Thursday 13 July 2017

The Magician's Nephew - C.S. Lewis - The Chronicles of Narnia

The Magician's Nephew
Chronicles of Narnia Book #6 Publication Order
Chronicles of Narnia Book #1 Chronological Order
C.S. Lewis
Harper Collins
ISBN 9780064471107 
eISBN 9780061974168 

I have read this book, and series about a dozen times over the last 30 years. But this past winter my son who was in grade 3 brought it home from school. Sitting at the table after school he read almost the entire first chapter to me and his little sister. He only needed help with some names. I was amazed and we read the whole book in just a few days. After that first reading we alternated pages as we read the book. I did not read this book until my first year of university and it is amazing to be reading it with my children.

I know a number of people who do not like this book. But to be honest I love it. My son loved it also. Asking my son about what he liked best, he loved that a normal horse became a Pegasus, he loved that Digory Kirke on a number of occasions had to choose between an easy way and the right way and chose the right. He also really liked the adventure and even exploring of Digory Kirke and Polly Plummer. The themes in this book are similar to Lewis's Perelandra in that it is a new world and prior to a fall. But in this instance it is damaged and broken by the intrusion of people from our world. 

I always wondered why Polly only appears in 2 of the seven books in the series and yet Digory appears in 4. In some ways it seems like Polly was an afterthought. Polly only appears in the last two books in the publication order. Where Digory appears in the first, third, sixth , and seventh volumes. Though I must say Digory is one of my favorite characters, beaten out only by Aslan and Puddleglum, who we only encounter in The Silver Chair.

This book is an origin story. It tells us the beginnings of Narnia and also about the spaces between worlds or passages between them. It is a wonderful fantasy novel. The scene of the creation of Narnia is stunning and I am moved every time I read it. Since the first time I read it, I have hoped to happen upon a lamppost in the middle of a woods, and wonder just maybe.

I have read the series in both the chronological order and in the publication order. My older box set has the books in the publication order, and the box set I bought for my son after reading this one has them in chronological order. I prefer reading it in publication order, but as mentioned am reading it with my children in chronological order. 

This is a good read an part of an incredible series. And I am thankful my son brought it home and we started reading it together. It is so much more fun reading it with children.

Books by C.S. Lewis
Narnia Publication Order:
Prince Caspian
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The Silver Chair
The Horse and His Boy
The Last Battle

Narnia Chronological Order:
The Horse and His Boy
Prince Caspian
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The Silver Chair
The Last Battle

Other Reviews of Lewis's Books.
A Grief Observed
The Four Loves
Out of the Silent Planet
That Hideous Strength
The Dark Tower and Other Stories

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