Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

Sonderbooks Stand-out 2004
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*****= An all-time favorite
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*****The Magician's Nephew

Book 6 of The Chronicles of Narnia

by C. S. Lewis

Reviewed April 20, 2004.
Scholastic, New York, 1995.  First published in 1955.  202 pages. 
Available at Sembach Library (JF LEW).
Sonderbooks Stand-out 2004,
#8, Young Adult and Children's Fantasy Old Favorites

The Magician’s Nephew is the sixth book of The Chronicles of Narnia.  Written as a prequel to the other adventures, it tells the story of Aslan’s creation of the land of Narnia and how evil came to Narnia.  It even tells the beginnings of how magic got into our world and eventually led to Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter finding their way into Narnia in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

The Magician’s Nephew is my least favorite of the books, because there aren’t very many nice characters.  The main characters, Digory and Polly, keep having spats, Digory’s uncle, the magician, is horrible and selfish, and the Queen of Charn is truly evil.  My nine-year-old son likes this book best, because it is the first one he read.  (All the more reason to read them in the order they were written, since The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a better book.)  However, it does still capture the magic of Narnia.  This book is best when they finally get to Narnia and see Aslan create it.

Digory and Polly go exploring in the attics between their houses and inadvertently end up in the clutches of Digory’s uncle.  Uncle Andrew has discovered magic that can transport people to other worlds, but he doesn’t want the danger of going himself.  He sends Polly and Digory, and all of their lives change.

Here’s another adventure in Narnia that shows how it all began.  This book also has some things to say about evil, both grand and defiant and petty and small.  Even my least favorite of C. S. Lewis’s adventures is wondrously magical and wise.

Reviews of other books by C. S. Lewis:
Book 1 of The Chronicles of Narnia:  The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Book 2 of The Chronicles of Narnia:  Prince Caspian
Book 3 of The Chronicles of Narnia:  The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Book 4 of The Chronicles of Narnia:  The Silver Chair
Book 5 of The Chronicles of Narnia:  The Horse and His Boy
Book 7 of The Chronicles of Narnia:  The Last Battle
The Last Battle
performed by Patrick Stewart

Out of the Silent Planet
That Hideous Strength
Of Other Worlds
Till We Have Faces
The Great Divorce
A Year With C. S. Lewis

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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