Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

This volume is a travelogue and has a more episodic feel than the other chronicles in the series. It is quite good. A couple of moments stand out more than the rest of the book, specifically Eustace’s experience of Dragon Island and the chapter on the Duffer’s island.

Eustace is the standout character in this book, and his development from spoiled, rotten, smart kid to humble, good guy occurs when he is turned into a dragon. The process of his internal character change, and then the shedding of his dragon exterior is perfect Lewis imagery mirroring the true change the God works in the lives of His children.

However, the best moments come on Duffer’s island. The comedy, horror, suspense, and lessons are all pitch perfect and, we are treated to the last real scenes centered on Lucy, the first character the reader really got to know. (When the books are read as they really should be and not as they are marketed today.)

The most magical moment occurred here as well, when the magician makes a map for the travelers. They simply recount their journey, in as much detail as possible, and everything they say is drawn magically on the paper! For a child in the pre-internet/satellite images world, this was a fascinating idea. Wouldn’t it be cool to have a map like that? Especially for a kid who spent their life moving around a lot, seeing a lot of the world. Of course, today such maps do exist after a fashion, and they are cool, if not as magical as they could have been.

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