When I thought of Narnia, I imagined a group of kids walking in and out of a wardrobe cabinet with a talking lion, but instead I read about two kids who were pressured by a creepy uncle, to go into this magical land that he got from a faerie. Let’s just pause and disect this and realize that this uncle was willing to loose a pair of children for his own benefit. This is not what I wanted to read, I wanted to read about that talking lion that everyone talks about, but I was intrigued, and I actually enjoyed it.
Spoiler Free Book Review
Author: C.S. Lewis
Release Date: 1955, Years after The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe
Page count: 202
Genres: Children’s Fantasy, although it’s more of a Middle School/YA book
Themes: Innocence, Capitalism, Biblical Illusions
My Rating: ★★★★.5
Why I Choose To Read This First
I wanted to dive into the popular Narnia books that everyone talks about. So I saw this book labeled as book #1, and bought it. I thought this was the first book in the series, but it’s actually not. This book is considered the 5 or 6th book by fans of the Narnia Chronicles.
If you are gonna read this book, just please know that this book isn’t really the first book in the series. This is a presequel, with a complete different array of characters that tell the story of how Narnia was created but it doesn’t in anyway set up the next book in the series. C.S. Lewis wrote this book years after the first couple books in the chronicles.
This book is so immersive for a children’s book. The characters are all so distinct, the world of Narnia is so vibrant, and the elements of magic realism and biblical illusions make it worth the read. In this book Digory and polly burst into a mystical land after Digory’s Uncle Andrew created a pair of rings that can transport them into this land that is created called Narnia. Jumping from the fantasy land, and the human world, this book really makes you feel like you are a part of the adventure. At it’s core though, this book is a creation story that features a Lion who sings beautiful melodies, an evil sorceress, and an apple tree that can change your life for the better. A perfect read, and possibly a bit challenging, for all ages.
Synopsis from the Publisher
Witness the creation of a magical land in The Magician’s Nephew, the first title in C. S. Lewis’s classic fantasy series, which has captivated readers of all ages for over sixty years. This rack-size paperback features cover art by Cliff Nielsen and black-and-white interior artwork by the original illustrator of Narnia, Pauline Baynes.
On a daring quest to save a life, two friends are hurled into another world, where an evil sorceress seeks to enslave them. But then the lion Aslan’s song weaves itself into the fabric of a new land, a land that will be known as Narnia. And in Narnia, all things are possible.
This is a stand-alone novel, but if you want to journey back to Narnia, read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the second book in The Chronicles of Narnia.
Do I Recommend This Book?
If you want to read the Chronicles of Narnia, start with The Lion, The Witch, And the Wardrobe, and then read this one later in the middle of the series.
If you want to read a short fantasy novel or if you’re curious about C.S. Lewis work, then this a good book to start with.
All in all, this is a great book for all ages. I was worried that this book wouldn’t hold up in 2020, but this book has beautiful imagery, characters, and references to the Bible. The few pictures in the book are really well illustrated, keeping you intrigued.
What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.
Awake. Love. Think. Speak. Be walking trees. Be talking beasts. Be divine waters.
Well, you know how it feels if you begin hoping for something that you want desperately badly; you almost fight against the hope because it is too good to be true; you’ve been disappointed so often before.
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WARNING: Book spoilers ahead