- Age Range: 8 and up
- Mass Market Paperback: 206 pages
- Publisher: HarperTrophy; Unknown edition (1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0064471047
- ISBN-13: 978-0064471046
- ASIN: B008NUJ99M
- Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.3 x 1.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1,999 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #754,876 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia, Book 2) Mass Market Paperback – 1994
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Top Customer Reviews
Published in 1950, this was the then first book of the Narnia series. A prequel was published later. I read other books in the Narnia series, but this was always my favorite. People will tell you that this is a story about Christianity, a retelling of stories from the Bible, or an allegory. As a child I thought this was a wonderful fairy tale. As an adult, I was able to see the moral or Christian parallels but I chose to ignore them and read this as a fairy tale.
Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy live in London but they are sent to the countryside during WWII to escape the blitz. They are housed with an elderly and wise professor and his strict and intimidating housekeeper in an old mansion. While playing hide and seek on a rainy day, Lucy hides in wardrobe. Behind the fur coats is the land of Narnia. Narnia is ruled by the White Witch and she has made the land "always winter but never Christmas." Narnia is divided into good animals and bad animals who serve the Witch. Lucy is helped by a "good" faun, who protects her from the Witch. The presence of a human in Narnia is threatening to the Witch and all the animals have been told to alert her immediately. Lucy safely returns home and her siblings do not believe her story. Edmund and Lucy then find Narnia together but he meets the White Witch and is put under her spell. On returning home, he lies to the two older siblings and claims Narnia does not exist. Eventually, all four siblings end up in Narnia, though with Edmund sneaking off to see the Witch. With the help of Mr. & Mrs. Beaver, Peter, Susan, and Lucy go to meet Aslan the Lion and together they battle to save Narnia. Each child is given a special task and a magical tool. Aslan makes huge sacrifices to save Edmund. The good and bad animals of the forest do battle and being a fairy tale, there is a happy ending.
This book really sparked my imagination when I was a child. I just love the idea of a secret wardrobe that leads to another world. I still do! The book is dedicated to Mr. Lewis' goddaughter Lucy. It reads as if your kindly godfather was telling you a wonderful story. I love the little asides by the narrator. As a child, I did not realize that the story took place during WWII or that many children were removed from London for their safety. Otherwise, the story is as I remembered and I believe the illustrations are the same. This is a classic for a reason. If you missed it in childhood, read it yourself or share it with a special young person. It was lovely to visit Narnia again!
Notable are the Christian reflections of this tale, of what it's like to go down a path of sin with Edmund as he makes his way through the cold to the witch's castle, having fellowship amongst themselves at the dinner table, and Aslan's ultimate sacrifice, while being a being of immense power, allowed himself to be muzzled, beaten, and killed by the hands of the witch. A Christian myself, I look forward to re-reading the tale to grasp upon Lewis's deeper yet simple stories of the life of children and beings if Narnia. That being said, if you are not Christian, the story does not really reference Christianity much at all, save calling the male children "Sons of Adam" and the female children "Daughters of Eve".
On the other hand, the aspect of this book that I didn't like was when the White Witch came upon two squirrels, their children, two satyrs, a dwarf, and an old fox. They were having a little party before the witch turned them to stone after the fox told her that Father Christmas had come. It was very depressing because the animals had not done anything wrong. They were telling the truth and the witch was mad because her powers were fading.
I believe that The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a great book for children and adults because it has many fairy tale aspects with a happy ending. The book has many parts that will make you cry and some parts that will make you laugh. I would recommend this book for someone who loves fantasy genre and fictional characters. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a book that teaches many lessons and promotes many different emotions.
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