Author: C.S. Lewis
The Magician’s Nephew is the first book in The Chronicles of Narnia series. There are total seven books in the series. Three of them have been adapted into theatrical films. The Magician’s Nephew serves as the prequel to the movie ‘The lion, the witch and the wardrobe’.
The Chronicles of Narnia series is set up in a fictional world known as Narnia where talking beasts walk, and magic exists. The series follow stories of various people who are associated with Narnia. Each book is has it’s own timeline and is connected with other without loosing essence of it’s own.
Being a prequel of the film, this book deals with a lot of stuff that wasn’t completely explained in the film. It explains the origins of Narnia and the wardrobe and also deals with the backstories of characters which were in the film like white witch and professor. Reading this book prior watching the film make the experience better.
“This is a very important story”, explains the author at the beginning, “because it shows how all the comings and goings between our own world and the land of Narnia first began”.
The story revolves around a boy named Digory. He befriends a girl named Polly and both agree to go on some sort of adventure for fun but things don’t go so well when they encounter Digory’s uncle Andrew. He tricks the girl into using one of his experimental rings which send her to unknown dimension. Digory goes after her in a quest to save her and find a way back home.
The story then follows their journey through different worlds. The book has a total of 15 chapters. Chapter 3 and 4 in particular are very interesting. They represent the feeling of unfamiliarity very well. The sense of adventure when you try something new yet the feeling of uneasiness which comes out of fear are very well portrayed.
The writing style of the author is very casual and conversational yet very cunning and ominous. It is very descriptive and makes you imagine the stuff in the novel real quick. The world building in this novel as well as the series on the whole is phenomenal. There is a lot of referencing in this book as well and lot of foreshadowing too. The book is written in such a way, it feels like distant past and gives nostalgic vibes. The narration changes from third person to first person many times throughout the series. The later chapters deal with the creation of Narnia, the origins of Jadis, the white witch, who serves as the main antagonist in the sequel. The end of this story marks the beginning of all others and it serves a perfect intro for the rest of the series.
Talking about the lessons it teaches, the first one would be learning to contain your curiosity. Throughout the story, most of the problems occur because the characters are curious to find out what’ll happen if you do a certain thing or so. Values of friendship, loyalty and commitment are also presented well. Overall, this book is a must read.