The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is the second book in The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis.
Quick Review (read on for full review)
Enchanting and unforgettable, a wonderful fantasy read for both children and adults alike. 5 / 5
Summary (from Goodreads)
Narnia…the land beyond the wardrobe door, a secret place frozen in eternal winter, a magical country waiting to be set free.
Lucy is the first to find the secret of the wardrobe in the professor’s mysterious old house. At first her brothers and sister don’t believe her when she tells of her visit to the land of Narnia. But soon Edmund, then Peter and Susan step through the wardrobe themselves. In Narnia they find a country buried under the evil enchantment of the White Witch. When they meet the Lion Aslan, they realize they’ve been called to a great adventure and bravely join the battle to free Narnia from the Witch’s sinister spell.
There were so many to choose from, but in the end I picked this one:
“…Daughter of Eve from the far land of Spare Oom where eternal summer reigns around the bright city of War Drobe, how would it be if you came and had tea with me?”
(From The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, page 17)
It’s been many years since I read The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, and having read the first book (chronologically speaking, not in terms of publication order) in The Chronicles of Narnia earlier in the year, I thought it was time to read the most famous instalment in the series. I must confess to feelings of slight trepidation as I opened the book. I didn’t enjoy The Magician’s Nephew as much as I hoped I would, and so couldn’t help but wonder if I would find this book as enjoyable reading it as an adult as I did as a child…
My fears were completely unfounded. I loved it. The characters were engaging, the world-building enchanting and the story itself, certainly unforgettable. I enjoyed reading it as much as I did when I was younger. It’s nice to know that the story has stood the test of time (at least for myself). There’s a comfort aspect to reading something you enjoyed as a child.
The characters, of course, are memorable: Aslan’s personification of “good” versus the White Witch’s “evil”, Mr Tumnus the Faun and the four children. Lucy was always my favourite of the latter, but this time round, I did feel a lot more sympathy towards Edmund. There were a few I had forgotten until I started reading: Mr and Mrs Beaver, but perhaps more importantly, a rather well-known seasonal figure…
The Christian themes that are woven through the tale / inspired the tale, are clearly visible to me now, though at a younger age they probably didn’t even register with me. I have always been one to get swept up in a story without necessarily paying attention to hidden themes and subtext. However, this time I did notice but I didn’t find them overbearing. I just noted it and moved on as the story carried me away.
I liked how the narrator was separate from the story and spoke directly to the reader. It meant that the tale was peppered with little snippets, such as hoping the reader never felt as sad as…, which really added something to the storytelling.
One of my favourite lines comes from the dedication at the start of the book, and I just think it is so magical:
“…But some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”
Over all, I still prefer Tolkien’s writing, and Middle Earth to Narnia, but that doesn’t mean I enjoyed this book any less because of it, and I have no doubt, I will return to re-read it, again, and again, and again…
The next book in The Chronicles of Narnia is The Horse and His Boy, which I don’t think I read as a child…