Friday, May 13, 2016

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis

Before Christmas, I had never read The Chronicles of Narnia in its entirety, I had only read The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe; I had read that one multiple times, both for school and pleasure. The world of Narnia has always fascinated me, and so I decided it was finally time to read the whole series. So with an Amazon gift card from my brother and sister-in-law, I bought it and have been slowly working my way through it.



When I got my series, it was set up in a different order that what Goodreads listed the titles as. My set was in chronological order, starting with The Magicians Nephew and ending with The Last Battle. Goodreads lists CoN in publication order, which starts with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. So this threw me off a little bit, because I am a stickler for doing things in order, and this one has two. So I pulled up my good old friend Google and did some searching. On Wikipedia (I know, not always reliable) it talks about how this is kind of a big issue in the book community. But there was one bit for me that made up my mind for me on how I was going to read it.


"To make the case for chronological order, Lewis' stepson, Douglas Gresham, quoted Lewis' 1957 reply to a letter from an American fan who was having an argument with his mother about the order:

'I think I agree with you [chronological] order for reading the books more than with your mother's. The series was not planned beforehand as she thinks. When I wrote The Lion I did not know I was going to write any more. Then I wrote P. Caspian as a sequel and still didn't think there would be any more., and when I had done The Voyage I felt quite sure it would be the last, but I found I was wrong. So perhaps it does not matter very much in which order anyone reads them. I'm not even sure that all the others were written in the same order in which they were published.'"

So if Lewis says that this is the order he likes them in, this is what I'm doing then. Who am I to go against the authors wishes, er, well thoughts on the matter. So I am sadly almost done with this story, and it makes me quite sad, and I have been putting it off more and more.



Plot

This book revolves around Eustace, who we met in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and Jill, new to the Narnia characters, trying to find King Caspian X's son, Prince Rilian who has been missing for the last 10 years. When arriving in Narnia, Aslan gives Jill 4 signs in which they will be able to find the Prince.

"First; as soon as the boy Eustace sets foot in Narnia, he will meet an old and dear friend....Second; you must journey out of Narnia to the north till you come to the ruined city of the ancient giants. Third; you shall find a writing on a stone in that ruined city, and you must do what the writing tells you. Fourth; you will know the lost prince (if you find him) by this, that he will be the first person you have met in your travels who will as you to do something in my name, in the name of Aslan." (p. 24)



So Eustace and Jill set out on the journey to find the lost prince, as they don't realize that the old friend Eustace sees first is Caspian as he has aged greatly since the last trip to Narnia. They are accompanied by Puddleglum, who is a Marsh-wiggle, a creature of Narnia that is a bit of a Debbie Downer (at least this one is) and is like a man and frog combined. They make their way to the ruined city, but run into a woman and a knight. 

The woman points them in the direction of The House of Harfang, which is where a group of giants live. However, the giants are not good people (creatures?) and plan on eating their guests for the Fall Harvest. Once they make a break for it, they finally find their way to Underland where they again run into the knight. The knight is quite the interesting of folk, very cocky and I am not at all a fan of him. However, he has a curse on him, where for one hour every night where he becomes ferocious and turns into a deadly serpent. So, the queen locks him to this silver throne that keeps him and everyone around him safe. But he tells our travelers that they can come back once he has been bound, as long as they promise not to undo his bindings.

This is where we discover that the knight is actually Prince Rilian and they set him free. When the queen learns of this, she tries to use magic to keep them there, and when that doesn't work, she turns into a serpent and attacks, but Rilian chops her head off. They then have to escape from Underland, which is falling apart now that the Green Witch isn't holding it together anymore.

Rilian makes it back to Narnia just in time to see his father, Caspian, one more time before he dies.

My Thoughts

I find this one harder to write in my usual format, just because of all of these books tying together, and with this one, there isn't anything that I didn't really not like, but also nothing that makes the book stand out among the others. It is probably my least favorite Narnia book, just because it didn't seem as adventurous  as the other books. In the other Narnia books, the little quests in the big adventure were more mentally and physically trying; here, the only thing that was stressful was getting out of the giants house before they became dinner. Everything else felt quite...easy, I guess. 

I was really sad that Caspian died at the end. I wish it hadn't happened that way. That means that Rilian lost both parents early. I mean, Caspian's death wasn't early, but he did lose 10 years with his son. But it does serve a purpose at the very end, so I guess it's okay-ish.

So back to Narnia I go!



Rating: 6/10
Pages: 257 (paperback)
Number of Books in Series: 7
Genre(s): Fantasy, Fiction, Classics
Would I Recommend It?: Yes, I think everyone should read the Narnia series.

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