October 08, 2011

The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis

The Magician's Nephew is the first book in the chronicles of Narnia. While it is not as well known as the others, it is the beginning, and so, a very important book for the series.

Diggory and his new friend Polly have been tricked into going to a different world by his somewhat mad, magician uncle. With some magical rings they are transported to a calm forest filled with pools that lead to different worlds. It is in one of these worlds, Charn, that Diggory does something terrible and awakens a beautiful but treacherous Queen who demands to go back to their world with them as hers is dying. She does manage to tag along despite their best efforts and is soon wreaking havoc on London. As the children try to get her back, they inadvertently transport themselves, Diggory's Uncle, the Queen, and a bystanding cabby and his horse along with them. From there they go to an empty world. But to their wonder this world does not remain empty for long, because a certain lion has just started singing.

The characters are very undescribed in this book. I would have loved some back history on the evil Queen and why she was the way she was. Even Diggory's Uncle didn't have a good basis described for being the way he was. Poor Polly was more of a sidekick character and the only one who really had any real emotion was Diggory himself.

The writing was decent and appropriate for children although they may not understand everything that goes on. The story is rushed though and for it to be the beginning of a magical world, I expected a lot more to the story. The novel does have Christian tones but they are not very preachy and instead it reads as a regular fantasy novel for the most part. Especially since it includes the use of magic.

I do love the Narnia tales. While this is not the best of them, it is still very important to read as it marks the start and does explain some history of the series. It should definitely be included in the reading list of all that is Narnia.

The Magician's Nephew
Copyright 1955
202 pages (The Edition I had had several wonderful color pictures as well)

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