October 08, 2011

The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

This is probably one of the most popular fantasy books out there, especially for the younger set. When the movie came out (which I also loved) it just furthered the popularity of this series. While it can be read as a stand alone, I recommend reading the complete series for the full richness and history that is contained for the world of Narnia.

When Lucky, Edmund, Peter, and Susan have to go to the countryside to escape the air raids and war, they stay with a kindly professor at his rather large house. There is plenty to explore, and it is on a rainy day that Lucy finds a magical doorway to another world, inside the wardrobe in a spare room. She quickly makes a friend in a faun and learns of the evil White Witch who fancies herself Queen of Narnia. The other children don't believe her about her adventures though, and this is even worse for her when Edmund comes through too but lies about it to the other children. Finally and quite by accident they all make it to Narnia and learn that they have been expected. Aslan, the great lion, wants to see them and they set out to meet him and help him with his fight against the White Witch. However, they experience a setback when Edmund defects to the witch's side and they feel sure that he is lost to them.

The characters, despite this being a short book, are very well done. I love Lucy and think she is charming and sweet. Peter is rather noble and distant, and Edmund of course is a complete brat in the beginning of the book without hardly any redeeming qualities. The other characters are quite nice as well and it is easy to see that Aslan has a regal bearing.

The writing is great and definitely the most appropriate for kids (adults might find the story a little rushed) and while there are battles there is not extreme violence in this book. In fact, the only thing I found offensive was Father Christmas saying women shouldn't fight in wars, but that could just be the small bit of feminist in me. There are Christian tones, but they aren't strong in voice and are rather just a background to the story itself. It is read more as a fantasy novel, and highly appropriate that way.

I love the series and especially this book and read it over and over. I don't think I could ever tire of it. With all the fantasy novels out there, this is definitely one that should be read.

The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe
Copyright 1950
206 pages (and my edition had black and white pictures as well)

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