2017 Literacy Throwdown Book Review! – A Whole Bunch of Narnia Books

Most of the time I plan on reviewing books individually, but in this case they kind of demanded to be grouped together. These books – Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, and The Last Battle — are the last four books in C.S. Lewis’ Narnia series.

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I read these particular books from the series because, a) I had already read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and b) I couldn’t find the other two books from the series (The Magician’s Nephew and The Horse and His Boy) lying around the house. So, I went with what I had.

And, I got exactly what I expected. For a guy who’s such a big brain, Lewis can have a charming avuncularity (yes, it is so a word) about his writing. All the books read as if you were sitting on his knee and he was spinning a yarn for you before bedtime.

Lewis isn’t a world-builder in the way someone like Tolkien is. His books are breezier and lighter on details, because they seem more directly targeted at children. And because they’re meant above all to be easy-to-understand allegories (spoiler alert: Aslan is Jesus, y’all!).

So if you want long, complex explanations of how an elf strings his bow, you’re better off sticking with Tolkien. But for fantastical tales that you can share with your kids, and that also carry a lot of moral wisdom, Lewis is the boss.

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