Prince Caspian is the fourth book in The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis.
Quick Review (read on for full review)
An enjoyable and engaging fantasy read, with a wonderful cast of characters, both old and new, and with a different Narnia to explore. 5 / 5
Summary (from Goodreads)
The Pevensie siblings are back to help a prince denied his rightful throne as he gathers an army in a desperate attempt to rid his land of a false king. But in the end, it is a battle of honor between two men alone that will decide the fate of an entire world.
“That’s the worst of girls,” said Edmund to Peter and the Dwarf. “They never carry a map in their heads.”
“That’s because our heads have something inside them,” said Lucy.
(From Prince Caspian by C. S. Lewis, page 105)
Prince Caspian was the second Narnia book written by C. S. Lewis to be published. However, in the chronological reading order it is actually book four, and it is this order I am reading the series in.
I think Prince Caspian might be my favourite book in The Chronicles of Narnia so far. I loved the time travel aspects of this book, with hundreds, if not a thousand years having passed since the Pevensies were kings and queens of Narnia. The country as they remember it no longer exists, the people having changed and the landscape having evolved with the passing of time. Yet, all the things which made Narnia special lives on in folklore and memory.
Lucy, as always is my favourite, but Edmund really has grown up. The lessons he learnt in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe have had a profound effect on his character, whilst Peter and Susan are more adult than children, which is reflected in their decision-making, making them appear a little out of step with the world they find themselves back in.
The names of the characters were well-chosen. Not only did they sound like they reflected the characters, but they were just simply awesome. A few examples being the mouse Reepicheep, the centaur Glenstorm, the giant Wimbleweather, the dwarf Nikabrick.
Again, I can’t help but see parallels with Tolkien’s writings, and I love that they were friends and were part of the same writing group, so would have discussed these aspects of their books together. Yes, I digress…In this instalment, it was that small people can be brave and save the world, and as for worldbuilding / fantasy elements there was a part that reminded me of the march of the ents…
There was only one part of the story I didn’t like, and it did interrupt my enjoyment of the book, albeit briefly. It was when a group of schoolgirls were said to be “mostly dumpy, prim little girls with fat legs”, (page 171), and a group of schoolboys, “who looked very like pigs” with “mean little faces” (page 172). The descriptions seem unnecessarily mean and cruel, and there appeared to be no justification for it.
The next book in The Chronicles of Narnia is The Voyage of The Dawn Treader, and I must say, I am really looking forward to it. After enjoying Prince Caspian so much, my expectations have risen…