Book Review: The Magician’s Nephew

The Magician’s Nephew (Chronicles of Narnia, #6)
by  C.S. Lewis

5 out of 5 stars

In this prequel book, we learn about the origins of the world of Narnia and how Aslan first created Talking Animals. It’s fascinating to see how the magic of Narnia first came to be, and I love those moments when we recognize something we are familiar with from the other stories. We get a little “aha!” moment of delightful recognition as certain elements of the magic are explained and explored in more depth.

The whole book has a deep emphasis on history. This is a story that is being told from the ancient past and the weight of history lays heavily on it. Everything about the language in the writing style and the references to old traditions and places points to this prequel revealing not just the secrets of the ancient days of Narnia, but also the olden days of England before the World Wars.

The characters in this book have a very different dynamic than in the first few books of the series. The first books follow the Pevensie siblings who are all very close and affectionate with each other. But Digory and Polly are sort of awkward around each other in the beginning, and they are argumentative and peppery with each other through most of the book. Polly is much more cautious and sensible, and Digory likes to take risks and get swept away in the adventure. It’s kind of funny to see their different personalities and how they interact, but they both have excellent character development!

There are just so many wonderful Christian themes and parallels in this book! It is amazing to me how deep and how specific the imagery is that represents particular verses from the Bible. Every time I read this book it is like a breath of fresh air and a joyful light.

The story itself is wonderful, with an exciting plot and magical setting. The characters are deep and complex, with lots of character growth. The writing paints a picture with only a few words, and calls up strong emotional responses in the reader. There is just something so enchanting about this story that has appealed to generations of readers!

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