My Narnia project is 1/7 complete! I just finished The Magician’s Nephew, which is the “first” in the series—by which I mean, it’s the first in the chronology of Narnia, but not the first one that C. S. Lewis published.
The Magician’s Nephew is the story of Digory and Polly, two children who meet and become friends during a rainy London summer. One dreary day, they decide to explore the attic tunnel connecting their two houses, planning to make their way into a third, abandoned (and, perhaps, haunted?) house that is also connected. Instead, they stumble into a mysterious room where Digory’s Uncle Andrew (who fancies himself a Magician) performs strange experiments.One of those experiments sends Polly hurtling into another world—and Digory must go after her in order to bring her back.
Together, they embark on an incredible journey to other worlds where they encounter evil queens, talking animals, and trees with silver, life-giving apples. One of these worlds is the infant Narnia, born from the song of Aslan, a Lion. There, they witness the coronation of the new King and Queen of Narnia and Digory receives an incredible gift from Aslan before returning home.
Okay, I’m just going to go ahead and say I didn’t know what I was talking about when I was younger, not being interested in these books. Even now, at 22, this book totally hooked me. I love C. S. Lewis’ narration style—it actually seems like he’s sitting next to me telling me a story. It’s very conversational and very different from many other things I’ve read, so it’s a nice change of pace. It’s also nice to be able to get through a book in only a few days (or, depending how much time I have on my hands, a few hours!). I had no idea that they were as easy reads as they’re turning out to be…I guess when I was in fifth grade the style just confused me.
The Christian allegory is also something I can appreciate. It’s pretty obvious, but not in an “I’m going to beat you over the head with it” way. I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of it plays out.
Mostly, though, I just really loved the story. The creation of Narnia was amazing. Some of the descriptions were just so terrific that I could really see (and feel, and hear, and smell) what was happening. But enough of it was left up to the imagination as well to create just the right amount of mystery. The descriptions of Uncle Andrew were particularly hilarious, as were the illustrations. One of the best parts for me was when he faints from shock at the talking animals and they can’t decide whether he’s a tree or an animal, so they try to plant him (thankfully not face down!). Ah, so awesome.
I really, really enjoyed this book and I’m so glad I decided to make myself finally read the series! I especially can’t wait to read them to my kids someday (or maybe just give them the books and let them read them once they’re old enough to read on their own). I think this is also Andrew’s favorite of the series, so he was really happy that I liked it. Yay!by