The Magician’s Nephew by CS Lewis
Review by Alaisdair Dewar
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.
Iona from Huddersfield
I recommend, as it was a lot more informative, and gives a great deal of information about The L, W & W.
Claire 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).
Meg 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.
Jack 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.
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