Friday, March 7, 2014

Kaitlin Reads Narnia: THE MAGICIAN'S NEPHEW

Even though this technically wasn't the first book written for the series, THE MAGICIAN'S NEPHEW is the earliest piece of the Narnia timeline and is put first in the collection I own. It shows how the world of Narnia was created and introduces us to several of the characters we will meet in the next book, THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE.

The story follows Digory (the titular character and the future Professor the Pevensie children live with) and his neighbor Polly, who are sent to the mysterious Wood between the Worlds by Digory's uncle Andrew. Uncle Andrew has been experimenting with travel to other worlds and has created magic rings that transport the wearers. He tricks Polly into touching one and guilts Digory into following to rescue her, setting into motion the creation of Narnia and its dangers.

One of my friends insisted that THE MAGICIAN'S NEPHEW is her favorite book in the series, and I can see why. I felt a childlike awe as I read, like I was getting a peek behind the curtain at Narnia's earliest days. I read THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE in fifth grade, so I remembered enough to make connections between the two books. We learn where the White Witch came from and how she got to Narnia, we see Aslan's true power, and we even figure out how that famous wardrobe came to exist. This book contains obvious parallels to the book of Genesis from the Bible, including allusions to the Garden of Eden, one of my favorite scenes in THE MAGICIAN'S NEPHEW.

The book is pretty short (I read it in two sittings before bed), and I was engrossed the entire time. I felt like a kid in the best way possible, but I was also able to make more adult connections and understand the Christian undertones being woven throughout. The scene where Narnia is created...just gorgeous! Overall, I loved it! I can't wait to re-tackle THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE soon!

2 comments:

  1. These books are totally on my to-read list post graduation. So you are reading them 1-7 (the way they're numbered) versus the order in which they were released? I could never figure out which way they should be read.

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    1. Yeah, I'm reading them 1-7 because that's the way they're structured in the complete volume I bought. The publishers put a little note in the front, saying something like, "Although The Magician's Nephew was written after the rest of the series, C.S. Lewis wished for it to be read first." It probably would be cool to read it after the other six books, too, but I just went in order of the story's chronology since that's what my huge book did. :)

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