The Silver Chair is the sixth book in The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis.
Quick Review (read on for full review)
Quite possibly my favourite book in The Chronicles of Narnia. Full of action and adventure, with entertaining characters and an interesting setting, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. If you only read one of the Narnia stories, I would certainly recommend it be this one. 5 / 5
Summary (from Goodreads)
Jill and Eustace must rescue the Prince from the evil Witch.
NARNIA… where owls are wise, where some of the giants like to snack on humans (and, if carefully cooked, on Marsh-wiggles, too), where a prince is put under an evil spell… and where the adventure begins.
Eustace and Jill escape from the bullies at school through a strange door in the wall, which, for once, is unlocked. It leads to the open moor… or does it? Once again Aslan has a task for the children, and Narnia needs them. Through dangers untold and caverns deep and dark, they pursue the quest that brings them face to face with the evil Witch. She must be defeated if Prince Rilian is to be saved.
“Very likely, what with enemies, and mountains, and rivers to cross, and losing our way, and next to nothing to eat, and sore feet, we’ll hardly notice the weather.”
(from The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis, page 60)
Quite possibly my favourite instalment in the series. I loved the setting and the characters, and the story itself was good. Fast-paced and full of action and adventure, the quest felt focused and fulfilling, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I loved Puddleglum the Marsh-wiggle. His pessimistic nature ensured he was always surprised when things turned out better than expected, and he is never dull, but rather interesting, engaging and quirky, not to mention brave. Without a doubt, he is my favourite character from the whole series.
I missed the Pevensie children in this one, but I think Eustace and Jill were good main characters. Neither are perfect, but they do well in the face of adversity and are relatable (the Pevensies, even Edmund, do tend to come across as a little too perfect, I think). Jill in particular is strong and likeable, determined and courageous.
Again, we are shown parts of Narnia we have not been to before, and as always, the geography of this world is one of my favourite parts of the books. What was interesting in The Silver Chair is that a large chunk of the story takes place below ground which made for fascinating reading.
One thing I did find strange, and this links back with my reading of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, is that the woman Prince Caspian marries, and who is the mother of Rilian, is never named. She is called Queen, and is referred to as the wife of a king, the mother of a prince, and the daughter of Ramandu, but she doesn’t seem to possess a name of her own.
If you only read one of the Narnia books, I would certainly recommend you read this one. Although not as well known nor as iconic as The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, The Silver Chair is by far the most well-written and most engaging of the stories, at least in my opinion.
The final book in The Chronicles of Narnia is The Last Battle, which I read straight after this one, so expect the review soon.