe” 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… the land beyond the wardrobe, the secret country known only to Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy… the place where the adventure begins.” This book, ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’  by C.S. Lewis is the story most know and perhaps think of as ‘The Chronicles of Narnia.” In the past story, ‘The Magician’s Nephew’, we learn how the wardrobe came to be, and in this story we get to journey into the wardrobe; led by Lucy, the youngest of the four siblings. At first her brothers and sister do not believe her when she tells them of her adventure- but then, who would? Once all of the children eventually make it into the wardrobe, Lucy gets her due recognition.

Edmund, the second youngest- is most incredulous of Lucy’s story, and is therefore the most bitter when he finds out (even before the elder children) that Lucy is telling the truth. He finds himself in Narnia after following Lucy, and falls in with the worst creature possible there- the White Witch. She fancies herself Queen of Narnia, and is the reason for the perpetual Winter. She ploys Edmund with sweets, and makes him agree to bring his siblings back to see her. Soon after, as circumstances happen, they all find themselves in Narnia. They meet Mrs. and Mr. Beaver (talking animals are the norm here) and they all discuss the events going on in Narnia. The news is that Aslan has returned to Narnia, bringing Spring with him.

At a point during their gathering, they notice that Edmund has gone and they realize he has gone to the White Witch. They must run for it, knowing she will come after them on her sled. Edmund had indeed gone to the witch, but it was not out of malice for his siblings so much as he wanted more Turkish Delight, and also to be a prince. He is not having a very good time however, as the witch attempts to overtake the kids and Mr. and Mrs. Beaver. He is hungry and cold and is being treated like a child. The efforts of the White Witch are hampered by the signs of Spring popping up around them, and soon the sled is of no use at all. Meanwhile, the kids have reached the sea and the Stone Slab. This is where they meet Aslan, the King and Creator of Narnia.

This is a good place to stop my summary to leave you hanging- if you haven’t read the book, it’s a good one- go out and read it! The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a story that deals with the themes of good vs evil, compassion, forgiveness, betrayal, transformation, guilt, blame, courage, family, and of course the great underlying allegory. This book presents a Christian worldview through Narnia- another world that C.S. Lewis laid out to use as a tool to tell a bigger story. It paints a Biblical portrait of Christ in the character of Aslan. The book touches on Aslan’s willingness to die for the ‘Sons of Adam’, resurrection, and even spiritual warfare. This is a classic and enduring book which presents the gospel in a fun and powerful way for kids; and in a way that adults can still appreciate, be entertained, and learn from.

“The Magician’s Nephew” 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.

The Magician’s Nephew is a fantasy novel for children (and adults) written by C.S. Lewis and published in 1955. It was the sixth of seven novels in the The Chronicles of Narnia series (1950–1956); but it is volume one in recent editions, that are sequenced according to Narnia history- which is why I’ve read it first.

Thanks to Wikipedia we know that Lewis began The Magician’s Nephew soon after completing The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, spurred by a friend’s question about the lamp-post in the middle of nowhere. This story includes several autobiographical elements and explores a number of themes with general moral and Christian implications including atonement, original sin, temptation, and the order of nature.

*spoiler alert*

If you haven’t read the book and would like to find everything out on your own, stop reading!

The Magician’s Nephew is set in England and features two children caught in experimental travel via “the wood between the worlds”. These children, Digory and Polly, are playmates who stumble into Digory’s Uncle Andrew’s ‘forbidden’ study. Uncle Andrew knows a bit of magic and tricks Polly into touching a ring that takes her out of our world. Digory is upset and indignant, knowing he will have to take another ring and go and fetch Polly. Digory meets Polly in “the wood between the worlds” where various pools that one could take a dip in takes you to another world. The children argue, and decide to visit another world before going back to regular boring life, and after some experimentation they arrive in ‘the deplorable world’. Here they awaken the Queen, and she follows them in their escape.

This is where the story gets really interesting. The Queen meets Uncle Andrew and demands he be her slave so she can conquer their world. She is loose in London, with Digory and Polly fretting over what to do. They finally get their opportunity, and take the whole gang (with some innocent bystanders) back to ‘the wood between the worlds’. They go into another pool, but this one leads to an empty world. Uncle Andrew tries to get the children to take him back, but something is happening. The group witnesses the creation of the Narnia world by Aslan the lion. Havoc ensues as Uncle Andrew continues his attempts to get the children to take him back. This causes the Queen to throw the part of a lamp-post she had pulled in her immense strength from a lamp-post in London. The metal piece grows into a lamp-post that springs from the ground as Aslan is singing things into being. The visitors then participate in the beginning of Narnia. These events explain the origin of foreign elements in Narnia, not only the lamp-post but the White Witch and a human king and queen, (one of the bystanders and his wife), as well as the magical cabinet we come to know in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

The story also has a very heartwarming sub-plot with Digory’s mother, and the ending is absolutely amazing. We not only get a story of general moral and overarching Christian implications, but one that follows those lines of love and friendship and their meanings in our lives.

I very much enjoyed this book, and would definitely recommend it!