“Once a king or queen of Narnia, always a king or queen of Narnia.”
Last year, I managed to finish the whole Narnia Chronicles Series. I still have a lot of feelings about this back then that’s why I don’t want to write a review yet. But I think it is about time that I finally put into words the thoughts and feelings that I have while reading the series.
The thing that I found the most interesting about this series is you can read it in two ways: chronological order or publication order. I have read this series in publication order but then I realized that the story would surely make more sense if you read it in chronological order. But whichever way you wish to read it would surely work.
I hope this will not be a very long review so this will just be a mini review, I will not include the synopsis of the books, just my rating and my thoughts. So without further ado, let’s dive into my review!
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Thoughts: If I were to ranked the series as a whole, this is probably my second favorite. I feel like I’ve become a kid again while reading this book. Such a small book and yet the world is so rich, the magic, the plot and the feeling of discovering Narnia for the first time along with the characters felt so real. I love the journey and the other characters, not just the children. But the thing that I really like about this book is that the most powerful creature is not a human but an animal. Most of us thinks that we, humans, are the highest and greatest species but it is not the case in the story. And out of all the villain in the series, I think the White Witch is my favorite.
Thoughts: After experiencing and seeing Narnia for the first time in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe I was so excited to go back and see what the world has to offer. And like the main characters, it feels like discovering the world again for the first time as we see Narnia in a new era.
The story of the children’s return and Caspian’s past really adds up to my enjoyment while reading this book. But what I like the most in this book is the one on one battle. But another scene from this book that sticks to my memory is when they have to proved themselves that they are the legendary or famous kings and queens of Narnia.
But even though the story ends in a good note, my heart feels so sad just thinking that Peter and Susan will not return to Narnia again. It’s like you get attached to someone and then they left. That’s probably why even though the story line is good I feel so resentful towards this book.
The Voyage of the “Dawn Treader”
Thoughts: I have mentioned that I am resentful with the second book because of saying goodbye to two of the main characters that I come to love. But I don’t feel that resentful with this goodbye, probably because the ending from the second book already prepared me to another goodbye. I was just a bit bitter that the parting between Aslan, Lucy and Edmund are quite short.
However, I enjoyed the journey of the Dawn Treader. Every island that they stepped upon offers a new discovery and a new side of Narnia that we have never seen before. There are places that is full of magic and wonder. And there are places that you would not want to visit ever again.
But the reason that I only gave this book a 3.5 out of 5 moons is because of Eustace. I hate how annoying he is. And even though he has some redeeming quality in the end, I was still annoyed by his presence at the earlier part of this book. So that’s that.
The Silver Chair
Thoughts: I can confidently say that this is my least favorite book of all the books in the whole series. I don’t like Jill and Eustace as a character. They are stubborn and they bicker a lot. And I feel like Eustace is a different character from the other book. I know that he grew up and all but it does not feel like Eustace; it feels like he is discovering and redeeming himself once again.
I did not like the journey as well. Considering that I always love reading books where a journey takes place and they go to different places, this book did not appeal to me as much. I am not even interested with the journey, the places that they go through and the people that they met. I don’t even remember how the story wraps-up. I just remember the scene of what happened after the lost prince returned and Aslan shows up again to bring the children home.
The Horse and His Boy
Thoughts: Okay here’s the thing, I don’t recall much about this book. The storyline is a bit blurry in my mind. All I can remember is that it took place during the golden age of Narnia when the Pevensies are still on the throne. I remember the horse and the boy and how they met one another. I remember that they met someone along the way and some event that took place after that. But I don’t recall the plot. I don’t recall where they are going, what they are doing. I just remember a battle and then nothing more.
It is one of those books where it is not bad but it is not memorable in any way; you read it, you enjoyed it but when you put it down you would immediately forget about it. That’s how I feel about this book. However, I remember wishing that I have read this book in chronological order because of it but as to why, I cannot remember.🤣
The Magician’s Nephew
Thoughts: This book solidified my belief that I would enjoy this series more if I have read this in chronological order. In this book, we follow the story of someone who would be a not so important character in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe but the scene where we get to seem him gives a hint of his adventure. And I think I would see it in a different light if I have read this first.
We follow Digory and Polly in this book as they were forced to travel in a magical world because of the Magician’s experiment. For me, compared to the other books, I think the world in this book is not as well developed or well thought of as the others. We get to have a glimpse of other worlds but I feel like there is something missing. Also, the plot is not that promising. There is no plot twist or epic scene that you would look forward to. It just feels like a prologue of the whole series if you asked me. It’s like a brief note that there is a world out there that is waiting to be explored soon enough but not yet.
The Last Battle
Thoughts: If I were to describe this book in one word, it would be nostalgia. There are a lot of things that makes me sad in this book. We get to see Narnia, a world that I come to love, be abused by greedy characters. It breaks my heart to see the Narnians suffer and to see them doubt those that they believed in because of someone’s lie.
The last battle, the final scene, the ending. Everything comes too soon that I am not ready for it all. I don’t want to spoil anything about the ending because if you haven’t read this book, I want you to be as surprised as I am with how the story ends. The epilogue of the story warms my heart yet broke it at the same time and it’s because of one name, Susan. I have a love and hate relationship with the ending. It is beautiful and yet it is not as well. But even though I am still iffy with how I feel about the ending, I realized how much the series as whole has made its way to my heart because of it.
I really don’t know how to put into words the feelings that I have about these books without spoiling anything but I hope you would read this series if you haven’t. Let me also be the one to say that this series is not perfect. It has a lot of flaws, the writing style and the plot is not as brilliant as you might hope it would be and I have seen some reviews about racism issues and such.
So let me just say this once and for all to everyone who have issues about this book. I can totally understand where you are coming from but this is a children’s book. You read this for the magic, the journey and the characters. It is not a textbook that you need to be critical and analytical at the same time. I think this is the reason why adulthood is more complicated than our childhood; we tend to seek for hidden meaning about everything and anything. We became doubtful about a lot of things and worry about everything that we forget to enjoy the moment, the now.
I really don’t know why I am being philosophical all of a sudden by defending this series but I find it frustrating when people read a children’s book and over analyzed every aspect of it. It is a children’s book! Go read a different genre if you want to be so critical about every character and sentences of the book.
Okay I will stop now because this blog is already too long. Just go read this book and enjoy it as it is. Read this in the eyes of a kid and an adult, you will enjoy it more.
Till next time!