By: C.S. Lewis
Rating: 4.5 stars
Ages: 10 and up
The Magician’s Nephew gives a whole new outlook on The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the movie. If you (like me) watched the original movie before diving headfirst into the novels, than when you read this book you’ll understand me. How did the White Witch come to Narnia? How did she become so powerful? How did Narnia come to be? Read The Magician’s Nephew, and Presto! the above questions will be answered!
I believe that C.S. Lewis wanted The Magician’s Nephew to be the first book in the series. He may have written The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe beforehand, but The Magician’s Nephew is the set-up story, sort of like a prequel. In this book, Narnia comes to be, the Witch arrives, and the first human boy travels to and from worlds and ends up in Narnia! It gives a parallel view to God creating the world, when Aslan creates Narnia, which I love about it.
I really liked this book. I enjoyed getting to understand more about the beloved world of Narnia and the wicked White Witch that terrorizes and rules over the poor inhabitants with an iron fist. It might be a little slow moving in the beginning few chapters, but, really, once I got into the story, I was riveted! I would stay up late at night reading by lamplight, having such an immensely wonderful time. Hopefully every book-lover understands the joy of staying up late in bed and reading by lamplight (or you could always go Bach style and try moonlight). :)
Digory Kirke - the main character - (or, I should say, he shared the spotlight with his dear friend, Polly Plummer), was adventurous and maybe even a bit too curious for his own good. Nevertheless, all ends well. (Or does it!?) He suffers because of one reckless uncle - the reason he and Polly got tunneled into another world entirely - but grows up to be the dear professor we all know and love. He even ends up sheltering some of the most well-known and well-loved Narnia characters that ever were - but we can all agree that he didn’t hire such a great housekeeper, right? ;)
Polly Plummer, the neighbor and friend of Digory, is Digory’s uncle Andrew’s ‘guinea pig’ (poor thing!) when he is trying to find out if the magical rings he created actually work (beforehand he had used an actual, living, breathing guinea pig, but he ended up using Polly instead). Getting stuck in another world isn’t every girls’ typical morning outing, so, Digory, being the gallant young boy that he is, must hurry to her rescue. She is a bit irritating at times throughout the book, but she sometimes has a better head on her shoulders than Digory. She almost ended up saving Narnia from a whole lot of trouble - but, frustratingly enough, Digory intervened.
Uncle Andrew - disturbing, frustrating, and absolutely revolting and horrible. Who in their right mind thrusts a little girl into an unknown world? I guess every book needs that ‘crazy magician’ that Uncle Andrew ends up being.
Queen Jadis turns out to be someone other than expected - so, watch out. She also tries to overrun, takeover, and rule our own world, and really wound Aslan - but she is unsuccessful at both of those endeavors.
This book can be slow, but keep on keeping on. It’s one of those books that isn’t filled with blood-pounding adrenaline, or heart-stopping actions scenes, but after having read it, you can look back and nod in understanding at all the going-ons in Narnia. It’s exciting, informative, and just plain fun!
I would recommend this book to fans of the Narnia movies, and fiction/fantasy readers. A great book!