For a long time, this was definitely my uncontested favourite of the series, despite Eustace. It might still be. The preaching is more or less kept to a minimum, although as an adult I do notice it more: scolding of Lucy for wanting to be beautiful, Eustace’s Road to Damascus, Caspian’s scolding for selfishness, the punishment of Coriakin the Star, the supper at the end of the world, Reepicheep sailing off in his coracle like an Irish saint… But it’s so full of fascinating episodes that it’s hard to pay heed to that. Dufflepuds! Sea monsters! Dragons! To my mind, it has all the best of the Narnia books… although of course, none of it is actually set in Narnia.
Caspian, Lucy and Edmund are all appealing leads, and even Eustace gets better at it. I have to agree with Eustace on finding Reepicheep fairly self-righteous and irritating at times, though of course, he’s a good Mouse. And you’ve got to love the asides from the working crew and their perspective on the whole adventure.
Yep, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader remains highly enjoyable, despite its flaws. Honestly, I’d rather not think about the flaws.