Review – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Posted January 19, 2017 by Nicky in Reviews / 12 Comments

Cover of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisThe Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis

This book is exactly what I reread Narnia for. Though it’s a blatant allegory (e.g. Aslan is Jesus, Edmund is Judas, the Emperor Over the Sea is the Christian God), it’s also a good story. Perhaps it helps that the story it’s based on is also a good one… In any case, there’s so much warmth in the narration, the way the narrator speaks to the reader and gently explains the characters’ faults and virtues. The scene with Mr Tumnus in his cave feels genuinely cosy, as does the scene with the Beavers. The treks through the snow feel genuinely freezing, and the slow dawning of spring feels like a breath of fresh air…

In other words, this book has some of the best of Lewis’ writing for children, in my opinion. The allegory doesn’t matter: I still care fiercely about Aslan, I still want Edmund to be redeemed. It mostly avoids being preachy. As with Uncle Andrew in The Magician’s Nephew, Edmund’s thought process makes sense, and he’s a more sympathetic character too.

I still don’t get the appeal of Turkish Delight, though.

Rating: 4/5

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12 responses to “Review – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

  1. Haha! I distinctly remember my teacher describing to us (and this was thirty-some odd years ago) what Turkish Delights was. She described it so wonderfully and I think all of our mouths were watering. Then I tried it. That was one of the biggest disappointments in my life. Great review. This is one of all-time favs and the series that began my reading career at a very young age.
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  2. As a child, I could never reconcile Pauline Baynes painting of a steaming chalice with my experience of Fry’s Turkish Delight (pretty rubbish rose turkish delight covered in pretty rubbish milk chocolate), which I loved but wasn’t a drink until I was a grown up (as powdered flavoured hot chocolate; it was horrid). It never occurred to me that maybe the painting wasn’t of what I thought it was of 😉 Funny how the blindingly obvious can elude us!

    I do have a soft spot for these books. The allegory eluded me as a child (even when I read The Last Battle; but then I wasn’t a child who went to church, and the Turkish Delight thing shows how good I was at interpretation back then 😉 Rereading them a few years back it occasionally set my teeth on edge, but honestly not so much until later in the series – and less than I expected. They’re still good stories (Dawn Treader and the Silver Chair were always my favourites, although I as a horse-girl growing up The Horse and His Boy had a place too).

    • Ha. I love Pauline Baynes’ art, though! I was not a child who went to church, either, but I was raised Christian-ish, so I guess that helped.

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