The Magician's Nephew by CS Lewis

Rating 8.5/10
This is the perfect introduction to Narnia.

How do you go about reviewing the most beloved books of all time? This is the question I have been asking myself while re-reading the books for the umpteenth time. While these books where big back in the day the main question and direction I wanted to explore is… are they still relevant today?

Set in the 1800‘s The Magicians Nephew is the first sequential story in the Chronicles of Narnia series and follows the adventures of Polly and Digory, two small children from London. Digory is living with his Aunty Hetty and Uncle Andrew while his sick mother recovers from a terminal illness. Every day Polly and Digory - who live next door to each other - invent their own games in the attics of their houses.

Uncle Andrew is off limits to Digory and one day when they stumble upon his secret office they are tricked into slipping on rings than transport them to the world between worlds where they awaken Jadis, an evil queen who has destroyed her own world and plans to return to London to take over that world as well.

After a riotous romp through London Polly and Digory finally get Jadis back to the wood between the worlds and find themselves in a black empty space where the land of Narnia is being sung into existence by the great lion Aslan. As the world is created and animals arrive Jadis’s evil influence is felt and Digory and Polly must team up with the pegasus Strawberry to reach a tree that will save Narnia from destruction.

Jadis is the horribly magnificent evil queen and comes across as a real threat wherever she is, which is exactly what this character needs in a back story. Uncle Andrew is the perfect instigator for the comings and goings between the worlds, painting a creepy and stern image in the readers mind.

Lewis has a knack of writing just enough detail to create an image in your mind and from there you can develop your own stories and images from Narnia and other worlds regardless of what the movies and TV interpretations have put in our mind.

This is the perfect introduction to Narnia that shows how the world was created, the origins of the lamp post and how evil came to enter. If you are new to the series I would recommend starting with this book first as you can get an idea of the world, how it was created and some of the history which will help make sense of things as you read the rest of the chronicles.

This The Magician's Nephew book review was written by logo logo

All reviews for: The Chronicles of Narnia

Have you read The Magician's Nephew?

We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.

The Magician's Nephew reader reviews

from USA


Your reeviewer of the magicians nephew states that Digory's mother is "recovering from a terminal illness's. " isn't that an oxymoron? And, if she were recovering, Digory would not have been tempted to steal an apple for her.

from Usa


I love all the Narnia books but I am a firm believer In reading them in the order in which they were written. If you don't Read the lion the witch and the wardrobe first, you will miss the foundation and the importance of Aslan, and also the surprises that will come in the other books such as when you discover where the lamp post came from. I have been privileged to meeta great number of Lewis scholars, and the vast majority agree that the books should be read in the order in which they were written. Also, as far as I know, Lewis liked Tolkien's books, but told Kim definitely did not like the Narnia stories.

from Monkeytown


This book is amazing! Once you get into it, you cant put it down till you reach the end. I loved it. I recommend it to 5th graders and up. I cant wait to read the whole series!

from FL


"Congratulate me, my dear boy. My experiment has succeeded. The little girl's gone—vanished—right out of the world." The novel, The Magician’s Nephew, by C.S. Lewis, is a classic, mythological fantasy set in the 1950s busy streets of London, England, and in Charn and Narnia. After being sent to another world by his uncle, Digory and his best friend Polly discover new worlds with enemies, friends, and royalty. One of the most interesting characters in the novel is Aslan, a giant, wise lion. He has powerful magic to create living things. At one point, he said, “Awake. Love. Think. Speak. Be walking trees. Be talking beasts. Be divine waters.” One interesting event in the story is when the witch, Jadis, is found in a magical apple orchard, and tries to convince Digory to take an apple for himself. Digory was able to pull himself up and say no, while he was very tempted. The author’s serious word choice contrasts with the events and creates a suspenseful and unpredictable tone, with a few funny quirks. For example, he said at one point, “Now the trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed.” The Magician’s Nephew discovers important themes such as loyalty, courage, perseverance, and friendship. In conclusion, The Magician’s Nephew can be recommended to any person who likes adventure. It offers fantasy, friendship, and mythology.

from UK


The The Magician’s Nephew is one of people's favorite novel from the series The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. The book is very interesting to read, its an excellent work for Lewis. I will like to recommend this book to others readers.

from India


A good book for children :D

from Yellowknife


Love it!!! Once you read this book your life starts!

from UK


I think it is a good book for children aged 8+ and it describes the other story of C. S. Lewis. It is good because of how it tells the story of the Bible.

from London


This delightful arrival of the Chronicles of Narnia benefits from the seven stories being in their right honest to goodness progression, and moreover from the most prominent, enthralling depictions of Pauline Baynes, who depicts everything from the Elysian otherworldly region of fauns and dryads to the loathsome soul of Tash, with amazing mastery and affectability. I first read this as a pre-adult, and it grabbed my imaginative capability in a way that no other book (with the possible exception of Lord of the Rings) has done since. Quickly, coming back to the place that is known for Narnia over a quarter of a century later, was like a startling chipper get-together with a withdrew buddy. Children will be enchanted with the capers and more create book darlings will like the hid profundities, and likewise neglecting their impairments by being transported again to more fulfilled, more glad days. A truly splendid work that gets into your dreams and never really forsakes you. I brought this series Chronicles of Narnia from Snazal Wholesale Books.

from US


I've read the the book and I loved it :)

from Huddersfield


I recommend, as it was a lot more informative, and gives a great deal of information about The L, W & W.

from Shawnee, KS, USA


Despite parallels often drawn between THE MAGICIAN'S NEPHEW and the Judeo-Christian creation story, this book can be (and in my opinion, should be) enjoyed on its own. A brilliant, magical tale that is very funny in parts--few enough people appreciate Lewis's sense of humor. One other note: This debate goes on, but as a longtime devotee of the Chronicles, I advise reading the books in the order they were written. The discoveries of THE MAGICIAN'S NEPHEW are much more delightful once you've read THE LION, THE WITCH, & THE WARDROBE (as well as the others).

from Ipswich


This is a brilliant back-story, after reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe I really wanted to find out how it had all begun. The author does this in a fun way, Aslan is great and Jadis is mean. The magical rings explained how they first got to Narnia. A lovely book.

from My house


I think that it was very good and was good how it was the story of the bible. One of the best books I have read I reccomend it especially to children.

9.7/10 from 15 reviews

Write a reader review

Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.

First name

Country where you live


Your rating (out of 10)

Your review

More recommended reading in this genre

Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:

Best of 2016

Books of the Month

A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.

As the roar of the guns subsides and the smoke of battle clears, the country of Vordan is offered a fragile peace... After their shattering defeats at the hands of brilliant General Janus bet Vhalnich, the opposing powers have called all sides to the negotiating table in hopes of securing an end to the war. Queen Raesinia of Vordan is anxious to...

Professional Reader 10 Book Reviews