Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair

I'm sad that we are almost finished with Narnia! We have been enjoying it so much.. We finished The Silver Chair this morning, and Evalina just loved it, and vowed to go to Narnia, if ever she got the chance. She wants to meet Aslan. I don't blame her. Aslan is cool.

The Story: Eustace from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader? He's back. At a "new" kind of school in England, called Experiment House, he and his friend Jill are being bullied horrendously. Eustace and Jill were drawn to Narnia, at their time of need, and to a time when Narnia needs help. Many years have passed since Eustace was last in Narnia - Narnian time, of course. King Caspian has become an old man, and he sets off on a journey in search of his lost son before Eustace has a chance to talk to him again. Eustace and Jill have also been sent in search of the lost Prince Rillian, by Aslan himself, and they have to travel to the Wilds in the North looking for him, following signs given by Aslan. They have help from a curious creature, Puddleglum, a Marsh-Wiggle. Along the way, they encounter a council of owls, a mysterious lady and a silent knight, giants, gnomes, and everything in between. But, will they find the Prince?

The Good: It's an adventure story, which is fun. The characters are, as always, well developed and well rounded. No one is so brave as to be unbelievable. Puddleglum is a fun character, who acts kind of as the Eeyore of the story. It was quick moving, and it was not battle-heavy. There are a few skirmishes here and there, but nothing crazy.

The Bad: "The" Silver Chair in the title doesn't come in until more than halfway through the book, and Evalina kept asking why it was called The Silver Chair. I had to tell her I didn't know, until we got there. The references to Experiment House are a little hard for a modern child to understand, I think, since it talks about how new and different it is, and how "experimental," because it's co-ed and secular, among other things. Hmmm. There were some slightly dark moments in the book, but it wasn't so bad.

The Verdict:
Not my favorite of the series, but still good. It was sad to see Caspian so old, after meeting him and "getting to know" him as a young and virile King, but having Eustace, Jill, and Puddleglum as the central characters worked. Evalina missed Lucy, Edmund, Peter, and Susan, but she got over it. As with the other books in the series, it is listed for grades 4-8, but Evalina (nearly done K), loved it. We are looking forward to the next (and final) book in the series.

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