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The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Narnia) Hardcover – Bargain Price, July 1, 1994
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From School Library Journal
Louise Sherman, formerly Anna C. Scott School, Leonia, NJ
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.
Top Customer Reviews
This is the apocalyptic volume of The Chronicles of Narnia. If The Magician's Nephew speaks of a creation reminiscent of the book of Genesis, this book speaks of an end reminiscent of that foretold in the book of Revelation. Here, everything comes to an end, and the entire purpose of the existence of Narnia is finally explained by Aslan. The Christian references are unmistakable. Aslan, like the Biblical Christ in Revelation, triumphantly comes to bring an end to his world and save his people. Most of the material in this book is very Christian-like, all the way down to the separating of the creatures on the right and left hands of Aslan.
This, the final volume of the Chronicles, brings everything to a head. This book provides the so-called meaning of life, and gives validity and value to all of the good deeds the children have been trying to do since the first book. Here, the good have their reward. The descriptions in this book (especially the end) are absolutely beautiful, and the finale is nothing short of moving. Lewis, a master of Christian apology, succeeds here in bringing to life the Christian concept of the end of the world, and of the final rewards of the just. No part of the Chronicles of Narnia would be complete without the vision afforded by this, the final book.
After the events of "Prince Caspian," Lucy and Edmund are sent off to stay with their obnoxious cousin Eustace. But when they admire a picture of a strange ship, suddenly all three kids are sucked in -- and land in a Narnian sea. On board the ship is King Caspian, now fully grown, who is determined to find a bunch of knights exiled by his murderous uncle, even if he has to go to the edge of the world (literally).
Lucy and Edmund are thrilled to be back in Narnia again, but Eustance proceeds to make trouble any way he can, complaining and causing trouble among the crew. But there are problems more horrifying than any of them can guess, from dragons to sinister "gold water" to a region filled with their worst nightmares.
"The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" is one of Lewis's most original and tightly-written Narnian adventures. It's also a bit of a break from form. After two books of battles against evil tyrants, "Voyage" simply goes where no man/woman/mouse has gone before, and gives us a view of the Narnian world as more than one isolated little region.
And in some ways, it's also the darkest Chronicle. Lewis explores the theme of greed here -- greed for power, beauty, money and magic -- and has some scenes both chilling and majestic. But his archly humorous style peeks through in several places, whether it's pompous mouse Reepicheep or tea with a reclusive old wizard.
Edmund and Lucy are their usual plucky selves, albeit a bit more mature than before. But "Voyage" also introduces one of Lewis' most interesting characters in Eustace Clarence Scrubb. Like Edmund, Eustace is initially a peevish, lying boy who generally makes trouble, but slowly learns his errors. But unlike Edmund, Eustace doesn't have to ally himself to the baddie to learn that.
"Voyage of the Dawn Treader" was a turning point for the Narnia Chronicles, as well as the one that began venturing into darker territory. Engaging and tightly written.
First, I must note that I feel this story should be read in the context of the entire Narnian series. It stands on its own nicely enough, but the deep background of the previous tales adds richness and texture to the tale.
Secondly, I must note that this book is highly enjoyable because it works on two levels. The tale as a whole is the story of a journey into unknown lands. With each new place they visit, the whole is broken into wonderful episodes. My favorite episode (with the exception of the ending) is the island where dreams come true...its not what one would expect.
The character of Eustace is my favorite of all the humans in the Narnian books. This story is partly a tale of his transformation. This seems to be a universal human desire; but Eustace, like all who truly seek transformation must, finds impossible to reform himself. This is an especially timely lesson for our "self-help" culture at the beginning of the twenty-first century.
This brings me to what I like best of "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader." Let me preface what I say here by making it clear that no one hates heavy-handed use of allegory as much as I do. However, the allegory that is "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" is one of the greatest things of beauty I have ever encountered.
In one form or another we are all questing after an unseen kingdom. Be it the kingdom of God, Materialism, or simply of the Self--we are all, like Caspian and his pals, on a quest. I don't wish to give away any endings, but let me just say that the greatest truth Lewis expresses in his book is that no one can reach the True Kingdom on their own.
I urge you to read this book. If I could only have a handful of books, this one would definitely be among them. I give "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" my highest recommendation.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was fun to read it
It is probably the best book I have read in one word awesome