“The Chronicles of Narnia has transcended the fantasy genre to become a part of the canon of classic literature.”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
In 1984 I became active in our local Baptist church and so many people made recommendations for books to read in and around the Christian faith. One such book mentioned was The Screwtape Letters. When I saw a copy in a charity shop I bought, oh dear … I couldn’t make head nor tail of it and found it hard going trying to read it.
This one put me off trying the Narnia books. That changed when I watched Ms Rowling speaking about the exhibition on the Potter world of magic. She mentioned The Magian’s Nephew and how beautiful she thought it was but didn’t mention the writer. Thinking it might be worth a look, I looked it up and found it to be the first in a series of seven books, I bought them as a boxed set from Amazon.
I began reading them late last year and completed them last week. You may think it took me a long time but hang on a mow … a long time ago I found that trying to read a full series by one writer one after t’ther was not my idea of fun at all. Now I read a series with another writer’s work in between them. It seemed a bit daft to try and write a review after each one, so I waited until all seven were read, so what did I make of them then …
I was already aware that the series is a way of telling the Gospel story to children, and yes, it does that. However, it is much more than that. The Magian’s Nephew actually tells the story of the creation, of how The White Witch enters Narnia and how she is banished by Aslam the Lion. The whole story then unfolds over the next six books and comes to an end … ah, no, maybe not, you need to read it all for yourself if you want to know.
Did I enjoy it? Well, I finished them all and very easily too (but that doesn’t encourage me to try Screwtape again!) so yes, I did.
As a way of explaining the Gospel to kids, yes, it does that well enough, but in this increasingly secular world of ours, that side of the series may well wash over the heads of most readers today. But no matter where or how you approach then, they are a good read and well worth reading just for the fun of it.
Go on folks, give ‘em a go …
Added 4th March 2018