Prince Caspian (#4) by C. S Lewis

Published: March 5th 2002 (originally 15 October 1951)
Goodreads badgePublisher: HarperTrophy
Pages: 240
Format: Book
Genre: Junior Fiction/ Fantasy
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ – 5 Stars

A prince fights for his crown
Narnia…where animals talk…where trees walk…where a battle is about to begin.
A prince denied his rightful throne gathers an army in a desperate attempt to rid his land of a false king. But in the end, it is a battle of honor between two men alone that will decide the fate of an entire world.

Do you know why this is one of my favourite in the series? Because they finally acknowledge what happens when the four beloved kings and queen of Narnia, that have been sought after for one hundred years and who saved Narnia from eternal winter, when they disappear people took notice! For years before I actually read this book it annoyed me to no end that nobody seemed to mention they had vanished from Narnia in The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe, and the children themselves seemed to brush it off. They ruled for years and people would miss them! Thank you for finally mentioning it Prince Caspian even if it was only briefly.

We meet again these four children who are waiting at a train station. They are planning to go back to school when a distant horn attracts their attention. The four then feel themselves being dragged against their will and they are magically transported to a mystery beach near an old ruined castle. It is not long before the four realise they are back in Narnia, however their return to Narnia demonstrates to readers that time passes differently in Narnia and that one year on Earth has actually been hundreds of years in Narnia.

As they begin to explore and find the reason for why they were summoned they find a dwarf who tells them what has happened since their disappearance. Narnia has been invaded and divided by Telmarines while the rightful king is oppressed. The Pevensies children are soon embroiled in the issues of the new Narnia and try and help Prince Caspian gain back his thrown and restore the Narnia they once knew.

Aslan makes his usual appearance in cryptic and unclear ways, and old foes threaten to appear to fight in the coming war. The conflict and efforts to get Narnia back to the glory says is a great read really. Though there is nothing more than the fight to get Caspian onto the thrown, the politics and sneakiness of those involved does make an interesting read as always. Lewis manages to make these battles and political brawls engaging to readers in non technical and not overly descriptive and violent ways.

The story is suited for all readers, children do and have enjoyed this book, and adults love it as well. There is certainly a lot more being able to be read into these books the older you get and I think this is a great reason for a reread. As much as it is an enjoyable, lovely, familiar story, there are greater discoveries and meanings to be found. There doesn’t have to be a meaning in everything of course, and I certainly don’t want there to be hidden meaning in everything because it can ruin simple stories. However knowing Lewis’ style he likes to add meaning and hide things in layers through his story that are revealed each time you read and that can be discovered the older you get.

The ending offers a surprise that was initially unexpected, and rather not explained, simply yet another thing we must accept from Lewis. There is also no cliff hanger or anything that gives you incentive to continue unless you wish to see what other adventures there are. This is not a bad thing, it is a series with different adventures that connect and revolve around the same group of people. You just keep going through the series and see what happens. There is a chronology (let’s not get into the issues again but there is), so you do have a desire to see what happens next in the plot, and now we know time goes differently and that there are apparently rules you are curious to see the changes that might happen in the next book. I think if you are starting a series you do have to read the complete set because you really cannot gain a full understanding of the story if you don’t.

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