Please note, this series is reviewed in the Chronological order, not the Publication order
Narnia…where Talking Beasts walk…where a witch waits…where a new world is about to be born.
On a daring quest to save a life, two friends are hurled into another world, where an evil sorceress seeks to enslave them. But then the lion Aslan’s song weaves itself into the fabric of a new land, a land that will be known as Narnia. And in Narnia, all things are possible…
I adored seeing how Narnia began. I loved how the next book was set up in the process and how the entire world was organised and thought out with ideal balance. I did understand the Garden of Eden references and situation but I didn’t mind, this was Narnia and the world is so complex and magical I think the beginning of anything new is always going to be stuck with an Eden stamp, intentional or not.
Initially I thought I had made a mistake reading these out of order (I had read The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe years before), but then I came across the Wikipedia article of the book. Apparently it was never intended as the first of the series, Lewis expected people to understand the world of Narnia from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe before reading about how it all began in The Magician’s Nephew. The mystery that Lucy experiences and the unanswered questions of the second book was Lewis’ initial plan as a first book. In the end The Magician’s Nephew has been set as the first book but can also be read out of order if you wish. I know, it is very confusing to get your head around it. I suggest you pick one order and stick with it rather than trying to figure out which way it was intended to be read. I followed the order my boxset provided which placed this book as number one, but because I had read The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe I knew the information Lewis intended readers to have. Reading this book as number six is kind of like answering all the questions but only after they have been asked from the other books; but if you read it first it is like giving you the information before you know why you have it. This made me a lot happier because as I read it I liked spotting the clues and realising where each hint and character or object would end up in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.
Let’s just ignore how you should read it for now and focus on the book. It was not just clues and trying to explain beginnings that was the focus, there was a lot more going on around main characters Diggory and Polly and their gradual understanding and acceptance of the adventure going on around them. We follow their introduction to this new place called Narnia and watch as they witness it grow and become stable and diverse. The adults and children in this story were refreshing from the Pevensie siblings everyone knows and who often dominate the recollection of the Narnia stories. It is a shame there were not film adaptations of each book because they certainly are deserving. I do not know how the more popular 2nd, 4th,5th and 6th books came to be the sole focus but it is a shame.