Wednesday, May 2

The Chronicles Of Narnia by C. S. Lewis

After my Literature instructress mentioned that my old university had wanted to put The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe on stage but was only foiled by budget woes, it got me pretty curious about the story. The first time I saw a copy of the book, I winced at the price. A senior college student couldn't spare that amount of money. (In my case, that is.) Discounting the Harry Potter books, I have never been a big fan of children's literature. Years later, I found out that The Lion... is part of a seven-book series. So when I found one whole volume of the seven stories, I couldn't resist; hence the beginning of my journey to Narnia.

A friend wanted to borrow my copy for the summer so I had to do a quick read-through.

The Magician's Nephew. I'm glad that the series was completed decades before because I was able to read the books in chronological order. This story was written years after the series was officially started. It tells the story of how Narnia began. What would you have done if you were in the shoes of Diggory and/or Polly and were/was whisked off to other worlds so unlike our own? Who is Aslan? How did Narnia come about? Questions, questions. The first book of the Chronicles will provide the answers and tease you to go on reading--because you can never tell when the next adventure will be starting.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. This is the book that started it all for Mr Lewis' Chronicles. Diggory is now an old professor who is hosting distant relations for the Holidays. The Pevensie children--Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy--embark on an adventure beyond the back of a wardrobe. Unfortunately, the perfect Narnia that was created in the first book is now frozen for a hundred years. Of course, if you hadn't read these books you can always check out the movie version (especially of this one just a few years back). Suffice it to say that no matter what, the good always prevails--the White Witch is no match for the Lion.

The Horse and Its Boy. This is the adventure of Shasta during the reign of the High King Peter and his siblings. (Yes, the Pevensies ruled the land of Narnia after the death of Jadis, the Witch.) Narnia is the land of Talking Beasts so in this story we get to know a Talking Horse named Bree. Aside from learning about the wisdom of Aslan, we will also be reading about the stories of friendship, loyalty and fortitude. It's also noted here that the children cannot come back to Narnia again using the wardrobe. Only the Magic of Narnia can call back its friends.

Prince Caspian. I would say that the most pertinent thing shown in this Narnian adventure is the massive difference in how out time passes compared to Narnian time. It has only been a year (in our time) since the Pevensie children were in the world of Narnia. But because of utmost need for the Kings and Queens of old, they are called back to Narnia. That is, to a Narnia hundreds of years after they were last there--and this time ruled by the foreign Telmarines. As I've said, the good always prevails. Although a Telmarine himself, Prince Caspian triumphs to rule for he appreciates and accepts the real Narnia for what it is. Unfortunately though, it's here in this book where I learned that there is an age limit when coming to Narnia. Sad, really.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. (King) Caspian, (King) Edmund, and (Queen) Lucy appears in this adventure. But we are also introduced to a new, uhm, charming character in the person of Eustace Scrubb--a cousin to the Pevensies. I would say that this is my most favorite book in the Chronicles. Although we found out in The Horse and Its Boy that there are places outside of Narnia, this book becomes more of an adventure because it's our characters that are making the discoveries of different places. In the long run, we encounter enchantment after enchantment, and the voyage becomes a quest for Aslan country. Of course, with the addition of Reepicheep the Talking Mouse, the story becomes definitely...cuter, to say the least (sorry, Reep).

The Silver Chair. Because of that age limit, we only meet Eustace in this story. And his friend from school, Jill. But in most parts of the book, we know them as Scrubb and Pole, respectively. Lost royalty is always a fun read. This is no different. The adventure is to find Prince Rilian, King Caspian's son. One of the most appealing factors of this adventure is the journey to the land north of Narnia--Giant country--making it a darker story. And I love the company of Puddleglum--even if he is so ever...glum. (I wonder if they'll ever make a movie for this one.)

The Last Battle. The title alone, after the six previous books, makes you wanna give out a huge sigh of relief. As I read on about greed, courage, etc. it just sunk in that this will be the last time we will be gallivanting on adventures with the Pevensies, Scrubb, Pole and the other (and rather) surprising creatures in the land of Narnia and its surrounding land--e.g. warring with the Calormenes of the south. And the ending does not give any closure at all. It makes me wanna ask for seven more books (although I doubt if Mr Lewis can write any more. LOL!). Nevertheless, I learned here that all things come to an end--even Narnia. I'm just glad to have known Aslan and his wonderful world of Narnia. When you read these books, don't overlook the symbolisms that might swamp you--take them as they are. We ignore symbolisms in real life as it is.

As a contemporary and a close friend of J.R.R. Tolkien, I wonder what he and C.S. Lewis talked about over afternoon tea. Did they talk about Narnia and the Middle Earth? Of Aslan and the One Ring? Of the Pevensies and the Fellowship? Or, they might have not talked about their works at all. I'm ever grateful to have read the stories they spun and the worlds they created. My kudos and props for those brilliant minds.


Kris said...

I love this series. They are keepers for me and I re-read them every few years.

Kookie said...

I know. They're just a joy to's a wonderful break from all the romance novels I read year in and year out. :o)

Rowena said...

I haven't even seen this movie, man I need to get on with it already....=)

Kookie said...

I think the movie was okay. But reading the books is certainly a lot better. A hundred times over (?). :P

Rowena said...

Really? Well then screw the movie! =)

Kookie said...

If you put it that way... :P

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