Title: The Magician’s Nephew
Author: C. S. Lewis
Published: 1955
Genre: Children’s novels

Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis:

The adventure begins…
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.

Review:

This is the first book in the wonderful Chronicles of Narnia series, written by C. S. Lewis. It is the second time I have read this book as an adult – although I remember having this collection of stories growing up so I must have read them as a child too. My review of this book, from 2008, is here.

I loved this book. We meet Aslan, and we see Narnia created. I was enjoying the story up to that point, but as soon as we met Aslan and he sang Narnia into being, the beginning of the book was basically forgotten for me! It is beautiful. One of my friends said that is her favourite chapter of all time, and it is easy to see why. The magic and the wonder are breath taking.

This series of books is meant for children, but they are wonderful reads. I was drawn in, and transported into those other worlds with ease and enjoyment. Like a lot of people, I know the story of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe really well, and this novel, The Magician’s Nephew, gives us a lot of background information and ties very neatly into the series. It is in this book we learn about The Witch – an evil, angry, proud woman who just wants power and minions; we discover how the lamp post arrives in Narnia; and how the wardrobe becomes the entrance into Narnia.

As when I last read this book, my favourite character is Aslan. He is fierce, yet gentle. He is powerful, yet so caring. When he was talking to Digory, who was sad that his mother was so ill, Aslan was compassionate and kind. The character of Aslan is based on God – our Heavenly Father – and it was an amazing read, and a great reminder of who God is, and what His character is like.

I loved this book. It was an easy read, but so enjoyable. I can’t recommend it enough. The highlight for me was the creation of Narnia – its just a shame that the Witch and Uncle Andrew had to feature at that point! I am rating this book 4 out of 5, and cannot wait to read The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

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Waterstone’s Synopsis:

The most loved of all the Chronicles, this wonderful tale can be enjoyed again and again. Lucy steps into the Professor’s wardrobe but steps out again into a snowy forest. She’s stumbled upon the magical world of Narnia, land of unicorns, centaurs, fauns! and the wicked White Witch, who terrorises all. Lucy soon realises that Narnia, and in particular Aslan, the great Lion, needs her help if the country’s creatures are ever going to be free again.

This is the second book in the Narnia series, and my personal favourite. This is the first time the children: Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy enter Narnia. Awaiting them are many adventures, including running through the countryside with the Beavers, and fighting alongside Aslan.

I loved this book. It is a children’s book but fully enjoyable for an adult. Lewis is a wonderful writer. He pulled me in and made me want to follow the story. It did not matter that I already knew this story, it was fun to read it again. Lewis is descriptive and writes wonderful adventures and amazing characters.

It is hard to pick a favourite character. I think the Beavers probably win. I found it highly amusing that Mrs. Beaver wanted to take things like a portable oven with her as she fled from the White Witch. On the other side, I really didn’t like the White Witch. She was rude, short-tempered and deceptive. I loved that Lewis wrote her so well that I had such strong feelings towards her.

It is clear that this book is based on Christianity and the Resurrection of Christ, but this did not spoil the book for me and I thought that Aslan was a great character.

Even for adults, this is an amazing story. For children, I think they will love it.

5/5

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Synopsis from Amazon:

Book five in the Chronicles of Narnia sees the intrepid Edmund and Lucy returning to Narnia–with their beastly cousin Eustace in tow–on the ship The Dawn Treader where their old friend Prince Caspian is searching for lost friends of his father’s. As the children take to the Eastern Seas in their hunt for the friends they find themselves embroiled in a dangerous adventure that leads them once again into the arms of Aslan the lion.

This is the fifth book in the reading order of The Chronicles of Narnia. In this book we only see two of the childern – Edmund and Lucy, as they go on their final journey through Narnia. The adventure starts in their Aunty’s house in Cambridge, in a room with a picture of a boat hanging up. On careful examination they discover the boat is Narnian, and all of a sudden they are in the sea, and not alone, they have their hideous cousin Eustace with them! They are rescued by Caspian and set sail in search of seven friends of Caspian’s father, who had been out-lawed by his evil uncle. Their adventures lead them to pirates, dragons, sea people and of course, Aslan. They travel to the end of the world, and see all sorts of magic, goodness and evil.

I enjoyed this book. Not my favourite of the series but still enjoyable. This book is full of fantasy, with the dragons and sea creatures, and all sorts of other magical beings. It was a good book, I had fun reading through it.

I was a bit disappointed it was only Edmund and Lucy this time, but I was aware that would be the case. I liked having Caspian in the book though, for a bit more consistency. We only really get fleeting glances at Aslan, but he is always there to teach them a lesson and help them out. I didn’t really have a favourite character this time round.

