Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

We really loved reading Prince Caspian, and I wonder if the movie is faithful - thoughts?

The Story: Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy were heading to boarding school when a strange force pulled them from the train station into Narnia! It was not the Narnia they recognized from their time there. Their beloved castle at Cair Paravel has become completely overgrown by apple trees, and has fallen into ruin. The magical talking beasts have mostly been exterminated, and those who remain have gone into hiding. Dwarves and the like are also in hiding, and the naiads and dryads have all but disappeared. Aslan has not been seen in generations, and most people doubt his existance, and think that the legends of the Golden Age of Narnia when Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy ruled are just that - legends. What has drawn the four children back to Narnia (only a year or so has passed in their time, though it has been hundreds of years in Narnia) is the call from Caspian, rightful king of Narnia, and friend to the exiled Talking Beasts and Magical creatures. He has been denied his rightful throne by his Uncle Miraz, who is out to kill him. Can the children help him defeat Miraz, and return Narnia to the splendors of the golden age?

The Good: As expected, the story telling is fantastic. Evalina loved the characters, from the slightly nefarious dwarf Nikabrick to the courageous mouse Rippicheep, to of course Caspian and the four children, and the ever popular Aslan. The story was engaging and quick, and ended happily. Miraz was suitably unpleasant so that you didn't feel too badly when he got his in the end (sorry for spoiling at all). We just love this writing.

The Bad: There is a good deal of violence, and people getting their heads cleaved off, and stabbed in the back, and lots of fighting. Some of the themes went a bit over Evalina's head, and I had to explain some things, but overall, not bad. She did keep asking where Cor (Shasta) from The Horse and His Boy were. They play no part in this story at all.

The Verdict: Overall, quite a wonderful book. I think that Evalina would have gotten some more out of it if she was a little older. She's kind of sensitive at times, and still didn't have much of a problem with the people who were killed, or the amounts of violence. She really liked when the trees came to life and started walking around. We were outside when we read that part, and she kept looking up at the trees in wonder. Though Amazon recommends the book for grades 4-8, my 6 year old loved it and got a lot out of it. I can see her re-reading the whole series when she is older, though, and getting even more out of it.

Evalina's "Book Report": Totally slacking on this lately. She really loved the story, though, so maybe she'll get back into it soon. I'm sure this summer, when school is out, we'll be able to do some fun things with books some more.

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