BOOK REVIEW: The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis

Years ago I remember reading C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, followed by a few other tales of Narnia, but I’ve forgotten the titles since then, and overall have v little recollection of the series as a whole; thus, I decided to explore the Chronicles again.

Though published as book six in the series, The Magician’s Nephew is to be read first, as a prequel of sorts, to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

The Magician’s Nephew introduces us to Digory Kirke and Polly Plummer, two neighbors who become fast friends, and spend their summer days seeking adventure – which is how they come to find Uncle Andrew’s study. Uncle Andrew is Digory’s supposedly mad uncle who is convinced he’s a magician. But Digory and Polly soon learn that Uncle Andrew may actually be a magician.

While in Uncle Andrew’s study, the mad magician manages to trick Polly into touching a magical yellow ring that results in the young girl vanishing. With Polly gone, Uncle Andrew blackmails {I know, right?!} Digory into testing another magic ring in order to be reunited with Polly. In addition to the yellow ring, Uncle Andrew provides Digory with two green rings {green for returning home}; just in case the two children are able to jump back into their current world. It’s getting freaky now, mmm’kay?

Once Digory touches his yellow ring, he finds himself with Polly again – resting within a wooded area that connects the two worlds. And surrounding them? Pools - many, many pools. Each pool leading to a different universe.

Obvs, given the current circumstance, Digory and Polly elect to explore the different worlds before returning to England; which is how they uncover…Charn. Abandoned and desolate, the children shortly discover what they presume to be an ancient palace filled with statues of Charn’s former kings and queens. And smack dab in the middle of those breathtaking statues? A bell, a hammer, and the following words:

”Make your choice, adventurous Stranger
Strike the bell and bide the danger
Or wonder, till it drives you mad
What would have followed if you had.”

And thus, the story of Narnia officially begins; for once Digory and Polly take it upon themselves to ring that enticing bell many things are set in motion. From the creation of Narnia and the animals who reside within, to the origins of the lamppost {so prevalent in the pages of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe} and the presence of the {evil} White Witch. But, above all, we are introduced to Aslan - the overseer and creator of all things Narnian; and learn much about the spectacular Wardrobe, and its ability to transport the chosen to Narnia.

The Magician’s Nephew was entertaining, no doubt about it. In under 150 pages it packed a whole lot of action and magic, and did a brilliant job of setting the stage for future adventures in Narnia. The characters are engaging and likable from the jump; while the world-building is perfection. I will certainly be back for more!

Star Rating: ****



Ananka said...

Sounds interesting and fun :-)

R's Rue said...

Picking this up. Have a great day Erika. 💛

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