Overall, I found this book to be enjoyable like the others but not the best. I think both adults and children will like this story. It was easy to read and had its fair share of adventure and fantasy.

7/10

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prince-caspian

Synopsis from Google Books:

Narnia is in trouble! All the magical creatures and Talking Animals have been forced into hiding by an evil king. Fortunately, young Prince Caspian escapes in time to lead the Old Narnians in the fight for their freedom.

But when the battle goes badly, Caspian blows an enchanted horn. Suddenly Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie are pulled back into Narnia from England, where they had returned after defeating the evil White Witch. In a race against time and with the aid of the Great Lion, Aslan, they join Caspian and his army in a battle to restore peace throughout Narnia.

This is the fourth book in The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis. Like the others, I really enjoyed this book. Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy are all transported back to Narnia, where Prince Caspian is on the run as his tyrant uncle has claimed Caspian’s throne and wants to kill him to ensure he isn’t rightfully restored. The children discover that the magic has left Narnia hundreds of years before, when they originally left, and that the place is not safe for Old Narnian’s. They must fight, alongside Aslan, to restore Narnia to it’s former glory and to see Caspian put on the throne.

C.S. Lewis has created such a magical world, and I love going there in his books. He is engaging and fun, and I wish I lived in Narnia sometimes. I like all four children, they are noble and brave, out to fight the evil that ensnares the world. I adored their dwarf aid, Trumpkin. He was a great character, I enjoyed watching him develop. My favourite character is always Aslan. Again, you can see how Lewis has based him on God, as he heals the sick and feels those in bondage, but this is not over bearing at all. I just love Aslan – his compassion, warrior-like personality and his love and gentleness. This book is full of some other great characters too. Lewis has created a wonderful story full of wonderful creatures.

We see castles, evil men, dwarfs, giants, humans, lions, mice, badgers, the White Witch and river gods, just to name a few. This is a great children’s fantasy book that adults can enjoy. It is fun, gripping and well worth reading. The end was a bit sad, with the adventure ending for some characters, but the very last line made me laugh. Edmund is a comedian! I recommend this book for both adults and children – this is a rounded fantasy adventure book that all will enjoy.

8/10

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the-horse-and-his-boy

Synopsis:

An orphaned boy and a kidnapped horse gallop for Narnia… and freedom.

Narnia, where horses talk and hermits like company, where evil men turn into donkeys, where boys go into battle, and where the adventure begins.

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. When he is mistaken for another runaway, Shasta is led to discover who he really is and even finds his real father.

This is the third book in the Narnia series – if read in chronological order. This is a fun children’s book that takes us back to the wonderful land of Narnia. Peter is still on the throne and Aslan is around. Shasta is an orphan, running away from a fisherman’s life, helped by Bree, a horse from Narnia, also running away. On their adventures they are pushed together with Aravis and her horse and they see all types of adventure on their bid to get to Narnia – including lions, deserts and war.

I really enjoyed this book. Lewis is a great writer, engaging his audience. This is a book primarily aimed at children, and it is easy to see why they are popular, however as an adult I also enjoyed this book, and recommend it to adults too.

The characters were great. Aslan is still based loosely on God and this could be seen through the way he guided the children and his other actions. He is still my favourite character, however I loved Aravis, a strong willed girl who took no nonsense and Shasta as he grew up and became noble.

The whole book was engaging and fun. It was exciting and easy to get into. Short and sweet, a book well worth reading.

8/10

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Like Roald Dahl, these are books which are not just for children. The Chronicles of Narnia are beautifully written with the Christian message throughout.

The Magician’s Nephew
is the first in the trilogy and is the creation of Narnia. Here is the synopsis from Amazon:

Polly’s hand went out to touch one of the rings. Immediately, without a flash or a noise, she vanished. When horrible Uncle Andrew starts experimenting with magic, Digory and Polly find themselves in another world, and at the beginning of an incredible adventure, as the doorway to the magical land of Narnia opens…This is the first adventure in the exciting Chronicles of Narnia.

It took about half the book to get to Narnia, but honestly, that was not a problem. This gives time for character development, the meeting of the witch and the exploration of other worlds, which I would not have none existed had I not read this one.

My favourite character, like most others, is Aslan the lion. He seems to intimidating but has such a soft heart, what an amazing creature. The description of him is stunning.

As mentioned, the Chronicles of Narnia are based around the Christian story – but do not be put off by this. The Magician’s Nephew replays the Creation Story with Aslan creating Narnia and breathing life into the characters and the Tree of Life and how Diggory was not to eat from it or steal from it.

There is a stark warning at the end to not let our world fall into evil and decline.

I enjoyed this book, and would recommend you read it even if you are an adult. Lewis writes in a fluent and entertaining way, it is easy to follow and very enjoyable.

8/10

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