Friday, May 30, 2008

The Magician's Nephew

Having begun the chronicles with a fairly strong Christian symbolism (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe contains strong resemblance to the events of the crucifixion), Lewis returns to this practice with the last two books in the series. That is not to say the other books do not contain strong Christian ideals and concepts, they merely do not parallel any specific Biblical stories or teachings. With the Magician’s Nephew, Lewis tackles the creation story and the effect of evil on an innocent world. In this sense it treats similar themes as Perelandra, and the two books make for interesting parallel reading.

So much of this book takes place in our own world, (and it is the only volume in the series to address the existence of other worlds) that it has a different feel from the rest of the chronicles. So much so, that some people find the book too different. One of the main appeals it has is the way it introduces the reader to the origins of things they know and love about Narnia—that is if they have already read much of the series. The Magician’s Nephew is the main reason the books should be read in publication order and not the newly promoted “chronological” order. In fact, this volume and The Horse and His Boy are the only two taken out of publication order in the new numbering system. Magician should be read after the reader is already familiar with at least Lion, as much of the charm is lost on readers who have no idea about Narnia or who Aslan and the White Witch are.

All that being said, The Magician’s Nephew is a fascinating read, and the altogether unique atmosphere it creates by placing so much action on Earth and on the horrific world of Charn makes for a great read.

1 comment:

  1. I love how Aslan sings the world into existence. I imagine that is pretty close to how it actually happened.


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